The Daily Telegraph loves Anthony Albanese. And not just #hotalbo whom, obviously, everyone loves — in the Tele‘s eyes, all Albo is hot Albo.
In the aftermath of the “Save our Statues” furore that got the Tele so worked up (after the tabloid invented it), Albanese was once again a beacon of light for the Sydney paper, which describes him as striking a “vital blow for common sense by smacking down demands from his Labor colleagues — including leader Bill Shorten and deputy leader Tanya Plibersek — to whitewash Australian history by desecrating monuments to colonial heroes”.
“There are far greater issues facing the First Australians than what’s on a statue.
“The fact is, it is a historical statue,” he said.
“It’s in Hyde Park, which I used to walk through on the way to and from school every day.”
Asked about Shorten’s shifting rhetoric around adding a plaque to the statue of James Cook, Albanese said: “I don’t follow every word, but what I do know is that Bill Shorten’s been very consistent about supporting reconciliation.”
In recognition of that fiery and unequivocal defence of our shared values and that fearless criticism of his leader, the Tele erected a statue of Albo on today’s front page, above a plaque that credits him with discovering common sense for the ALP in 2017:
“Monument to reason”, the headline beams. The page joins “Save our Albo”, published in the lead-up to the last election, in the pantheon of glowing front pages for the member for Grayndler:
But of course, it was not always so. Shocking though it might be to hear, the Tele‘s sympathies have not always rested with this leader of the Labor left faction. Back in 2013, when he was deputy prime minister and had a drink with disgraced former health minister Craig Thomson, they mocked him up in a Nazi outfit for the lols:
What’s changed? Well, first, as Crikey observed at the time of “Save our Albo”, there is “nothing like the threat of a unionist Green to focus the mind, eh?” Is it the “enemy of my enemy” concept that explains the continuation of the praise? Lavishing Albanese with praise (particularly when he opposes Shorten) and building him up as leadership material is just as destabilising to Labor as unfavourable coverage was when he was of an accord with his prime minister (a man he backed during his exile, and helped deliver back to the top job).
We’re sure that’s naught but a coincidence.