The past few days have shown an interesting inversion in Australia’s political leadership.
Firstly he had little to say about the fires except to tell other nations that Australia did need any help from overseas. He then visited a group of Canadian volunteers who had come to help out, mainly because he couldn’t find any Australian volunteers who wanted to meet him.
Secondly he disappeared out of the country on holidays just before Christmas.
Then thirdly he returned and made a number of speeches, some about the fires but seemed to be fixated on the cricket season. Mostly he seemed to want to spend his time inside the Kirribilli Bubble.
In the meantime Australians felt leaderless.
Then up stepped Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese. Making the inspiring speeches which had been lacking. He has taken ownership of Australia’s leadership in this time of crisis. Moving around the Nation to visit the danger spots, to talk with the firies and those who had suddenly become homeless. Suddenly there was a sense of direction and purpose in the air. Australia had an occupant in the Prime Ministerial role.
Yet could there be an ulterior motive in this apparent swapping of roles?
When the fires finally go out in April, will this stint as accepted leader suddenly become a millstone hung around Albo’s neck?
Will the Morrison camp suddenly start giving Albo ownership of the fires? ‘They were YOUR fires and you didn’t do a very good job of putting them out!’ Half the fires were in Labor States and Albanese with Andrews and Palaszczuk were unable to do anything to control them.
The Murdoch Press will be able to push that line and there is nothing Albo or the ALP will be able to do about it. Truth will once again be twisted so that the Coalition will become the heroes.
By lurking in the safe shadows of the Harbour Bridge, Morrison will avoid dirtying his hands and will come out of this disaster smelling of roses because someone else was willing to do the job he was incapable of.