Anthony Albanese, Prince of Duds

The Prime Minister, Mr Albanese, and I came out last month as proud metrosexuals. That’s what the “M” in LGBTQIAM+ stands for. We don’t have a flag yet but we do have a metrosexual sticker with grey, black and red stripes. The sticker will soon evolve to a pride flag. I expect Mr Albanese during press conferences will backdrop this flag alongside his First Nations, Torres Strait and gay pride flags, with the Australian flag still visible on the left of the row.

You ask, “What’s a metrosexual?” It means a man not afraid to show his feminine side, and, says wiki, “who is especially meticulous about his grooming and appearance, typically spending a significant amount of time and money on shopping.” We metrosexuals use moisturisers a lot and have become, as wiki says, “an advertiser’s walking wet dream.”

The first, or ur-metrosexual was New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath, who posed for a   Hanes Beautymist pantyhose ad, wearing the product, in 1973. The voiceover: “This commercial will prove to the women of America that Beautymist pantyhose can make any leg look like a million dollars.”

In the case of Mr Albanese, he likes to sport black leather Comfort Craftsman boots costing $649. He eclipses Victoria’s perpetual Premier Dan Andrews’ North Face jacket with his own Burberry beige cotton gaberdine car coat at $3890. After such an outlay he shows real class by not even wearing it – instead using his right forefinger to hook the trophy-wear casually over his shoulder.

I didn’t realise my bond with the PM until a week ago when, shamefully clad in dressing gown and ugg boots, I collected The Australian off my driveway. It came bundled with a glossy 108-page edition of GQ, known as the holy text of woke capital.[1] I threw The Australian aside and feasted my eyes on the cover shot of fellow metrosexual and GQ Man of the Year Murray Bartlett. Murray, from my home town of Fremantle, is the actor who plays Armond, the manager of Hawaiian resort The White Lotus (on Binge).

En route to this cover story on page 50, I was held up admiring the GQ ads. Up front was a double-page spread of a young blond man dressed in a Gucci suit with a huge trolley bearing 18 Gucci suitcases. He is pushing it through a foot of wavelets, with foam breaking almost to the thighs of his Gucci pants. I calculate that if each bag contains 14kg of Gucci gear, that’s close to a 300kg load (gross) that Mr Young Blonde is hefting through the spray. Why? We metrosexuals just enjoy a challenge.

I began flicking past several pages of beautifully clad but pouting male models and George Clooney (Omega). I had to halt at another double-page spread featuring a giant naked black man on a sofa, every finger encrusted with jewels and every muscle a-ripple, plus a six-pack to die for. Dolce & Gabbana had arranged an appropriately large cloth to cover his lower mid-section. I thought such images lapsed after the movie Mandingo (1975) but what would I know?

In GQ’s cover story (page 50), one learns that hotel manager Murray aka Armond is infuriated with an obnoxious rich roomster. (The filming was done at Four Seasons Maui, which in real life charges $A2900 to $A37,000 a night). While the guest is out, Armond does a poo in the guest’s suitcase. Murray tells GQ, “This character fully follows through on their (sic) intention and that’s just a beautiful thing to play as an actor.”

The Murray Bartlett interview was a treat and White Lotus deserved its ten Emmy’s despite being so long-winded.

The four-page spread on Mr Albanese, who is GQ’s Politician of the Year, starts on page 66. It includes 10 photos with the PM re-configured as a clothes horse. He’s styled by an Emma Kalfus in all the finery (Boss mostly) that any metrosexual could desire. Still, he never made the GQ cover, unlike Malcolm Turnbull in 2015 beneath the headline, “Primed Minister”.[2]

Interviewed, Albo lets us know that deep down, he hasn’t shed his grungy rock-band T-shirts and old jeans. People think he’s changed but it’s just that he’s stopped eating pizzas, got fitter and lost weight. He had his favorite suit taken in and he wore it on election night.

For the sartorial splendour of the GQ profile, he’s donned threads costing in total $6,439, including Boss $24 socks (but excluding any jocks he might be wearing). Not sure what predecessor Ben Chifley would make of that: Ben’s real jobs on the way up included cashier’s assistant in a general store, railways shopboy, cleaner, fireman and at 24, the youngest first-class loco driver in the NSW railways. Albo’s world of work other than politics: zero.

