2 May 2023

Not really the best of decisions to attend that wedding, Prime Minister

| Chris Johnson
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Anthony Albanese at the wedding of Kyle Sandilands and Tegan Kynaston

Anthony Albanese at the wedding of Kyle Sandilands and Tegan Kynaston. Photo:: Twitter (Geoff Field).

Back in April 2008, newly elected Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd was photographed walking into a Sydney hospital holding a present for Hollywood actress (and Australian national treasure) Cate Blanchett and her newborn baby.

Nothing wrong with that, except it was the same day ALP stalwart John Button was being farewelled with a state funeral in Melbourne.

Rudd didn’t make the Button funeral – something pretty much unheard of previously; a PM no-showing a funeral (state funeral, even) of a legend from his own party.

That was possibly the first inkling Australians had that their prime minister was a little obsessed with courting celebrity.

It didn’t go down well with the public. Some say that moment was the beginning of the end of Rudd’s soaring popularity.

Did Anthony Albanese just have a similar moment on Saturday by attending shock jock Kyle Sandilands’ Darling Point wedding?

Sure, the current Prime Minister wasn’t snubbing an important state funeral, but he was attending a high-profile celebrity wedding where among the guests of honour were well-known (former) underworld figures.

That’s not a good look for a PM.

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It’s not about Sandilands’ questionable on-air antics and whether Albo should be partying with him.

Sandilands is a shock jock, that’s what they do. Some just take things to further extremes than others.

Politicians need to be on shock jocks’ radio shows because they have a huge audience.

There was a long list of Labor MPs who hated going on Alan Jones’ show but did anyway because his reach was so extensive.

And Sandilands, like the rest of us, can invite whomever he wants to his wedding.

He firmly states the figures in question are his rock-solid honest mates who deserve a fair go.

There’s some honour in that – standing by your mates and all.

For all we know, these are top blokes, be they reformed or wrongly maligned. No judgement here. But that’s not the point.

Neither is it a matter of whether Albo was going to deejay at the wedding (he didn’t).

Having a music-loving rock star tragic for a prime minister is actually a good thing. Aussies can relate to that. We all love music, and when it comes to rock music, he’s from the right generation (that’s not even debatable).

What most Aussies can’t relate to, however, is the criminal world.

It’s simply a matter of perceptions, and there are some events where a nation’s leader should avoid being seen.

Any gathering with even a hint of criminal association should be an absolute red flag for a political leader.

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That he had no control over the guest list is no excuse at all.

Attempting to use that as an excuse, as the PM did, makes him look arrogant.

He knew who was going to the wedding. That should have been all the PM and whoever was advising him needed to know.

There is a growing inventory of political careers and aspirations being cut short by inadvertent attendances, photo opportunities, reference writing even, with and for people deemed to be – rightly or wrongly – of questionable character.

A couple of years after the Rudd-Blanchett episode, when the then PM’s tenure was well and truly on the rocks, Rudd’s former adviser publicly took the blame for sending him to the movie star’s hospital bed rather than the state funeral.

That’s how much damage control Labor was still in and Rudd couldn’t pull it back – enter Julia Gillard.

Rudd is a mate and somewhat of a confidant for Albanese.

Albo has learned a lot from the former PM.

But maybe there are some things he shouldn’t try to emulate.

It’s entirely possible that much of Rudd’s policy progress was thwarted by his need to be seen with too many high-profile people.

Is the current Prime Minister making the same missteps?

Guilt by association is a very real thing. So too, it seems, is poor judgement when there are stars in your eyes.

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Billy Monfries8:01 pm 04 May 23

He can go where he reasonably pleases, no one’s business, and that applies to anyone. It does not change the fact that Albanese is a pear shaped loser.

Capital Retro8:24 am 03 May 23

In the past some Labor and Liberal Premiers in NSW have had close associations with crime tsars and bent magistrates.

Neville Wran ended up with a property portfolio of $20 million dollars when he died about 30 years ago. Albo still has a long way to go to beat that.

They’ve also socialised with several questionable members of the clergy and supported them after they were found guilty of not protecting children from sexual abuse.

Clutch those pearls why don’t you.

ChrisinTurner8:05 pm 02 May 23

I understand the invitation was accepted well before Albo became PM.

Capital Retro9:50 am 03 May 23

Morrison made his Hawaii holiday booking well before the bushfires started too, so your point is?

So what he attended a wedding of friend. A poor article when comparing to other PMs

Although I’m on Albo’s side, I have to say that attending that wedding was a very poor decision.

Trevor Willis4:13 pm 02 May 23

And this is the same Rudd who is now our Ambassador to the USA.
If he was half as good as he thinks he is, he would be fantastic, but he is not.
He will end up embarrassing Australia in some form or other, in the not-to-distant future

Funny incident in Manuka Paperchain, when he came and stood next to me at the counter as I was paying for my books. I paid no attention to him, but he kept trying to get my attention, perhaps thinking I hadn’t noticed him. It was clear that he wanted acknowledgement.

I had seen him and purposely ignored him as I disliked him intensely and did not want to say anything rude, nor be dishonest, so best to appear to see nothing and say nothing. Funny to see his attempts to get my attention. No doubt he thought I was either stupid or blind to politics. His problem, not mine.

Capital Retro9:58 pm 06 May 23

Gee, two psychos in the same shop at the same time.

So, rather than being real you would prefer a PM that denies that reality to conform to an ideal, a concept? For so long we’ve been plagued by glad handing, baby kissing politicians acting ‘like politicians’ that we forget what authentic and genuine really is. If you don’t want politicians hanging around with criminals then they had better dissolve what’s left of the ailing Liberal Party right now.

I am happy watching the Libs disappear into oblivion!

Capital Retro11:02 am 02 May 23

Still not as bad as Morrison going on a holiday to Hawaii when he should have been here fighting bushfires.

GrumpyGrandpa2:05 pm 02 May 23

Yes, Mr Albanese attending the wedding is pretty low grade, in comparison to Mr Morrison’s Hawaii holiday.
However, on the eve of the Budget with many people struggling with cost of living and housing costs, attending a million dollar wedding was not a good look and for those struggling, it sends a signal that he’s just another politician who is out of touch.

I think CR was being facetious about ScoMo “fighting bushfires”, GrumpyGrandpa 🙂

ScoMo provides us with a typical example of the rats leaving a sinking ship…

HiddenDragon8:30 pm 02 May 23

The public footage of that event was a snapshot of so much that is wrong with present day Australia – appropriately attended by a PM who seems very happy with the role of head waiter and MC for the people who actually run the place.

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