More than words

Saturday 15 January 2011 3:02 AM

While waters have flooded Queensland, some Australians with less on their minds have flooded cinemas and other venues. And in a week when public leaders have been exposed to rather more scrutiny than normal on the small screen, it's strangely timely that the new film "The King's Speech" has made its mark on the big one. This is a film about public leadership in alarming times, about capturing the trust of a nation or community, about leaders overcoming their frailties or being overcome by them. But it's also about human friendship, whether between person and person or even between leader and nation.

While some watched this gripping drama featuring first class British actors, the nation watched the same drama featuring real life Australian leaders. Both versions spoke the same message: Leadership is about relationship much more than words. We don't really want perfect leaders; we wouldn't trust them. We'll allow them to be frail if we have just enough opportunities to see that frailty won't paralyse them when it most matters. We’ll let them be tough-minded, so long as once in a while their hearts touch ours. If their humanity can capture our hearts, they may just have our minds as well

Such has been the Bligh-Gillard story in the dawn of 2011.