To ensure lashings of gravitas, and not just Boss blitz and beautiful boots, Albo’s interview is by famed pundit Peter van Onselen (what’s GQ pay per 1000 words and where do I apply?) PVO calls Albanese a gent who “is arguably the most socially progressive leader our country has ever had” – that sounds ominous. He’s also “an idealogue with a passion for social justice”. Albo doesn’t beat around the bush – by just the second question from oracular Onselen, he discloses that he became PM after growing up in council housing. His memory of growing up in council housing stops his fame going to his head, we’re told. Has he ever mentioned the council housing previously?[3]

By Question 4, he is regretting that some of the “good work” done by the “good governments” of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard was undone because the deeds weren’t entrenched, so he wants to make all his reforms well entrenched and preferably permanent.

“Our agenda is very clear: action on climate change [which won’t make the slightest difference to the climate, just ask China], action on gender-based inequality [federal equal opportunity laws date from 1984], making sure that living standards are addressed [has anyone checked their renewables-laden electricity bill lately?] including lifting wages, and having a national anti-corruption commission [which should start with a hard look at predecessor Bob Hawke].” Onselen wheels out the tired old politicians’ meme:  

Albanese is “determined to put the adversarial politics of recent years behind us. He senses that Australians are sick and tired of the constant fighting in Canberra, instead wanting to see a more collaborative form of decision-making that avoids all the shouting…If our new PM truly can change the adversarial political culture, expect to read about him again on these pages in the years ahead.”

Biden began his presidency saying much the same and now calls anyone opposing his agenda a traitor. My own wish is for more, not less, adversarial politics. Could we please have an Opposition willing to oppose Albanese and his state allies taking away our petrol cars; taking our gas-fired heating off us; taking our red meat off us; taking our cheap electricity off us; and taking our total fossil-fuel-powered prosperity off us.

Ah well, if Albanese is going to put the boots in, at least they’re $649 black leather Comfort Craftsmen’s. No metrosexual is all bad.

Tony Thomas’s latest book from Connor Court is now available: Anthem of the Unwoke – Yep! The other lot’s gone bonkers. For a copy ($35 including postage), email


[1] GQ editors in 2018 ran a list of what they called 21 over-rated books by white male authors including the Bible, which was “repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned…. some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced.”

[2] Only leftist tribesmen get to be GQ men of the year, for example Gough Whitlam,  Turnbull, Waleed Aly and Stan Grant.

[3] I don’t want to steal Albo’s thunder, but I grew up in a Fremantle converted air force fibro shacktown called Mulberry Farm, and we finally got a new but badly-built government house in Willagee. Willagee is notorious for the David and Catherine Birnie couple who killed four women in Moorhouse St., a few blocks from my childhood home in Garling Street. Like Albo, I deserve a sympathy card.

37 thoughts on “Anthony Albanese, Prince of Duds

  • Aussietom says:

    Up the workers eh Albo!

    Presumably one of his heroes is Super Gough. Can’t see Whitlam ever putting on such a display, Then again, Paul Keating collects very expensive clocks and Bob the Budgie was worth a mint.

    Not really a party of the workers then at all. But we know that.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    Missed my copy of GQ as we’d suspended delivery while swanning for a month around De Santis’s Florida for the mid-terms and very enjoyable that was, in the place where ‘woke goes to die’.
    So thanks Tony Thomas for filling in my GQ lack with this excellent overview of its visually startling contents, including a skilfully evidenced takedown of the latest leftist tribesman to be lauded in its glossy pages.

  • DougD says:

    Mal also made the front cover of the Power issue of the AFR Magazine. On the inside of this front cover, behind the PM, was a full-page photo of Lucy. Good to see some truth-telling.

  • Blair says:

    “Albanese is “determined to put the adversarial politics of recent years behind us. He senses that Australians are sick and tired of the constant fighting in Canberra”
    Well that explains why Labor felt awful about bagging the ex-PM yesterday.

