It’s important, when speaking to a politician, that you have a basic understanding of their language; Pollinese. It’s similar to English. You’ll recognise the words coming out of their mouths. But you may not understand their point, the context or what we are supposed to take from it.
They do occasionally speak English (which can be jarring to the system). When Bob Brown said on Tuesday morning “Eric Abetz is the most disliked senator in this place”, it was pretty clear he meant; “I don’t like Eric Abetz”.
Such moments of candor are rare. More commonly, they speak fluent Pollinese.
Journalists do their best to interpret this for you. We paraphrase. We choose the most coherent quotes we can. But here’s a quick cheat sheet to help you learn the Pollinese basics: