(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

OK, so this is getting serious. Save Our ScoMo is officially in full swing.

Over at News Corp HQ, gun investigations editor Sharri Markson pulled out an exclusive for the ages today (the ages being the operative word). It also ranks as one of the most dishonest pieces of journalism you will ever see.

The headline as it appears on the paper’s homepage is alarming: “Albanese’s battle cry in war on wealth and family tax”. The story pointer is a promise of fresh revelations about the opposition leader who “sharply criticised capitalism and family wealth as causes of social injustice” and took aim at “incomes over $100,000”.

It’s only when you click to the body of the story that you discover the source of Markson’s exclusive: Albanese had made the “previously unreported remarks” in the early 1990s when he was assistant general secretary of NSW Labor.

And those evil $100,000 a year income earners? Well that too was 1991, when the average Sydney house price was $184,000.  

More damning evidence?

“At the 1991 Australian Labor Party centenary conference, Mr Albanese introduced a resolution for the Hawke government to consider an inheritance tax,” Markson revealed. 

Ah, we’re getting the picture now. Knockabout bloke Albo is really a red wolf in sheep’s clothing — an Australian Jeremy Corbyn.

The Australian‘s 31-year-old “exclusive” was, naturally, backed up with quotes from Treasurer Josh Frydenberg who it appears is more than happy to play along.

“[Albanese] has spent his whole ­career being a cheerleader for higher taxes,” he warned. “The carbon tax, the mining tax, congestion tax, retirees tax, housing tax, family business tax, higher taxes on income and superannuation and, most damning of all, death duties.”

So there we have it: a 2022 “reds under the bed” campaign based on comments made 31 years ago and deceptively presented as new in your national broadsheet.

(Back in 1991 Scott Morrison was fresh from his university days when he examined how to build the influence of the Brethren church, but don’t wait for the Oz exclusive on that.)

Meanwhile, over at Nine, the Morrison spin machine is in top gear with an “at home with the Morrisons” piece on 60 Minutes coming up. “After [one of] his toughest weeks in the top job, the prime minister fights back with his secret weapon,” says the promo. “Sunday on 60 Minutes: can Jenny Morrison save her husband’s career?”

When in strife, call the wife. That, it would appear, is the Morrison maxim. Jenny Morrison was a hit on the campaign trail last time around. And this time Jenny is an even more potent weapon: Albanese, of course, is a man sans wife and school-aged kids.

Stay tuned for more of the Morrisons versus lonely old Albo, whose only family tool appears to be a cute dog.

Is this just the start of the dirty tricks campaign before the election? Let us know your thoughts by writing to letters@crikey.com.au. Please include your full name to be considered for publicationWe reserve the right to edit for length and clarity.