  • padraic says:

    Well sarcasticarised, Tony. Agree fully with the underlying sentiments. The Australian is obviously looking to extend its readership as it has now taken on the appearance of a serious newspaper married to a teen/undergraduate magazine. I read the Albanese article and tried to flick through the rest of the magazine but had to stop because I had to do some gardening before it started raining.

  • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

    Hauled them around, politicians that is, felt ashamed to take them away from the city lights for as a bushie by trade when a young bloke, they stood out like sore thumbs because they assumed that a ten-gallon hat, an RM shirt rolled up half mast, moleskins and R M boots, made them suitable to make the usual grandiose statements to country folk who can spot a fake coming from miles away. I did make several offers to the conservative ones at least, an offer to break in the above gear free of charge and for a small sum educate them about bush etiquette but politicians know that they are a cut above us and the offers were refused. Wonder if an old bloke could lower his standards and tell Mr. P M what it is like to have an open verandah as a bedroom until leaving home to wander the wide world, and in exchange he might elucidate me on what it is like to have a bedroom in a cosy council flat and not have to chase the backsides off milkers in bare feet winter and summer.

    • Brian Boru says:

      Yes Bots, but you did get to warm your bare feet on the warm patches when you got the cows up, didn’t you?

      • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

        And in the fresh cowpats. Our raincoat was a cornsack, our winter warmer was a cornsack, and our school bag a sugar bag with a stone in one corner tied with a piece of sashcord around it and then looped over our back. Wealthy family you understand to possess sashcord.

  • john.singer says:

    He can afford the costly clobber as apart from the Victorian he would be the highest paid Trot in the world.

  • Sindri says:

    A ludicrous, fawning puff-piece, designed to sell one of the most socially useless products of capitalism: expensive fashions. Everything you might expect an intelligent “progressive” to laugh to scorn. But there you are, two of the the defining features of the progressive mindset on display: moral vanity, and infinitely elastic double standards.

  • lbloveday says:

    Quote: Like Albo, I deserve a sympathy card
    At 10 I lived with 3 younger siblings and our mother in a 12′ x 24′ (about 27 square metres) galvanised iron shed in a country town, drop-hole toilet, newspaper to wipe our bums, wood-fuelled copper for cooking and hot water and ice-box for perishable food.
    Mother worked nights at the telephone exchange while I looked after the youngsters (4,6 and 8).
    I pedalled my bike 3-4 miles each way before and after school to empty and set rabbit traps to augment the food mother could buy and at weekends caught yabbies in the creek that meandered through the town. Got a few topknot pigeons with my shanghai and ball-bearings from the wreckers across the road.
    “But I grew up quick and I grew up mean
    My fists got hard and my wits got keen”

  • call it out says:

    I wish there was a way I could forego supplements like GH, and that rubbishy bit of toff travel and fashion nonsense, Wish, from my daily delivery of The Australian. I won’t be buying a watch for $20,000, or spending over $3000 for one night at a hotel. (Or even $300)
    I wonder if there is a battle in The Oz, with very significant journalists, the best, being gradually swamped by the new young woke.

    • john mac says:

      CIO , I used to enjoy the monthly “Wish” but in the past few years , it is full of hypocritical left wing celebrities hawking expensive watches and fragrances , and the shoe-horning in of african models in almost every ad , on million dollar yachts and in luxury cars , wearing the most outrageous clothing no sane person would don . Meanwhile I happily shop at the Salvo’s ,as does my wife . Yes “Wish ” has gone woke and insults it’s client base demographic.

  • STD says:

    Tony, maybe what the girls would really lust for, is the image of our very own metro man sporting a rather nubile number- perhaps a mankini – it’s only an idea.

  • Daffy says:

    ‘Council house”? Council housing is the English variety, here it would have been the Housing Commission; a state instrumentality in NSW, surely ?

