If you
thought Bill Shorten was a Victorian phenomenon, think again.

Going by
today’s Daily Telegraph, in the Harbour City they think he can become Melbourne’s greatest gift to the world since
the Sydney Swans.

“Bill for
PM”, the front page says. “Senior Labor figures are urging union boss Bill
Shorten to enter politics immediately and lead the Labor Party to the next
election,” Smokin’ Joe Hildebrand writes.
Piers plugs him.
And the editorial tell us that “Labor should propel him to Canberra as soon as possible”.

Now,
Shorten isn’t exactly a Chauncey Gardiner figure. The Tele‘s leader writers are correct when they praise his performance
at Beaconsfield:

As head of the AWU, Shorten has brought a new
sense of vigour and relevance to a union. People such as him are needed in the
ALP if the party is to provide a genuine sense of an alternative to the
Coalition’s 10-year entrenchment.

He’s on an
up at the moment. No wonder Sussex Street’s swooning. But, like Chauncey,
Bill Shorten has had very narrow experience.

There’s
a lesson for Shorten from the Swans. How he responds will demonstrate his depth.

For
Shorten’s sake, here’s hoping he knows that Sydney only cares about AFL when the Swans are winning.

Peter Fray

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