Anthony-Albanese

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Congratulations to the new Labor leadership team!

And to the shadow cabinet members: Anthony Albanese, Sharon Bird, Chris Bowen, Tony Burke, Mark Butler, Kim Carr, Doug Cameron, Jason Clare, Julie Collins, Mark Dreyfus, Kate Ellis, Don Farrell, David Feeney, Joel Fitzgibbon, Gary Gray, Catherine King, Andrew Leigh, Jenny Macklin, Richard Marles, Jan McLucas, Claire Moore, Shayne Neumann, Brendan O'Connor, Melissa Parke, Bernie Ripoll & Michelle Rowland.

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Anthony Albanese interviews himself whilst waiting for Christopher Pyne (by Greenshack Dotinfo)

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Anthony Albanese Censure Motion Response (by OrdahOrdah)

Anthony Albanese completely destroys the Coalition in the Australian House of Representatives, 23rd November 2011.

Calling For A Leader

We have a new government, a new ministry and a new Prime Minister. It all looks a lot like the previous bunch. Sure there are less women, more racism, more disrespect for the environment, Indigenous people, refugees or other minorities. On the whole though, some taxes are up and some taxes are down, some benefits have been added and some have been cut, our borders have been bolstered, bargains have been struck and Australia is set to idle deeper into the 21st century.

When Kevin Rudd rode into victory in 2007 he offered a vision. He offered a vision based on a better relationship with Indigenous Australians, a commitment to climate action and a defence of pay and conditions for Australian workers.

When Julia Gillard seized power from Kevin Rudd in 2010 she went on to lead one of the most stoic and politically volatile governments. What the Gillard government did for Australia is unlikely to ever be fully appreciated. Gillard’s ALP managed to pass an admirable mountain of legislation in minority government. They introduced a landmark Carbon Tax, an historic National Disabilities Insurance Scheme and implemented massive, multi-jurisdictional education funding reforms. These policies were both highly regarded and much maligned by the Australian people.

The crucial element behind ALP policy from 2007 until the downfall of the Gillard government is that it was based on the work of many of Australia’s foremost academics. From the 2020 summit to the reports of Garnaut and Gonski, the ALP offered vision and determination to build an Australian future. What they lacked was the ability to convey the importance of such vision to the Australian people.

In 2013, neither party offered Australians any vision or leadership. The election campaign was straddled between equally visionless vote-buying policies that lacked conviction and depth. The PNG solution was a hate-mongering, cruel and ill-planned vote grab.

The two leaders also fell far short of the mark. The previously visionary Kevin Rudd had been widely criticised as controlling and often more concerned with global politics than domestic issues. Tony Abbott by contrast was a stoic aggressor who repeatedly demonstrated a lack of understanding in relation to women, ethnic diversity and the LGBT community.

At the end of the day, the debate centred on the economy. Particularly on whatever financial gains each party could offer to individual Australians.

The problem is that the Australian people do not always know what they need most. Our politicians have constant access to the research and advice of the best and brightest in the country. They are constantly provided with reports from the nation’s leading academics and policy advice papers from Australia’s top graduates.

Instead of kowtowing to media fear-mongering and exaggeration, responsible political leaders need to inform the public of such insight. Instead of bandaid solutions, handouts, short-sighted tax-cuts and policies that stampede across the rights of minorities, we need visionary leaders.

We need leaders who can offer new images of Australia. We need leaders who can unite rather than divide. We need leaders with the conviction to tell Australians that we need a new Australian dream. Leaders who realise and proclaim that new freeways will not solve the endemic failings of our urban planning philosophies. Leaders who highlight unsustainable growth and foster new directions.

We need a leader who has the conviction to face the changing economic landscape. A leader who realises that Australia can no longer rely on resources to support our economy. We need a leader who realises that increasing globalisation means that Australia needs a diverse, educated economy to maintain our high standards of wages and conditions.

Australia needs leadership that can dissolve ethnic tensions. A leader who can positively tackle issues of displacement, migration and assimilation with compassion rather than fear-mongering.

We must call for a leader who can inspire equality rather than fostering continued discrimination.

Now we can watch the new government quickly lose favour with the press and fall into a pattern of hiding and shirking responsibility. On the other side we sit and watch the Albanese/Shorten battle for ALP leadership. Neither candidate really offers much that is new. Neither candidate seems to show potential for visionary leadership.

Alas, when our leaders are chosen, many Australians are more interested in the State of Origin. What Australia really needs is a Wonderful Wizard of Oz who can give this rusty old Tin Man back its heart. Little over a century old, this nation needs a leader ready to inspire the next phase of Australia as a 21st century nation.

By Aidan Delaney

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I believe that Labor governments are at their best when they take on inequality and discrimination, whether it be on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or who people happen to love. They are principles that are universal, and they are principles that should be at the core of a Labor agenda.

TEAM ALBO