Whole forests have most probably been cut down to write about the bizarre performance of Anthony Albanese on the opening day of the election campaign.
Put simply, it is palpable nonsense for him to apologise the way he did.
This business about when I make a mistake I fess up, et cetera.
This wasn’t a mistake.
This was pure, unadulterated ignorance.
It is inconceivable for a bloke who has been in Parliament for 26 years and has sat opposite the dispatch box listening to Josh Frydenberg and Scott Morrison endlessly recite the unemployment figures; when there is extensive debate in the Parliament where Albanese sits as the alternative Prime Minister about the Reserve Bank leaving the cash rate where it is when influential economists here, and around the world, have argued that interest rates should have gone up long ago to contain inflationary pressures.
What the hell was the alternative Prime Minister doing in the Parliament if he didn’t hear all of this?
More importantly, he should have had something to say about both these issues.
On the unemployment rate, he could have said that while it is at 4 percent, the underemployment figure is one of concern and he could have said there are businesses out there which can’t find workers yet there are over half a million Australians unemployed and the youth unemployment rate is disturbingly near 10 percent.
The Morrison Government’s record on employment/unemployment is outstanding but that is not relevant to this issue.
If Albanese wants to be taken seriously, he has to know the employment issue backwards.
What is the rate of unemployment?
He should know the participation rate.
He should know the number of Australians employed.
He should know the underemployment rate, otherwise you are just talking in cliches and rhetoric.
Well may we ask what his staff are doing.
I don’t believe this bizarre performance will impact the final outcome of the election but there is something odd about it all.
It is only four days ago that Albanese told reporters in Adelaide, “I’ve got to say, I feel like putting a phone call into the Prime Minister if he doesn’t know where the Governor-General lives and offer him a lift to the Lodge to call this election.”
The Governor-General lives at Yarralumla in Government House.
The Prime Minister lives at the Lodge.
That was Friday.
Then, on Monday, we get the unemployment and cash rate farce.
There is no doubt that in the minds of the voters, the Labor Party are a mile in front; but there is also no doubt that Anthony Albanese has a massive job ahead of him to convince people that he is the man to lead Australia at home and on the world stage.
To date, he seems out of his depth.