Saturday, September 3, 2011

A nod of the head means yes

I couldn't help noticing, as it was a quite vigourous gesture, something most interesting in the battling Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's body language during a recent interview. Most Australians will be aware that the High Court's recent decision about the Gillard government's "Malaysian solution" to the issue of dealing with refugees in boats has dealt a heavy blow to the credibility of the government and the current PM, and questioning about Gillard's leadership now has an added gravity. I was just watching a recording of Friday night's Lateline, and at the beginning of the story some video of Gillard being interviewed for Sky News was shown. She was asked "Has anyone approached you about stepping down?" and Gillard replied with a clear "No", but as she said it she nodded her head (once). In my experience, when people are lying in a yes/no type statement, they often nod or shake their head in accordance with the truth, but in conflict with their verbal answer. A nod generally means "Yes" in Australian culture. If "yes" is the true answer, I wonder who did the approaching?

Just after Gillard's nod was shown there was another piece of video of government minister Nicola Roxon being asked "Can you envisage Kevin Rudd returning?" Roxon answered "No" then shook her head and then had a bet both ways with a quick nod. It seems a funny way to answer a simple-enough question.

At present video of this story doesn't appear to be on the Lateline website, but it should come up eventually. Gillard's nod was also shown towards the beginning of the Insiders show on the ABC broadcast on Sunday September 4th 2011.


No comments:

Post a Comment