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James McGrath: Greens, true believers and Uncle Arthur

Party Lines

Week two of the campaign kicked off with no surprises. The Labor/Green true believers thought Easter was the ‘reset’ Albo needed to regather himself and his flailing campaign. They could not have been more wrong.

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In reality, there was no break, however long or void of pressure and the spotlight that can save the bumbling ‘Uncle Arthur’ of Australian politics that is Anthony Albanese.(Google ‘uncle arthur’ if you are under 40).

What we saw in the first leaders’ debate last night was that Prime Minister Scott Morrison was just that; a leader. He was across the numbers, knew the issues in depth and was, as always, prime ministerial.

He showed the steady yet firm temperament that is needed to lead Australia in these trying times. This is not an attribute that comes naturally to the low energy shrill that is Albanese.

The PM’s question to Mr Albanese about his policy positions on ‘stopping the boats’ shone a very bright light on Labor’s flip-flopping. Mr Albanese looked and sounded rattled and confused as he faffed the answer.

Albanese needed to win the debate by a country mile to make up for lost ground. He didn’t win the debate but instead reinforced his own weaknesses.

And I will call out the lying. The Labor leader lied last night. Members of the Shadow Cabinet lied all week. As you read this article they will still be lying. Labor are lying about the LNP forcing pensioners onto the cashless debit card. It is a lie. A lie called out by organisations like the Council of the Aging.

Moving on from the debate the campaign has continued to show that Albanese is either unable to cite figures or answer questions to support his fanciful policy on a daily basis.

This is less about a ‘gotcha’ moment and more about highlighting the fact that Albanese has no idea how the economy works.

So as a result we have seen a change in Labor’s tactics this week. Albanese is now surrounded by a protective shield of Shadow Ministers who step in to answer questions on his behalf. Isn’t it embarrassing that the Labor Leader is in a form of witness protection? Or is it witless protection?

With four weeks to go it is clear that the only path to victory for Labor is with the preferences of the extreme Greens. But more about that next week.

Queensland Liberal Senator James McGrath and his ALP counterpart Senator Anthony Chisholm will bring an upper-house view to the election campaign every Thursday.


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