ROSEMARY O’GRADY. It bodes well for the ALP’s future

The successful outcome of Labor Leader Albanese’s nomination for office of a disaffected Queensland National was a deft move.

 Sudden information, on Monday, that Mr O’Brien (Nat. Q) had been nominated by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Albanese(ALP NSW) for the post of Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, and duly-elected, inserted a welcome breath of agency and foresight into the foggy atmosphere of re-convening federal politicians on ‘Capitol Hill’ this week and conveyed, thoroughly, that Anthony Albanese is ‘up for it.’

Taking advantage of growing discontent with PM Scott Morrison’s performance throughout a summer of crisis and emergency which impacted disproportionately-heavily on rural regions, and of fallout over the Mackenzie ‘sports rorts’ and the failed leadership ‘spill’ which returned Barnaby Joyce to his rightful place as National gadfly, the unflagged nomination of O’Brien has acted like ginger on the political scene. While the PM was engaged in statesmanship with neighbour Joko Widodo (President, Indonesia), Albanese effected, reportedly absent any notice to the unsuspecting candidate, a vote which saw ‘at least five’ (source: ABC News Radio) Government MPs cross the floor, starkly finessing the mood of the House.

The Labor leader has stated that he consulted no other Parliamentarians before taking this initiative, so no odour of conspiracy taints the elevation of Mr O’Brien whose support for the aforementioned Mr Joyce is widely-known.

The duties of Deputy Speaker, especially in relation to the pleasingly-competent Speaker (Mr Smith, Vic) can be expected to be undemanding but, presumably, carry with the post some improvement in salary, whilst cleverly shoring-up some support in Queensland, where the ALP desperately needs it, and implying a competent, critical succession to Speaker Smith in the event of change.

No time was wasted manufacturing an insider-consensus, Canberra-bubbling a witches’brew of hateful rhetoric, forcing a conflict. Simply a strategic response to a gap in defences was rapidy implemented.

It was a deft move, if the facts are as reported and as the public is informed, and blissfully entertaining from the perspective of the periphery, where most of us wait.

What next?

Rosemary O’Grady is a lawyer and writer.


Rosemary O’Grady is a lawyer & writer.

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6 Responses to ROSEMARY O’GRADY. It bodes well for the ALP’s future

  1. Focusing on parliamentary tactics is hardly the main game.

    Albo is hopelessly, foreseeably underpowered, possibly even underpowered enough to lose another unlosable election.

    In 1974 Gough Whitlam destroyed Billy Snedden though some thought that unwise, that he should be nursed through to the next election if at all possible.

    It’s almost as if the Coalition’s incompetence is a trap to make sure that Albo makes it through to the next election, winning in the polls, though by a small margin

    Just like Bill.

  2. Avatar Kathryn Kelly says:

    Deft move? Parliamentary games such as this are a waste of time and shouldn’t be encouraged. What kind of speaker will he be? Irrelevant to the ‘game’ I suppose.
    Surely they should be looking for the most impartial person who would add trust to the institution of parliament, rather than going down this side show track.

    • Avatar Rosemary O'Grady says:

      I have been too subtle, I see, Nicholas!
      I agree with you – BUT inside Canberra it IS the ‘main game’ if not the only ‘game’. It’s the fact it’s called a ‘game’ which is so galling to those – ‘outside the Beltway’ (Irony!!).
      ‘Albo’ may be being ‘nursed-through’ for – say: Chris Bowen – or even Tony Burke- to take a pop-at, but he’s the kind of ‘leader’ that Labor ought to be proposing to the electorate. People used to say that John Curtin and Ben Chifley were the equivalent of ‘underpowered’ – … but they were worth having at the time.
      Winning in the polls – well, when will you economists ever learn? The poll that counts is the one the AEC counts. I see ‘polls’, entertaining as they are, as about as relevant as are the agency ratings in the financial sector. Nobody (in the ‘Know’) believes them. They are grist to mis-information -especially in ‘the Market’. I get this from some rather heavy corporate/finance analysis in the 1980s.

    • Avatar Rosemary O'Grady says:

      I agree, Kathryn- Parliamentary games are just as you say.
      That’s why I write to encourage someone (‘Albo’) who seems to have pulled one off with minimum-fuss!
      As for the ‘Speaker’-issue: I don’t expect Mr O’Brien shall be called-on to BE Speaker. Mr Smith seems healthy and competent.
      Impartiality is, of course, a requirement for the job, but the candidates are required to be from inside the Parliament so they must be drawn from some ‘side.’ They then rise above ‘Party’ and act in the national interest of Parliamentary democracy… Good to see.

  3. Avatar Jerry Roberts says:

    It would not seem humanly possible, Rosemary, but we do appear to be going backwards.

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