Meet Australia’s new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, a Joe Biden-style radical in moderate clothes – AMAC
AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis
When Joe Biden met new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Tokyo last week, the scene was reminiscent of two old friends greeting each other. Indeed, the two previously worked together in 2013, when then-Vice President Biden coordinated with then-Australian Deputy Minister Albanese on foreign policy issues. But now both men are in charge of their respective countries – and if Albanese’s personal and political parallels with Joe Biden are any indication, Aussies could face a race just as tough as Americans have had these last two years.
In the summer of 2009, when Barack Obama announced that Senator Joe Biden would be his running mate, the left-wing press abroad tried to portray Biden as moderate, educated, cultured and as poor as a church mouse. A nostalgic photo of Joe Biden on public transport has filled magazine covers, along with a tiny house and a group of his grandchildren. Raised in a modest neighborhood, charitable to the poor and devout Catholic, is how they described the US senator. Many Americans knew the truth, of course, but the public abroad was generally none the wiser.
Sticking to this model, the left-wing media in the United States are trying to put together the same piece with Anthony Albanese, drawing inspiration from the Sydney Morning Herald, which double him “Mr. Genuine.” Time magazine praised Australia’s new leader for promising “to improve gender equality in the labor market, make childcare cheaper and strengthen the publicly funded healthcare system”. A brilliant profile in the Washington Post even directly compares Mr. Albanese to Mr. Biden, describing him as “a Catholic with a working-class affinity, a veteran of his center-left party and a folksy if uncharismatic activist who overcame the stumbles to unseat an adversary. which divides”.
But much like Joe Biden, Albanese is no moderate, and his folksy attitude masks a commitment to guiding principles that could prove disastrous if adopted. It is not without reason that the former Prime Minister of the Liberal Party (in Australia, the Liberal Party represents centre-right interests), John Howard, called Albanese a “left-wing inner-city bomb thrower”. who was unable to lead the country.
Albanese, a career politician with decades in government, has a long history of punishing entrepreneurs and discouraging innovation. For example, its carbon pricing regulations, apparently designed to combat climate change, have driven up electricity prices by 13% and gas prices by 12%, contributing to an overall increase in 10 years of 72% for electricity and 54% for gas. When rising electricity and gas prices hit Australian homes hard, the left-wing government, with Albanese as government minister, advised taking a pet when it was cold or having dinner in the dark to reduce costs.
During the election campaign, Albanese fantasized that soon electric car owners would drive for free with rooftop solar panels while charging overnight, a claim reprimand even by fanatical enemies of traditional cars. Little is known about his economic plan, as he would ask about it at press conferences, confirming Howard’s suspicions that he is indeed not up to the task of leading the country. Two weeks before the election, at the same press conference where he attacked rival Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Albanese did not recall details of his party’s plan to improve the national disability insurance scheme.
Albanese’s personal background also raises questions regarding his fitness to govern. As a student, Albanese led anarchists and far-left protesters who occupied classrooms for ten days. When his longtime antagonist, Sydney Airport Corporation chairman Max Moore-Wilton, announced his retirement via press release in 2015, Albanese released his own statement that contained just one word: “Good.”
There are even questions about whether or not the public can trust Albanese’s statements about his past – something Americans are also familiar with when it comes to Joe Biden. repeated false narratives of his own family history.
With repeated stories of growing up in public housing with his chronically ill mother, Albanese, like Biden, cast himself as a poor kid who overcame odds to become prime minister. But that’s not entirely true. His mother suffered from arthritis, a painful condition for sure, but not the kind of debilitating disease one would expect from the way Albanese often talks about it. Although Albanese comes from a modest background, his career in public service has proven to be exceptionally lucrative as he has just sold his property in Sydney for $2.35 million. His real estate portfolio of several homes in Sydney and Canberra is the penalty about $5 million.
Another thing Albanese seems to have in common with the US president – and another reason to be wary of his public image – is his relationship with the Catholic Church, which obviously seems to depend on political expediency rather than an authentic faith. While the Catholic Church has repeatedly condemned abortion, Albanese and Biden have portrayed themselves as pro-choice and pushed for policies to expand and even encourage access to abortion. As a potential sign of things to come, when taking the oath, Albanese omitted the traditional “so help me God” at the end of his oath.
In Albanian, Australians have a man some have already started calling “Aussie Joe”. Except that unlike Joe Biden, Albanese has nothing even close to a parliamentary majority to govern. Because Australia uses ranked voting, its “majority” is a cobbled-together faction of disparate interests, not a cohesive supporting bloc. Albanese thus takes office without a mandate from the voters, but nevertheless seems determined to advance a far-left agenda.
Australians may therefore soon find themselves facing many of the same issues facing Americans today. On issues that require a collective strategic approach, such as countering the growing threat from China, this could have dramatic implications for ensuring the national security of both countries. Australians – and Americans – should be wary of this threat and not buy into the media’s optimistic portrayals of either of their leaders.
Ben Solis is the pseudonym of an international affairs journalist, historian and researcher.
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