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Artillery Row

Australian insights into Britain under Labour

Anthony Albanese’s government offers a depressing glimpse of Britain’s future

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has called a general election for the 4th of July 2024. Sunak rolled out some of his key election messaging that the Labour Party has “no plan” and the country risks “going back to square one” with a Labour government. Both claims seem to miss the mark as no plans are not the same as bad plans and “going back to square one” seems to be putting it mildly. If Sir Keir Starmer becomes, as the polls are indicating, Britain’s next Prime Minister and his Labour Party forms the next government, we do have an indication of what that administration will look like if we look down under. 

Australia and Britain have many common values, shared cultural traits and a high level of cooperation, such as Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement, UK-Australia Ministerial Consultations on foreign policy and the Joint Supply Chain Resilience Initiative to mention just a few, and by the end of this election campaign both countries may have Labour administrations.   

Indeed, Australia has had a Labor (spelt without a “u”) administration since May 2022, under the leadership of Anthony Albanese. Albanese is an anti-monarchist and voted in the 1999 referendum to abolish the monarchy in Australia. In May last year, he said that he has not changed his position since the referendum. When he was appointed to the office of Prime Minister, he did not swear his oath on the Bible, but took the affirmation of office, which does not reference God or the Monarch.

Faith is important to millions of Australians. Their faith helps to shape who they are, and it shapes their values. Nevertheless, Anthony Albanese when he was the opposition leader and now as Prime Minister, has said he will introduce a religious discrimination bill. This would fundamentally undermine Christian institutions, such as schools. The consequences of the bill would impact negatively on the ability of Christian school’s recruitment and enrolment policies, based upon core tenets of the Christian faith. The result would be restrictions on the type of education a child can receive. It would also impact on the freedom of parents to choose how and where their children are educated. Under this type of bill, Christians will be forced to sacrifice a key part of their identity — their religious identity — so that the Christian schools can conform to woke doctrines. 

What about economic management? In the recent Budget on the 14th of May, the Treasurer, Jim Chalmers MP, went on a spending spree that added 24 billion Australian Dollars to net government spending. The budget deficit is now forecast to be $28 billion in 2024-25. The Reserve Bank of Australia is apprehensive about inflation and an uncertain economy, whilst household electricity bills are spiralling upwards. In a report, the Reserve Bank pointed to “the higher-than-usual level of uncertainty about the economic outlook” and that “risks around inflation had risen”. Yet, Chalmers went on a spending extravaganza and denied that government spending is inflationary. They have also got themselves into a pickle on energy policy. Their current policies will not tackle inflation, as it does not provide households with a sustainable solution for the cost-of-living crisis, just a short-term one or provide Australia with energy security.  

Labor have also not solved the Australian productivity challenge. Productivity remains koalaesque, yet the Budget managed to create 36,000 new bureaucrat jobs at the cost of billions of taxpayers’ money. Individuals and families have felt the pinch as GDP per capita declined for four consecutive quarters in 2023. One has to cast one’s mind back 40 years or so, since the last time this happened. According to Australian Labor Party the answer is more government spending, more bureaucratic control and less wealth creation as tens of thousands of businesses have gone to the wall. There have also been job losses such as 2,800 jobs that are planned to be cut by the Australian telecoms company, Telstra. According to the latest official figures, the unemployment has risen to 4.1 per cent up by 0.2 per cent. To put it bluntly, Labor is not working.

What about migration? Didn’t Tony Abbott sort that out? Well, there has been a massive increase in student visas. Immigration to Australia, in the latest figures for the financial year 2022-23, showed that there has been a year-on-year increase by 73 per cent. With the total number of foreign people at 737,000, with a net gain of 518,000 per year. This overall number is over  220,000 more than the five year average, before the Covid pandemic restrictions. 

How about free speech or foreign policy, then? Albanese has succumbed to the hard-left pro-Palestinian part of his party and the wider hard-left movement. Under his leadership, Australia has voted in favour of granting Palestine UN membership and the Labor administration has turned its back on Israel and Australian jews. The University of Melbourne has yielded to pro-Palestinian protestors “demands”. The Institute of Public Affairs’ Free Speech on Campus Audit found that 38 out of 42 of Australia’s higher education institutions were considered hostile to free speech in 2023. Unfortunately, the audit found that the trend was going in the wrong direction. 

Yes, we can take a look at the Australian Labor government for things to come

The Constitution of Australia is codified and written, so they cannot mess with that, can they? Unlike in Britain? They certainly tried. On the 14th of October last year the Albanese administration held a referendum of constitutional import. It was called the 2023 Australian Indigenous Voice referendum, in brief, it was about setting up a body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to make representations to federal parliament and Government and to recognise the Indigenous population in the Constitution. Of course, voting “yes” to this would have had major constitutional and representational risks. The Australian people roundly rejected the proposal by over 60 per cent, yet according to the Australian Electoral Commission they had the estimated $450 million pleasure of doing so. 

Yes, we can take a look at the Australian Labor government for things to come, if Labour wins the election in July. It will be more constitutional vandalism, more economic mismanagement and more taxpayers’ money being spent on far left policies.

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