Tuesday 17 October 2017

Cameron's Oz accent panned as 'worst in history'

Jonathan Pearlman in Sydney

BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron's imitation of his Australian counterpart Julia Gillard's broad nasal inflection has been panned in Australia as a diplomatic insult and "perhaps one of the worst Aussie accents in history".

Ms Gillard has frequently made self-deprecating remarks about her accent but Mr Cameron's imitation, during a speech at the Lord Mayor's banquet in London, was roundly denounced.

Mr Cameron attempted his impersonation while recounting a conversation with Ms Gillard during the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Perth about the move to scrap laws that prevent firstborn daughters inheriting the British throne.

"I turned to the Australian prime minister and said, 'Thank you very much Julia for allowing us to have this meeting in Australia'," Mr Cameron said. "And she said -- I can't quite do the accent but I'll try -- 'Not a bit David, this is good news for Sheilas everywhere'."

The impersonation triggered a wave of indignation in Australia. In an article headlined 'Good day for Sheilas, bad day for accents', one commentator said it may have been revenge for Ms Gillard's failure to curtsey to the Queen during last month's royal visit.

Owen Vaughan, on the news.com.au website, said Mr Cameron's accent was "so bad it could cause a diplomatic row". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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