Anthony Albanese: Nice bloke, terrible politics

A picture that will probably come back to haunt him.

As things stand, it seems almost certain that Anthony Albanese will take over the leadership of the Australian Labor Party when Bill Shorten is finally shown the door and goes home to count his millions. This is hardly surprising: there were strong rumours that a challenge by Albanese was only narrowly averted last year. Which, given Labor’s new leadership rules, must have meant that he figured he had the backing of a fair chunk of the party.

But while leadership would, in one sense, be a personal triumph for Albanese, it would also almost certainly be the kiss of death for any hope of the prime ministership. It would also condemn Labor to yet more of the electoral arse-kicking it just had. quote.

Mr Albanese, a democratic socialist from Sydney’s inner west who is set to assume the leadership unchallenged, has become close to far-left British Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He has met with the fellow “Tory fighter” at least three times in the past 14 months. end quote.

Like certain New Zealand politicians, that’s a selfie that’s probably going to haunt him badly for the rest of his career.

I personally have a bit of a soft spot for Albo. Unlike the robotic ideologue, Corbyn, he seems a fairly likeable bloke. His background is at least genuinely working-class, unlike the silver-tailed fake Shorten. And he has solid taste in music: another famous photo of (the much younger) Albanese shows him sporting a Celibate Rifles t-shirt. His DJ Albo playlist on Spotify is (mostly) a bona fide cracker (seriously, though, mate: Kylie Minogue?). So, in one sense, he’s a much-needed antidote for Labor after the reptilian Shorten.

Anthony Albanese: Good taste in music, terrible taste in politics.

His politics, though, are another matter. Albanese is just promising more of the same that voters just rejected out of hand. Quote.

Mr Albanese has pitched himself as an “inclusive” leader who is prepare­d to abandon class-war rhetoric…but only three days before the poll he said Labor’s infrastructure funding would be paid by hitting the “top end of town”. And just a few years ago Mr ­Albanese defied Bill Shorten at Labor’s 2015 nation­al conference by voting against boat turnbacks…

Labor sources said yesterday it may be difficult for the knockabout MP to whitewash his decade­s-long history as a spear-thrower for Labor’s hard Left. end quote.

While Albanese might be keen to bury at least some of his red-ragging past, others are surely not going to let him – or voters – forget. quote.

His former leader, Mark Latham…said Mr Albanese had been on the “wrong side of history” in Labor’s policy ­debates for 30 years by veering too far to the Left.

[…] One former senior Labor ministe­r, who declined to be named, said Mr Albanese had been too far to the Left on the timbe­r industry, asylum policy, energy policy, mining policy and on uranium ­exports to India.

“He used to call people from western Sydney rednecks,” the former minister said. “His record speaks for itself.” end quote.

Still, Albo’s going to give it the ol’ college try. Quote.

Mr Albanese said he wanted to return Labor to the pro-growth economic policies of the Hawke-Keating era, to reopen the door to business and abandon class-war politics.

He is promising to drop the anti-business rhetoric of Labor’s election campaign. “The language used was terrible … unions and employers have a common interest. Successful businesses are a precondition for employing more workers, and that is obvious.” End quote.