News Corp Desperately Wants You To Believe Albo Is A Communist
Death taxes? Communist party meetings? If only Albo was actually that cool.
We’re well and truly in election campaigning mode, which — naturally — means News Corp and the Coalition are digging 30 years into Anthony Albanese’s past, rather than trying to discredit anything he stands for today.
But, as usual, it’s completely backfired. Let’s have a look at the charges.
The Death Tax
During Question Time last week, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg went on a deep dive way back to 1991 to point out that — at one point — Albanese supported the idea of an inheritance tax (a “death tax”, if you ask Josh).
“I went to the website and I had a look at their policy and it looks like a Labor wishlist. Housing tax, we have heard that before, a tax on family businesses, we have heard that before,” said Frydenberg last Thursday. “A tax on the mining sector, a carbon tax, higher taxes on superannuation, higher taxes on income earners, and then of course, most damning of all, a 30-year project for the leader of the Labor Party, death duties. Death duties, and inheritance tax.”
Albanese was quick to respond to Frydenberg’s history assignment by sharing an essay he wrote in 1981 on Twitter.
Given that Josh Frydenberg is interested in things I’ve said more than three decades ago, with one even making front page ‘news’, here’s my 1981 essay on ‘The Neoclassical Theory of the Competitive Market System’ as submitted to Sydney Uni as part of my Economics Degree. pic.twitter.com/3zmPSwpwR7
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) February 14, 2022
What Frydenberg neglected to mention is that even back in 1991, Albanese’s tax policies wouldn’t impact the vast majority of Australians. Unless, of course, you’re in the top ten percent and can — and you bloody should — pay your fair share of taxes.
“We are not looking at Mr and Mrs Suburbia in the middle class to hit this tax with,” Mr Albanese told the Labor conference in Hobart back in 1991. “We are really looking at the top 10 per cent of town and if I started on a quote from Robert Ray, I think I can finish on a quote from (former Labor finance minister) Peter Walsh and that quote is that moreover, those who get very high — say over $100,000 incomes per year — do not actually earn them.”
Meanwhile, the Morrison Government has reportedly been toying with the idea of scrapping the low- middle-income tax offset, a decision that would quite literally result in 90 percent of Australians paying more tax.
If the choice is to either pay tax on the inheritance you didn’t do anything to earn or have anyone earning less than $90,000 per year (two-thirds of the population) paying more tax on every dollar earned, Albanese truly doesn’t look that bad.
Albo The Communist
As if Frydenberg’s digging last week didn’t prove to be a giant waste of time, News Corp has today doubled down on the history project by pointing out that Albanese once participated in a forum for the Communist Party of Australia way back in 1991.
To put that into context, these are comments made 14 years before the youngest voting Australians were born. Its irrelevance today truly cannot be understated.
The piece in question — published on April 3, 1991 — featured Albanese as one of many figures who were asked to “respond to a series of propositions and to each other.”
“Being in government confronts the labour movement as a whole, not just the Labor Party, with questions which the Left failed to consider…how Labor puts its principles into action, how we deal with questions of the internationalisation of capital,” said Albanese in the interview, discussing then-Premier Nick Grenier and the challenges Labor would face if it won the upcoming election. “It’s easier to construct a vision of an antinuclear society or an environmentally aware society or one based on equality.”
At the time, the 28-year-old Albanese was working as the Assistant General Secretary of the New South Wales branch of the Labor Party — a position he was backed for by the party’s Hard Left faction. This is no secret, and it’s no secret that Albanese was part of the NSW Labor Left (the ‘Socialist Left’ or ‘Hard Left’).
It’s obvious that the decades-old story has been revisited in an attempt to link Albanese to the Chinese Communist Party — as has been the LNP’s MO for weeks now.
However, it doesn’t take a political expert to see that — as he has shifted up the ranks — Albanese has also shifted further and further away from the Labor Left. It literally just takes one look at his policies to see that the man is very clearly not a Communist.
Despite the rising cost of essentials like groceries and petrol, Albanese still won’t even commit to raising the rate of JobSeeker to a level that is somewhat liveable, so it is ludicrous to even suggest an Albanese Government would be out here pushing communism. Heck, even the Communist Party of Australia refuted the claim — urging News Corp to “stop trying to make Albo seem based and cool.”
Stop trying to make Albo seem based and cool, it’s never going to happen. pic.twitter.com/zmXnsAQmPj
— Communist Party of Australia (@communist_au) February 21, 2022
But What Does All Of This Mean For Albanese’s Campaign?
Instead of criticising any of Labor’s current policies — many of which deserve their fair share of backlash — the Morrison Government and the Murdoch media are continually digging so far into his past that it is beyond irrelevant. And, if anything, this makes 2022 Albanese seem even stronger.
While his stance on many key issues — and his general likeability as a leader — is far more favourable than Morrison right now, it’s important to remember that Labor’s policies are also far from perfect.
But at this point, if the Coalition and the media are too preoccupied with their history projects to talk about it, Albanese will continue to get a free ride the whole way to The Lodge.
At this point, if the polls are to be believed, it truly is Labor’s election to lose.