Leading article Australia

Easter Bunny

16 April 2022

9:00 AM

16 April 2022

9:00 AM

It would be a brave passenger indeed who hopped onto a plane where the pilot hadn’t the faintest clue about the aircraft’s lift, weight, thrust or drag data. Similarly, it would be a very foolish Australian who would vote for a nation piloted by Anthony Albanese, who made clear this week he hasn’t the faintest idea about the data that drives our economic health. Pulling a silly face and sticking his tongue out at the reporter who exposed his inability to name the employment or cash rates will hopefully be the lasting impression that this Easter bunny leaves on the electorate before hopping off into the bushes of political oblivion. But, alas, there is every possibility that Labor will indeed form our next government. In which case, heaven help us all, and more importantly, heaven help our economy.

Anthony Albanese’s economic education, such as it is, comes from that bastion of undergraduate socialism, the Sydney University economics faculty. He went on to work as a young ‘Trot’ researcher for the socialist Tom Uren. Today’s Labor party always tries to tout the economic reforms of the Hawke-Keating era as evidence of its economic responsibility, which is all very well, except Mr Albanese distinguished himself not by supporting those Labor policies of the Eighties and early Nineties but by vehemently opposing them.

So to whom would a Prime Minister Albanese turn for inspiration in his economic decision-making? The thought of failed NSW Premier Kristina Keneally or her Mean Girls partner Penny Wong having any input into this nation’s economic settings should fill any small or big business person with horror. And forget about  the re-heated Kevin Rudd team of Jim Chalmers and Andrew Charlton; who knows, perhaps they’ll reprise that lost Labor art of sending $900 cheques to dead people?

Speaking of which, Easter is the time where Christians celebrate Jesus Christ rising from his deathbed. Scott Morrison’s last election was viewed by many as a miracle victory – this magazine did a superb ‘ScoMoses’ cover – so no doubt many quiet Australians are hoping that his Easter campaign launch translates into Miracle 2.0. Thanks to Mr Albanese’s stumbles and gaffes this week, this is now looking more likely than before, regardless of what the opinion pollsters predict. Being unable to explain the GST on a cake proved the undoing of the unlamented John Hewson. But that gaffe pales into insignificance compared to a would-be prime minister who is bereft when it comes to getting even close to naming the unemployment rate. Particularly a Labor leader – the party where compassion for the unemployed is supposedly a key priority. Clearly not.

Ultimately, it is Mr Morrison’s extreme good fortune that he is up against the lacklustre ‘Albo’,  an opponent who has turned out to be a blessing.

The sad reality is that on performance alone, particularly his refusal to speak up for our fundamental freedoms and liberties during the shameful lockdowns and mandates and his betrayal over net zero, Prime Minister Morrison does not deserve to be re-elected. But nor does he deserve to be dumped – and certainly not for the alternative. As John Stone writes in this week’s issue, ‘How, at this time, could any patriotic Australian contemplate putting our foreign affairs and defence policy in the hands of a Labor government?’

Who knows what the political landscape will look like on the morning of 22 May. Many ‘quiet Australians’ are clearly looking for alternatives to the right of the modern Liberal party, and they are there in abundance: One Nation, the United Australia Party, the Liberal Democrats and so on. A parliament that includes the likes of John Ruddick and Campbell Newman and some new faces from the ‘freedom’ parties would be very welcome. A parliament that includes the fraudulent independents from Climate 200 would be a horror show. Yet in the event of a 2010-style hung parliament – predicted by many – our future could well lie in the hands of either of those groups of individuals. Happy Easter!

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