5 May 2023

Enjoy the parties while you can, Prime Minister, there's real work to be done when you get back

| Ross Solly
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coronation invitation

If your coronation invitation hasn’t arrived yet, you’d better check the mail. You don’t want to be late! Image: Supplied.

Lucky Anthony Albanese, getting to party with two kings in the space of a week.

Last weekend he seemed to enjoy the wedding of the king of Australian radio, Kyle Sandilands, surrounded by nightclub entertainers, convicted drug smugglers and a handful of A-list celebrities (although what makes an A-list celebrity is surely in the eye of the beholder).

There were some raised eyebrows when it was revealed the PM would don the suit for Sandilands’ nuptials, but it was a promise he made on King Kyle’s radio show some time ago, and as he remarked as he headed off to the soiree, a promise is a promise.

Today Albanese will be joining a party for a “real” King in London as he attends the coronation of King Charles III. He’ll be armed with a gift from us all – an envelope containing details of a donation we are making to one of his favourite environmental charities on the King’s behalf.

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It’s an interesting position for the PM to find himself in, chowing down with the same Royal family that he hopes Australia will cut ties with if he gets to serve a second term as PM. Australians love a good Royal knees-up, though, so the PM will be forced to keep his powder dry until at least the coronation euphoria dies down.

One wonders what former Prime Ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott, both passionate monarchists, will think as they watch as republican Albanese rubs shoulders with the rich, the famous, and the well-connected. Robert Menzies was the last Australian Prime Minister to attend a coronation and he loved the Royal family.

Personally, I haven’t been caught up in the excitement for either Royal event. I had no interest in last weekend’s big wedding, aside from a bemused perusal of the guest list, and I’m yet to be swept up in coronation fever, although I am quite keen to tuck into some Royal quiche.

Albanese would be advised to enjoy both parties as much as possible because when he touches back down on Australian soil, he will have the not-so-inconsequential task of signing off on his government’s second budget.

As is the way these days, many budget initiatives have already been revealed, including much-needed money for our national institutions and money for a new footy stadium in Tasmania.

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Finance Minister Katy Gallagher kept her cards close to her chest last week when asked what other goodies might be coming the way of the national capital, but seemed to be downplaying any chance of money for a new convention centre or sports stadium.

What we really need is more support to get people into housing and to help renters who are finding life really difficult on so many fronts.

It’s unlikely the PM will bump into any of those sorts of people at his two royal parties, but let’s hope he takes the opportunity while chin-wagging with world leaders to compare notes on how to deal with a housing crisis that is threatening to tear Australia apart.

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Stunning ignorance is on display here. If Ross had bothered to do two minutes of actual research, he would have discovered that during the PMs visit he is deeply involved in activating a free trade agreement with the UK, shoring up another trade deal with the EU and continuing on with the AUKUS agreement discussions. The notion that he went to the UK for piss up is absurd and demeaning to all of the people (mostly Canberrans) involved in getting the visit prepared.
As for the budget – again a little research would have told you that the Cabinet signed off on the budget ages ago and there is little left for the PM to actually do. The last minute number crunching is the job of – yet again – a bunch of Canberrans.
Can we raise the level of commentary please rather than just firing off brainless broadsides.

Hanna Allison1:38 pm 06 May 23

Yes, the Republican Monarchist should be aware and remember “By the people they are seen with will they be known” (convicted drug smugglers) and “show me who you mix with and I’ll show you you’re future”. The Leader of Australia having a beer with criminals is not a good photo opportunity.

Perhaps our Republican Monarchist will make a surprise visit to the French Riviera on the way home

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