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This is a dangerous time in the political cycle

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On Friday, Anthony Albanese retweeted a clip from Nine's Today show. It was an interesting decision, because during the interview the new Labor leader was attacked several times by Peter Dutton for targeting individual police officers involved in a raid on a journalist’s home.

During the discussion, Dutton is like a dog with a bone. But as soon as the Home Affairs Minister launches in, Albanese pushes back: “I’m targeting you, buddy. You’re the government.” He tells Dutton he’s wrong, then comes straight back to his theme: “I’m on to you.” He is more than happy to repeat the (perfectly reasonable) statement Dutton is so angry about: “I have said it is outrageous that Annika Smethurst’s house was raided by seven police for 7½ hours.”


There is no ambiguity in anything Albanese says, no hiding behind platitudes about “respect for law enforcement” or the holy whisper of “national security”. He does not for a moment seem worried about saying something which might later haunt him.

Good. Labor has been useless on these issues for too long. But let’s not shower Albanese with roses yet.

Labor is acting furious that these leaks were referred to the police. It should be angry. The ministers who have created this culture, and the public servants who have succumbed to it, should be ashamed. The........

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