Australian PM uses 'meaningless' slogan from U.S. political satire Veep

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 23, 2016 12:36 AM

By Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's looming election campaign entered the world of the hit U.S. political satire "Veep" when the country's prime minister was caught using a meaningless slogan from the television show.

A day after setting the stage for a possible election on July 2, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday made numerous references to "continuity and change" in his government in media interviews, a reference to the fact that he unseated his party's unpopular leader but plans to keep many of his policies.

Within hours, an Australian Broadcasting Corp reporter tweeted a photo of a fictional election campaign bus in "Veep" emblazoned with the slogan "Continuity With Change".

"I am dumbstruck," wrote "Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, most famous for playing a lead role on "Seinfeld", on Twitter.

Show writer Simon Blackwell dispelled any suggestion that the slogan was meant to be taken seriously, tweeting that "we came up with the most meaningless election slogan we could think of. Now adopted by Australian PM".

Another actor on the Emmy-winning show, Timothy Simons, added: "A heartfelt thanks to the truly clueless US / World politicians providing us with so much free publicity."

When Turnbull ousted former conservative leader Tony Abbott in September, he gave Abbott's poor opinion polling as the sole reason for the leadership change. Throughout his two-year leadership, Abbott was frequently the butt of jokes about small missteps which spread on social media.

Turnbull has consistently led opinion polls, but his personal popularity is sagging. On Monday he announced a recall of parliament, which could see an election on July 2.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Michael Perry)