Big question Albanese must answer
ANTHONY Albanese almost certainly has the numbers in the parliamentary and party wings to win the next leadership ballot, but he has some major flaws, writes Des Houghton.
To his credit Albo did his best quell the civil war between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd that began in 2010. He failed. But good on him for trying.
Albanese was respected enough in Labor ranks to attain the position of deputy prime minister in 2013. Later that year he unsuccessfully challenged Bill Shorten to lead the party.
Albo almost certainly has the numbers in the parliamentary and party wings to win the next leadership ballot.
Albanese, 56, was brought up by a single mother in working class Sydney believing his father had died in a car accident.
His father Carlo and his mother had a cruise ship love affair which didn't last.
It's been said that Albo is imbued with three verities - the Catholic Church, the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Labor Party, and has remained true to the latter two.
Albanese is a popular Labor figure.
However he has some major flaws.
He backed the lawless CFMMEU during the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, and at on stage ludicrously suggested the inquiry was a witch hunt and that royal commissioner Dyson Heydon, QC, be stood down.
Despite evidence of intimidation, extortion, the rorting of union funds and crimes of violence, Albo stood by the CFMMEU.
So Labor is set to get another leader trapped by the grinding political machinery of negativity and destruction that has been the hallmarks of the union-dominated party since the Hawke era.
The challenge for Albo and Labor will be to carve out an identity away from the stench of union corruption.
Albanese will have a tough time as Opposition leader. He wanted to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission, the construction industry watchdog.
Miracle worker Scott Morrison's victory means it will continue its important mission. Our PM may be a "daggy dad", but he has shown he has the ticker and the pragmatism to work with the unions without letting them trample the rights of business or the workers.
Albanese has another big problem. Her name is Sally McManus. The ACTU leader's "fair go" campaign was called out by voters who saw it as fair for some but not others, especially retirees and wealth creators.
McManus has repeatedly defended the CFMMEU (as it now known). In recent years the union described in Parliament as a criminal organisation and has been hit with more than $10 million in fines. Many of its officials have been convicted for breaking the law.
Judges have repeatedly said the CFMMEU had no respect for the rule of law. McManus and Albo can no longer turn a blind eye to CFMMEU militancy.
Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd have called on the party to cut ties with the rogue union. The CFMMEU, with about 150,000 members and assets of about $300 million, has expanded its influence inside Labor.
It will continue to wield significant influence inside the Labor Party.
Will Albo continue to defend them? It's a question that has to be asked.