We’ve all heard the story, Albo’s mum, living on the disability pension, in public housing. How did she manage to raise the current prime minister of the country? Well, she had a lot of help.
She had a social security system that wasn’t yet structured to maim the unemployed. Even with recent changes to getting on the Disability Support Pension to modify the “treated and stable” requirement, there are still mutual obligations by a government that still thinks you should work, if they think you can work. His grandmother’s aged pension also went a lot further back then, superannuation not set to replace it in policy for years at this point.
Anthony Albanese had free university education, which he started after walking out of the Commonwealth Bank after two years, studying economics at the University of Sydney, a degree that seems to attract some of the worst people to scoff “you clearly don’t understand economics” about a system that creates multi-millionaires and billionaires, but untold swathes of unhoused people living in poverty. Again, HECS would exist years later. Hey, but he was in the Labor hard left, right? What would it matter?
Albanese’s career after this was exclusively defined by being a Labor hack. Research officer for a Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services, Assistant General Secretary of the NSW branch of the Labor Party, Senior Adviser to Premier Bob Carr. This is 1995 at this point, the guy has only had one real job in his entire life, working at a bank Paul Keating eventually sold off, so the experience barely even counts to what those of us in the real world with modern retail banking and cashless transactions know.
Then in 1996, he was elected to Federal parliament in the seat of Grayndler.
For myself, I will be satisfied if I can be remembered as someone who will stand up for the interests of my electorate, for working-class people, for the labour movement, and for our progressive advancement as a nation into the next century.Anthony Albanese, before he decided to not do that. [Source]
If we are today the products of our upbringing, and we’re always constantly growing and changing with every passing day, surely that counts for his time fighting faction wars, cabinet debates, and on the floor of parliament. Every day dealing with soulless husks who walk in and out of the Parliament of Australia, trying to get one over on their enemies, in and out of the party. Always focused on the next battle and not the big picture, that there’s real people out there struggling to survive and eke out their living.
I’m going to skip the rest of his Wikipedia entry, it’s really not that interesting for a career politician who’s had nothing to show for decades in politics. But what are his crown achievements in his year in office? There’s the Voice to Parliament referendum, the Robodebt Royal Commission, the National Anti Corruption Commission, and his commitment to Liberal policies that Labor for some reason voted for?
The Voice to Parliament is Labor’s prize pig, developed from the Uluru Statement of the Heart in the progression of Voice, Treaty, Truth. It would set up an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recognition into the Australian constitution. In Anthony Albanese’s own words, this appears to be merely recognition, with a model to be chosen post-referendum, that will be “subservient to the parliament; that is parliament will continue to control the destiny of Australia“.
It is unclear what will happen to the existing Aboriginal bodies that the Albanese government is currently ignoring, with an ever increasing gap, and still ignoring the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, well before Anthony was even in parliament (1991). You could honestly be forgiven for thinking this is just another opportunity to throw yet another minority under the bus with the excuse it’s not electorally popular. In any case, early leads in the Yes campaign are fading, with no model proposed and no idea what people will be voting for, the No campaign has seized on the lack of detail to make all kinds of far-out and ridiculous claims. It certainly feels the struggle for justice will continue on regardless.
We’ve had the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme, with results to be handed to the brand spanking new National Anti Corruption Commission in due course. The robodebt scheme is based on the automation of data matching and debt collection announced by Tanya Plibersek and Bill Shorten back in 2011, which aimed to, and I quote, “claw back millions of dollars from welfare recipients who have debts with the Australian Government.“
Many the Labor tragic would exclaim, vigilantly, that the scheme would have checks and balances under Labor, though forgetting that targeting people living under the poverty line in a welfare system rife with errors even for the purest of heart is abominable and indefensible on its face. Not the first example of Labor policy of the same era setting people up to be dehumanised and murdered.
Other than that, I’m at a loss. There’s a decidedly weak $10 billion being offered to the Future Fund, which might have up to $500 million a year be spent on social and affordable housing, of course that doesn’t include public housing at all and is actually a cap on housing spending, so current and future Albo mum’s still have to live in cars, tents or crisis shelters. Then there’s the AUKUS deal, which is seeing grassroots opposition within the Labor Party, buying nuclear subs from the Yanks to wave them at our largest trading partner. Also the Stage 3 tax cuts, which Labor dutifully helped the Coalition pass while in opposition, looking to give the richest in society another handout, while those of us on JobSeeker can look forward to an extra $2.85 a day from September.
This Albo guy? Not sure about him. No respect for his roots. A career politician, determined to stay the course while the RBA raises rates, reminding us that the cost of living is actually as dark a phrase as it sounds.