The writers of American political comedy “Veep” thought it was the most meaningless slogan they could conjure up, but in Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull looks to have adopted it with relish.
In a strange case of life apparently imitating art, Turnbull has taken to explaining his government as providing “continuity” and “change”.
The line is eerily close to the “Continuity with Change” slogan used by the fictional politician Selina Meyer in the political satire “Veep”.
“I am dumbstruck,” the star of the show, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, tweeted in response on Tuesday.
“Veep” writer Simon Blackwell was more severe.
“In S4 of Veep we came up with the most meaningless election slogan we could think of. Now adopted by Australian PM,” he tweeted.
Australian politicians are usually known for more colourful language, whether it’s a lawmaker threatening to kill Johnny Depp’s pet dogs, aggressively “shirtfront” Vladimir Putin over the downing of MH17, or get the PM in a testicle-grabbing “squirrel grip”.
But Turnbull is trying to convince voters how his government is different to that of his conservative Liberal Party colleague Tony Abbott who he removed from office in an internal party room coup last September.
“There is continuity,” he admitted on Monday to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“So, as you go from one Liberal prime minister to another, you have continuity and you have change and there has been a lot of change,” he said.
He followed up the next day with a radio interview in which he said: “There is continuity and there is change and there are many areas of change.”
And he repeated it again Tuesday to reporters: “The bottom line is there is continuity and there is change.”
It’s not the first time multi-millionaire Turnbull has been connected with a American political show, following the tongue-in-cheek suggestion after his ascension to power that he and his high-powered wife Lucy could be compared to the ruthless characters of Frank and Claire Underwood from “House of Cards”.
“I have nothing in common with Frank Underwood other than that we both use a rowing machine,” Turnbull joked at the time.