While the word to get the most attention this was “sycophant”, Malcolm Turnbull spent a lot more time talking about electricity during the first week of Parliament. A survey of his media appearances, speeches and answers in question time over Parliament’s first week back shows he used the word sycophant a mere five times (to be fair, it was loudly, and in the space of roughly a minute).

But because of the government’s focus on Labor’s “ideological” preference for renewable energy he mentioned energy 55 times (if you take out the obvious stuff like “Australian” and “Labor”, it was his most-used word). But the real fixation was with electricity. The Prime Minister raised electricity 34 times over the week. No other common cost of living issues — housing, water, food — cracked 20 mentions. Childcare was a distant second to electricity, rating 14 mentions (which was five fewer than “business”).

Incidentally, while Labor was No. 2, with 61 mentions, Liberal and Coalition collectively passed his lips a mere six times.

Malcolm’s Top 10 words for the week:

65           Australian

61           Labor

55           Australia

55           energy

45           families

44           work

42           Australians

39           expenses

38           jobs

34           electricity

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey