(Image: AA/Mick Tsikas/Crikey)

There has been completely unwarranted backlash towards the opposition this week after Labor revealed it is getting behind the government, in the biblical sense.

On Wednesday Kristina Keneally stated explicitly that Labor will support Scott Morrison in building a new religious discrimination and freedom act, and critics are decrying the party for cowing to the government. But, in fact, a closer analysis of Labor’s most recent manoeuvres proves they are still as much in opposition as they ever were.

The tax cut rebellion

Labor defied expectation this week by lasting a whole day — minutes of laborious debate — in the fight to stop the Coalition’s $158 billion income tax cut package. The package passed the lower house on Tuesday unscathed. But only because these mavericks are looking out for their own! It’s just a coincidence that their “own” is the same as the government’s “own”.

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Birthday cakes for refugees

After a two-year old Tamil asylum seeker was denied a birthday cake with candles inside an Australian detention centre, Labor put its foot down, demanding that all imprisoned two-year-olds should have access to birthday cake. After learning of the incident, Home Affairs spokesperson Kristina Keneally told Crikey, “Yes, there are rules in place, but surely common sense and compassion cuts in somewhere”.

I wouldn’t put it past this compassion KWEEN to hand-deliver a cake and cut it herself! Hopefully she’ll bring a slice for all 293 children known to be currently living in detention centres and community detention facilities

Fighting for press freedom

The recent AFP raids at the ABC and News Corp have revealed the potential for unprecedented government threats to press freedom; a scary prospect indeed for anyone writing a very stupid piece making fun of politicians right now. Criticise all you want, but the Labor Party hasn’t pulled punches in admonishing the national security policy they helped push through late last year.

Abbreviating names with the letter ‘o’

Opposition leader Albo introduced this as part of his Labor leadership campaign, much to the chagrin of Prime Minister ScoMo who forgot to file a patent. This is a controversial policy for Labor to back because Plibbo, Shorto, Wongo and Bowo all sound very stupid. This is a brave move to embrace the Aussie larrikin who struggles with foreign sounding names, and proves to voters that Albo isn’t more of the same — he’s actually slightly less, by about one letter.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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