The Albanese Government is a government that has been said to be enjoying an extended honeymoon period.
But the truth is Anthony Albanese hasn’t had a honeymoon – he has had a coronation.
From national security to unemployment, from household savings to apprentices in-training, across the board the Coalition bequeathed to Labor a strong set of economic fundamentals.
Since his first day in office, Anthony Albanese has plied his tricky politics and clever messaging to make weary Australians see their lives as akin to a Twitter feed. If you listen to the doomscrolling from Labor ministers, you would believe the Coalition sent all the koalas into gulags and declared war on Questacon.
According to Labor, there’s nothing bad in the world today that can’t be attributed to a ‘decade of neglect’.
But there is a real risk to Labor focusing all their attention on the politics instead of people. In recent years, the Australian people and their government made many hard-fought gains. Every moment that Labor wastes is a moment that risks squandering those gains, leading to Australians falling further and further behind.
As that old Australian saying goes ‘our home is our castle’ and when it came to households, millions of Australians came out of the pandemic better than they started it.
Yes, the pandemic took much from Australians and many lost loved ones. The suffering was very real. But as Australians face a winter where they may now need to choose between heating and eating, I have grave fears for many over the coming months.
Because today, sadly, those little Aussie castles are all under siege as the cost-of-living crisis crashes harder and harder and bills hit like battering rams.
While Anthony Albanese’s coronation has landed softly on his shoulders, everyday Australians are hurting worse and worse.
Calls about cost of living to suicide crisis hotline Lifeline have risen by over 80 per cent and Australians now see cost of living as a greater threat to child poverty than COVID.
There is no greater example of the coronation of Anthony Albanese than the fact he could, if he so desired, deliver a surplus in the Federal Budget on Tuesday.
Even though Labor claim to have inherited ‘the worst set of books ever’, the record low unemployment secured by the Liberals in the face of the worst economic shock since the Great Depression will provide record tax receipts into government coffers.
That record low unemployment is an emerald in Australia’s national crown and must be defended from bad Labor decisions.
Anthony Albanese inherited national security arrangements that were the envy of every middle power in the world. The AUKUS partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and the revival of the Quad between India, Australia, Japan and the United States are real gear shifts for global security.
The landmark AUKUS national security agreement is the birthchild of considered and pragmatic Liberal foreign policy combined with record Liberal defence spending. Labor still does not agree internally on nuclear submarines and could never have established AUKUS.
Like a sceptre, AUKUS was handed to Albanese. AUKUS must be protected from Labor’s instincts which are already on show. Labor’s first instinct is always to cannibalise defence capabilities and direct money away from the ADF – we know this to be true because that is exactly what they did last time they were in government.
The revival of the Quad was another Liberal achievement. It should also not be forgotten that the Rudd Government allowed the first iteration of the Quad to die. With all the grace of a reversing dump truck without tyres on, the then-Labor Foreign Minster Stephen Smith announced Australia’s withdrawal from the Quad standing alongside his counterpart from China. It took a decade of Liberal Government for India to trust Australia again.
But the coronation of Anthony Albanese is perhaps most clearly evident in the fact he has acted more like an aristocrat than a prime minister since he took office.
He has spent more time with celebrities than with pensioners.
He organised a press conference with his number two Richard Marles in Geelong just so he could take a helicopter flight to a barbecue with a billionaire.
We have a Prime Minister who day-by-day demonstrates he has already lost touch with the Australian people.
As more and more Australians default on their mortgages and can’t afford their rent, they see a Prime Minister living the high life.
It can’t be right that the PM kicks back while aged care residents are being kicked out of their homes because of his government’s failures.
It can’t be right that the PM spends more time wining and dining celebrities than he does working on policies to support struggling Australians.
It can’t be right that we have a PM who spends longer at the tennis than he does in vulnerable Indigenous communities.
Make no mistake: Anthony Albanese isn’t just enjoying a honeymoon, this is his coronation, and he is loving every second of it. Just ask him.