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Dennis Shanahan on Sloppy Albo

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Anthony Albanese can’t keep doing this, the Opposition Leader simply can’t be seen not to have a grasp of fundamental economic points let alone Labor’s own key policies.

Albanese has failed at another press conference to enunciate basic Labor promises and policy which should be imprinted on the mind of the person who would be Prime Minister and who has to implement those policies.

In itself Albanese’s inability to successfully name Labor’s six-point plan for the National Disability Insurance Scheme on Thursday may not be a sharp turning point in the election campaign but as part of a sum total of errors and failings it could become another few degrees in a long turning curve against the ALP.

When asked initially at a press conference what was Labor’s six-point plan for improving the NDIS, Albanese was unable to answer and needed a human shield in Chris Bowen talking about climate change to be briefed and be able to answer.

Consider this: in his Budget-in-reply speech Albanese’s central promise was to put registered nurses in all aged care facilities 24-hours a day, that fell apart within 24 hours because the nurses simply didn’t exist; he failed to recall two of the most basic economic figures – the RBA’s interest rate and the unemployment figure, both central to the debate then and now; the central offering of his campaign speech, a federal taxpayer-funded home equity scheme for lower-income earners was killed with complexity revealed by this own deputy, Richard Marles and now; he’s unable to recall his own key plan for the NDIS which is now bigger than Medicare and faces necessary review.

Labor may still be in front in the polls on a two-party preferred basis but both sides know it is tight and a hung Parliament a real possibility. As the polls inevitably tighten Albanese can’t afford to fall lower in the public’s estimation as a potential leader in comparison to Scott Morrison no matter how unpopular the Prime Minister may be.

The problem goes beyond the specifics of the NDIS six-point plan because it comes after a series of changes, failings and mistakes which build a picture of an aspiring Prime Minister who is not across detail, doesn’t understand policy, can’t put up a plan for implementation and has to be protected by political bodyguards.

Albanese recovered from a potential death spiral in the first week but he can’t afford to have to recover from another in the final two weeks.

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