So, how Aussie is the phrase “Yeah, nah”?
It’s truly awesome how confusing it is to anyone who hasn’t heard it before.
For anyone who has, it’s the perfect start to any awkward reply.
“Yeah, nah I don’t know what happened to your cat. Or your microwave.”
“Yeah, nah I suppose I did see him with his tongue down her throat. At the christening.”
“Yeah, nah maybe I did put the traffic cone in your bed, but ya know? Stuff.”
Which leads us to the biggest ongoing “Yeah, nah” in Australian history.
It’s been happening all week, and my prediction is that it’ll stretch out for months more.
Watch out for it, as it’s contained in each expression and reply from every Australian Liberal Party politician or supporter.
“Yeah” – we know Tony Abbott is the greatest ever clusterfuck of a leader, wrapped in regret with a side of what the hell were we thinking?
“Nah” – we can’t do anything about it, because of the way we berated the Labor Party over the Kevin-Julia-Kevin thing. Like if we got rid of Tony, we’d never hear the end of it.
By definition “Yeah, nah” is basically saying, “I don’t know what to say”. It’s a placeholder where you need to buy time because someone is waiting on a reply, but you haven’t yet got one ready.
Usually, during the time it takes to say “Yeah, nah” you’ve worked out what to say, and some semblance of a decision follows.
The Australian Liberals, however, have no idea what to do, or say. Hence as well as being the biggest “Yeah, nah” in history, it’s also the longest. Already it’s been running for weeks, and it’s likely got months to go.
Here’s the massive problem. Tony was never meant to be Prime Minister. He’s too stupid to do the job, and as a result, too dumb to know when to quit.
He keeps going on about a “captain’s call.” What sort of idiot Prime Minister needs to invoke a sporting analogy to claim authority? Surely a “Prime Minister’s call” is more important.
Also, the moment you’re reminding everyone of how in charge you are, is the moment you’re no longer really in charge.
Well it should be.
Still, the Liberals will likely stick with Tony until they lose the next election, or they no longer have a choice. By which stage it’ll be too late, and I think that’s great.
We might all want to get rid of Tony, but the big problem with the Liberal Party replacing him is that they’ll just replace him with someone else from the Liberal Party.
So here’s cheers to the continuation of Australia’s biggest and longest ever, “Yeah, nah”…
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian
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