Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Voice of Julia

This is not political. I hated the way ex PM John Howard spoke. I thought he was an embarrassment to Australia. Menzies was statesman like and a person of his time and spoke like educated Australians did then. God Gough was wonderful. Fraser, whose politics I did not like, sounded good on the international stage. Hayden was ok. Hawke, not great but he made up for it with his charm. Social climber Keating was ok too. Howard has a terrible accent and lousy voice. He just was so not how I wanted the world to hear Australians.

That brings us to Krudd. Tight lipped technocrat speak. While I did not see him as embarrassing us internationally, I did not like the way he spoke at all.

Anthony Abbott as a possible PM, well, passable almost and certainly has a better delivery than Krudd.

Of course I must not leave out our present Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. There was some fuss about her referring to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as Misterabbit, rather than Mister Abbott. She does have quirks in her speech and she seemed genuinely surprised by the accusation that it was deliberate. I used to find her voice very grating, but whether with intent or not, she seems to have modified her voice and accent, especially her voice. Maybe I have just become used to her voice, but I don't think so.

Good diction is often often associated with a superior manner of speaking or a more English accent, but I find it not always to be so. Some of the clearest Australian accented speakers have quite broad accents and I put Julia among them.


  1. I think John Howard's voice was partly affected by his deafness. He seemed to me to slur his words a bit.

    I think Julia Gillard's voice has improved but I haven't enjoyed listening to her 'slowed down speech' during the election campaign. It comes across as patronising to me in the same way as Maggie Thatcher's voice did, albeit that Thatcher had a very different accent.

  2. She does sound like she says Mr Rabbit, I was only thinking that last night when I saw her on the 7pm Project! I don't really like her voice, I still feel like I'm watching a Kath n Kim episode when I hear her talk! But she's a lot better than Howard was.

  3. Tone's not too bad to listen to, I mean how many times do you see people talking out theirears.

  4. Got to agree I think Julia Gillards speech has improved over time. Definitely some training there.

    I didn't mind Kevin Rudd's accent so much, but you're right his use of, as you say "technocrat" speech, just wore you down. The Chaser's "In Due Season" was a great send up of this.

    Another clear speaker was Natasha Spot Destroyer, but she was from Adelaide so had a more English accent.

  5. Victor, I had forgotten about his deafness. I agree with you about Julia. She is trying hard.

    Fen, it just occurred to me that she being from Adelaide, she ought to speak a bit better, as Adelaidians are inclined to do.

    Nice one Jahteh.

    Ah, the Destroyer Ben. Her speech reminded me a bit of Krudd's. I like to hear a few stumbles or something. They sound just too glib.

  6. I can't hack any of them, but then they are all just show ponies and Julia will do what Richardson and Arbib tell her to and will Abbott folllow the back room boys commands or else

  7. Not so sure MC. If anyone will stand up to the backroom boys, JG would be the one.