A senior Australian politician has been caught plagiarising a section of a speech from a Hollywood film starring Michael Douglas.
Launching an attack on Liberal Party leader on Wednesday, transport minister Anthony Albanese of the ruling Labor Party told the National Press Club in Canberra:
"In Australia we have serious challenges to solve and we need serious people to solve them. Unfortunately Tony Abbot is not the least bit interested in fixing anything.
"He is only interested in two things, making Australians afraid of it and telling them who is to blame for it."
Rousing stuff. Unfortunately for Albanese, the Liberal Party's director Brian Loughnane was watching and recognised the lines as having been lifted straight from the film The American President.
In the 1995 film president Andrew Shepherd, played by Michael Douglas, tells a press conference:
"In America we have serious challenges to solve and we need serous people to solve them, whatever your particular problem is i promise you Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested solving it.
"He is interested in two things and two things only, making you afraid of it and telling you who is to blame for it."
Loughnane told the Australian website The Punch: “I was going through the torture of watching Albo at the Press Club when suddenly I thought to myself – I’ve heard all this before."
“I thought, this is too good to be true, so I Googled the script and then we set about making the video”.
The American President was written by Aaron Sorkin, the man behind the award-winning political drama The West Wing. Perhaps next time Albanese should get ideas for his speeches from films or TV programmes less likely to be familiar to opposition political operatives.
Luckily for him he does not appear to be in too much trouble with his party leader Julia Gillard.
In a reference to the incident the Welsh born prime minister took to Twitter to tell her followers that she was quite keen on Douglas as he was married to a Welsh woman, Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Albanese is course not the first politician to have been caught borrowing from other sources. Last May Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kenny was accused of taking much of a speech given in honour of President Barack Obama from none other than Obama himself.
While current US vice president Joe Biden's 1988 bid to become the American president was torpedoed when he was caught out plagiarising much of a speech from the then leader of the British Labour Party Neil Kinnock.
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