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Australian Politics

The Corruption of the Cutie: Is Turnbull Now a Mean Girl?


Is Turnbull just a Mean Girl, or is he a Heisenberg or possibly a Trumbleberg? What has he become?  The once suave leather jacket wearing moderate has transformed into the incarnation of Abbott with his sycophant speech.  A man full of angry personally abusive ranting and zero policy.

The media seem to really get their rocks off on this type of abusive ranting politician. They love it. They channel Highlander with “There can be only One!” in their writing. They wallow unashamedly in it. As they did with Abbott. For this reason, vulnerable people will always be doomed.

The media (except VanBadham) have missed the mark. The only thing that will be immortalised about the Turnbull Speech is how the media got this wrong. Except Van Badham. Trust Van to be head and shoulders above the rest, standing against the grain.

The media have compared the sycophant speech with Gillard’s misogyny speech. There is no comparison. Where can Turnbull go from here?

The Corruption of the Cutie

A common trope in movies is the ‘corruption of the cutie’. That is, the ‘nice guy or girl turned villain.’ When Turnbull became leader he was seen as the ‘unbeatable good guy’ with 60% plus in the polls. A wide appeal. The nice guy next door.

How Turnbull has transitioned since he stole leadership from Tony Abbott is in line with this trope of corruption of the cutie –  it is a slow progression of nastiness, until the transformation is complete and BAMThe lead good guy is now the lead bastard and he is a bastard in spades.

This is epitomised in Mean Girls when the good girl character Cady, becomes a mean girl herself.

Walter White, calm, nerdy, good, family loving chemistry teacher, turning into Heisenberg, self obsessed, greedy drug lord, “I am the one who knocks” in Breaking Bad, is another example.

For some, they will be torn between the good guy who they believe is still deep inside, and will be loyal to him, waiting for his return. This is how I was with Walter White. I never got my wish.

I failed to realise the good guy is either dead, or never was. People will realise the same with Turnbull.

The Bullied who Fight Back – Right vs Might

The corruption of the cutie, is the role Turnbull played the other day. This is in stark contrast to the trope of the bullied character, who stands up in the end, in the case of Gillard.  The character who is the butt of jokes, picked on, ridiculed by bullies. However, has the personal resilience to stand strong in the face of adversity. Always determined to rise up with a right versus might speech.

Gillard’s speech was about right versus might.  It was Gillard insisting that the right of women to enjoy life free from sexism is paramount above the might of the misogynists.

Turnbull’s response to Shorten’s objection to cuts to family payments by calling him a sycophant and a parasite, was all about might versus right.  This was Turnbull insisting that the might of the rich and powerful always is paramount above the poor, the worker, the downtrodden who fight against them.

A stark contrast indeed. The media have this, very, very wrong.

Bringing Back the Ugly

Indeed, Turnbull will think people love him for being a bully. His inner circle will tell him so. It worked for Abbott after all. His party members have felt so adrift with not being able to express their true ugliness. They are excited now they can clap and cheer at bullying in all it’s glory, like they did with Abbott on a day-to-day basis. Now again in love with Turnbull because he is bringing back the ugly.

They had no choice but to get rid of Biff from Back to the Future…


But Now they have Steff – the Ultimate Rich Mean Boy

Now they can clap and cheer because they have the actual God of all mean rich boys. All the rich kids love this guy. They love him because he is rich, he decides the pecking order, he decides who gets to go to the best parties. He reassures them all daily that they are superior and the poor kids are just scum. That makes them feel so much better. By their clapping and a cheering you can see the meaning of the message. The message is the LNP thrive on ugly politics.

They love Steff-like characters because he is real true arsehole. He picks on the poor kids. They get behind him and stand tall, staking their ‘rightful place’. Feeling strong by the jollies they get from humiliating ‘the working class trash’. They all play a part in reminding them, that even if you turn up to the rich kids party, you will never be one of them. You. Do. Not. Belong.

In 16 Candles, Steff, made sure he let Andie know she did not belong. Just like Malcolm made sure he told Bill that he does not belong at the same table as rich men.

Well I guess we should have seen that coming…….


No Comparison to Gillard

Misogyny Speech

Gillard’s Misogyny speech was a rousing speech. It can be encapsulated as the determination trope. It was brought on through the determination that is required to face daily, sexist slurs and pointed sexist ridicule. It is the determination that is required to get up every morning and face a narrative that talks women down, while she was determined to always talk women up.

Gillard’s message was to everyone – I am a leader. Follow me and say no to sexism and misogyny and make the world a much better place for women.

Sycophant Speech

Turnbull’s sycophant speech can be encapsulated as the evil gloating trope. It is what mean people do. They gloat. This is brought on by a born to rule mentality. A mentality that aims to bring the good guy down. It is brought about when the popular kid or the rich kid sees their perfect world threatened by the inclusion of an outsider. An outsider they consider who does not belong. The threat that ‘the lower class’ may just make it to the place they see as rightfully theirs. A right they inherited, and did not have to yuk ‘earn’. 

Turnbull’s message was really to his party.  As a leader, follow me and I will teach you how to keep the worker trash out of our posh parties and I will make the world a much better place for the deservedly wealthy.

The message to everyone else was – I am a leader, follow me and I will make sure if you ever actually ‘make it’ I will be here to put you back in your place and remind you where you truly belong – with the other working class trash.

Where to From Here?

The media has played this up for all it is worth. However, deep inside so many Australians is the love for the Aussie Battler. Shorten will continue to stand up for the little guy, the worker and the poor.

Turnbull it seems will continue his Shorten bashing from a place of ‘you don’t deserve to be here’.

If Turnbull continues these mean girl rants, he will realise that even those who were once loyal will turn on him. When you become an Mean Girl, not everyone will love you.

He may realise that even though his internal party members love him for being the meanest, nastiest, rich-boy bully; those on the outside, especially those suffering under his cuts to family payment, will not feel the same way.

Stop the Bus!

Now he has started on this trajectory, is there a way back for Turnbull? To get out of this dilemma, and claw his way back to any semblance of decency; he may need to pray that the leader of the right-wing instructing his every move, is taken out by a bus.

(Don’t worry, she doesn’t die….)


About trishcorry

I love to discuss Australian Politics. My key areas of interest are Welfare, Disadvantage, emotions in the workplace, organisational behaviour, stigma, leadership, women, unionism. I am pro-worker and anti-conservativism/Liberalism. You will find my blog posts written from a Laborist / Progressive Slant.


5 thoughts on “The Corruption of the Cutie: Is Turnbull Now a Mean Girl?

  1. Trish, I certainly agree with you that Turnbull’s little rant was nowhere near the impact of Gillard’s misogyny speech, also Turnbull hay have begun his parliamentary career espousing the ‘liberal’ way but he has certainly ending his career as a ‘conservative. I believe if Shorten doesn’t begin to treat every day as an election campaign day and really expose what this ‘conservative’ Turnbull govt is actually doing, that those of us in the public are keen to know about, then the ALP should know about also, and begin giving this mean and nasty govt both barrels. We can see them getting further into debt while simultaneously cutting people’s benefits, which would lower the debt, where is the public money going? We can plainly see the attack on Medicare while they are saying that they are Medicare’s best friend, telling us black is really blue? Labor must work on the assumption that more splits in the coalition will occur and campaign ready to take government when it happens. C’mon Shadow Ministers launch some scathing attacks on behalf of the people you represent.

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by townsvilleblog | February 11, 2017, 2:20 pm
  2. Reblogged this on Townsville Blog..


    Posted by townsvilleblog | February 11, 2017, 2:20 pm
  3. It is a good thing we have Van. The only other media person to notice that he was so off the mark was in a regional paper, the Illawarra Mercury: http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/4459116/money-talks-but-message-isnt-always-good/
    It’s a pity that so many other journalists were more titivated by the show rather than alarmed by it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by John Madden (@john_jmadden) | February 11, 2017, 2:34 pm
  4. Trish, for the life of me cannot understand as to why people are so very surprised at Malcolm Turnbull’s gymnastics on anything remotely resembling a policy idea. On his latest rant at Shorten, “Orators are most vehement when their cause is weak” (Cicero). I would also add when the cause is lost, the orators is lost and has a humongous melt down. On his ascendancy to the Lodge to part borrow from his speech “plagiarise/steal someone else’s idea”, he also included “you cannot future proof only embrace …”. That should have given the MSM journos an aha moment, but all that just went over their heads and this from a profession built on wordsmithing and message massaging, really?. I get that they will cling to Turnbull like a nit on a horse’s main even when that horse is in full flight in a wind gust those nits will cling. They thought that here is a horse they could back that would take Australia into the 21st century. So it would now be very embarrassing for them to now admit that he is not even a donkey but a rocking horse stuck in some century of his own once they opened the stable door and waiting for someone to rock him. Nobody picked up his latest opportunistic rock the SA power failure nobody is even connect the dots, before his new mantra words populist, protectionist now it is ideology, watch him and his entourage go hard on lexicon ideology, sounds good for them. At least Abbott knew what past century he wanted to take Australia. Please anybody every body just listen to what he says and realise he has no idea about any idea and non of his own.

    Turnbull never was and had/has no idea what a 21st century is all about and he is not the man (said as much when 11/06/2015; 1/01/2015 he included the future proof into his lexicon). He had/has no idea about any idea let alone one of his own and if he does happen to plagiarise/steal (his words) one he has this incredible talent to screw it up (NBN) than blame someone else and the journos do and will not hold him to account, shame on them. Turnbull’s talent par excellence is his ability to demand stewardship of the many opportunistic rides to the Lodge and disembarks just before he drives it into the Abyss, ARM, Climate Change, Marriage Equality, he sure can spot these opportunistic rides and knew it would give him the poll bounce he desired to unseat Abbott and the rest as they say is history. So no Turnbull always was what he is “you can outdistance that which is running after you but not what is running inside you” Rwandan Proverb and he is driving 21st century Australia and future generations into the Abyss and non of the so called self respecting journo or media outlet (present company excluded) is holding him to account, shame on them may future generations judge them harshly and past generations condemn them.


    Posted by Jennifer | February 11, 2017, 2:58 pm

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Trish Corry



I love to discuss Australian Politics. My key areas of interest are Welfare, Disadvantage, emotions in the workplace, organisational behaviour, stigma, leadership, women, unionism. I am pro-worker and anti-conservativism/Liberalism. You will find my blog posts written from a Laborist / Progressive Slant.

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