Labor hard-man Anthony Albanese looked across a seething House of Representatives at Scott Buchholz, a big lump of a Queensland National.
In the middle of a tense period with reputations and manners being shredded by the hour, Mr Albanese paused and made the unlikely pronouncement, “He’s a good bloke.”
It can now be revealed why, and it’s a story which demonstrates that not all MPs on either side of the Chamber are determined to be bitter all the time.
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Turn it up Albo. Seriously.
The bald-faced hypocrisy of Labor’s Anthony Albanese’s press conference yesterday was breathtaking. He began with the assertion that “we should not give the comments oxygen” (in reference to offensive remarks made by Broadcaster Alan Jones) and then spent the next 10 minutes using those comments in a transparent and clumsy attempt to bludgeon the Opposition Leader.
That’s not just oxygen, that’s accelerant.
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Does Julia Gillard think the Australian people have the memory of a goldfish?
In the alternative Gillard reality we are apparently swimming about taking a fresh look at her Government with each lap of the bowl, oblivious to what we saw yesterday or the day before.
That is the only possible explanation for the bald-faced hypocrisy with which she is now championing a “Parliamentary Code of Conduct”.
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The existential threat to Julia Gillard’s prime ministership has now passed but the price in political terms will be colossal.
To the extent that a path out of the woods exists at all, it will be narrow, precarious and often hard to discern.
For an error-prone minority government, that’s a big ask. The depth of the problem is exemplified by the dilemma of its chief attack-dog and most effective advocate, Labor’s favourite son, Anthony Albanese.
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AND, action! A senior cabinet minister generally regarded as among the more effective, uses a major speech on Australia Day-eve to channel an American president without acknowledging it. Worse, it wasn’t even an actual president but a fictional one.
On the same day, a few hundred metres up the hill, the 2012 Australian of the year is unveiled as an A-list Hollywood actor, Geoffrey Rush. Rush, a gifted pretender with an expressive face, promptly weighs in to some of the more divisive political debates in this country hinting at the moral failure of both sides of politics to recognise the human courage of asylum seekers, the failure to progress gay marriage equality, and to deliver enough on climate change.
Later he defends his A-list compatriot Cate Blanchett who had been lambasted for taking part in an advertising campaign on carbon driven global warming. OK as movie plots go this is bit lame but it certainly seems fanciful enough. Besides, it has the advantage of being “based on a true story” and all that. It even has some real actors in it.
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This is doing the rounds of Twitter, thanks to the Liberal Party YouTube channel. It’s pretty funny.
The rip off was spotted by none other than Liberal Party Director Brian Loughnane, a big fan of the movie The American President.
Mr Loughnane told The Punch:
“I was going through the torture of watching Albo at the Press Club when suddenly I thought to myself – I’ve heard all this before!”
Making reference to the central love interest in the film, Mr Loughnane said:
“I suddenly had this thought – I’m late for a meeting with Sydney Ellen Wade, and I’m stuck on Dupont Circle”
“I thought, this is too good to be true, so I Googled the script and then we set about making the video”.
Of all the political films Anthony Albanese could have drawn inspiration from, The American President was a risky choice. It was written by Aaron Sorkin, every political tragic’s favourite writer.
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Here’s the second instalment of Punch TV, where our panel - Dave Penberthy, Tory Maguire and Luke McIlveen - caught up with Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese.
They quizzed Albo on whether the stimulus spending has gone too far, the attacks on Malcolm Turnbull’s judgment, nuclear power, gay marriage and the embattled leadership of NSW Premier Nathan Rees. The second part of the show is in the body of this post.
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