  • padraic says:

    I can relate to those stories by Botswana, Brian and Loveday. I was a townie but spent a lot of time with kids who lived on farms. As kids we used to trap rabbits (or use ferrets), skin them and dry the skin on a wire frame and then take them to the place in town where we got 2/6 per skin. That was our pocket money. In summer we used to visit one of Dad’s mates and his family who lived well out of town where it snowed in Winter. In Summer there the boys were given a cake of soap and a towel and told to go and bathe in the creek opposite the unlined fibro house. We used to go after the girls had gone first and had come back to the house. In the Winter we had to bathe occasionally in a small tin bath in about an inch of water that had been heated in a kettle up on the fuel stove. Bare feet was de rigueur for boys most of the time, even in the town. There were no eiderdowns in Winter but kangaroo skins stitched together to form a very warm quilt. I never did the foot in the cowpat thing but my great aunt used to tell us how when she was a little girl in a remote area she had to get up early and go and fetch kindling (in bare feet) to get the fuel stove going to make her father’s breakfast and in Winter the frost would make her feet cold so she used to laugh as she told us of the cowpat heating system. As Rebekah says the kids these days would find it hard to believe these stories. Another thing, dogs were not allowed inside for obvious hygiene reasons but also because of the worry about hydatids.

    • Brian Boru says:

      I have to clarify. When I commented to Botswana about standing on the warmth left by a cow I didn’t mean to say that I had done that, only to say that I understood from what my mates had told me that I knew what he was on about.
      Like padraic I was a townie. Inner Melbourne, up at 6 am to do the paper round before school. Freezing mornings when puddles cracked when you rode through them and you couldn’t open your hands from the handlebars they were that cold.
      But later on I learnt the delights of country living. Like emptying the thunder box. Washing in a dish washing dish in the bath because the kero water heater couldn’t make it and because the bore water was too cold to shower in (except in summer). We did get to have a decent bath though in the winter when the rain gave us enough water to heat on the stove to fill the bath.
      On a couple of occasions I have also got to use the hessian sack turned in to the corner over head and shoulders. I also proved to be a bit of a dunce as a young fellow when the people on the farm where I worked wanted to teach me how to milk the house cow. They mocked me for being a dill not being able to milk the cow but I knew that once I learnt I would be doing that job on top of all the others at the end of the day. Funny thing, later on when we had our own cows I had no trouble milking them.
      It was all good experience and I don’t regret one iota of it, in fact I am thankful to have been there.

  • call it out says:

    My country based uncle taught us to trap rabbits, and prepare them for sale to he local townspeople. 2/- each. He also showed us how to catch bream in the local creek. .The fishing line was wound onto a coke bottle. The uncle himself always grew a 1/4 acre block of vegetables for roadside sale. The cousins we stayed with were country poor, descendants of the English labourers brought here on assisted migrant schemes in the 1860’s.
    I have well educated friends who would be advised to make sure I was with them should they ever be stranded on an island somewhere. I could keep us sheltered and alive, thanks to my childhood experiences.

  • GG says:

    Significantly – and this is never looked at by the media – Albo hasn’t done jack shit for his constituents in Grayndler. He drooled over that corrupt old filth Tom Uren, his predecessor, who viciously betrayed his constituents by backing the expansion of Sydney airport and the closure of the east-west runway. That said, Grayndler people are so dumb there’s no word in the thesaurus to adequately describe them. Now if a kitchen mop wearing a hat ran for the Greens, the week after the election you’d see that kitchen mop sitting up in Parliament.


    If pantyhose could make a footballer’s leg look like a million dollars imagine what it could do for the PM’s image.

  • ianl says:

    The mockery here is quite enjoyable.

    It seems quite likely that Elbow’s photographer for the GM article is from the CFMEU, since that union has a closed shop (which also sells RMW boots for onsite posing).

  • Biggles says:

    What a pathetic pack of virtue-signalling drongoes the commentators above are. You poor buggers! It was called growing-up in the Australia of years ago. And Tony, ad hominem rants are not your long suit. Your articles are usually of a high standard, but this effort is a disgrace in a journal of the quality of Quadrant.

    • lbloveday says:

      You sound a bit like my pushing-30 daughter who recently accused me, and her mother, of trying to “guilt trip” her with how we were hard done by.
      Au contraire, my life was far better than where I’d come from, a 2-car family in the 50s, given £5 notes to spend on comic books etc on Saturdays after the Drive-in, a workshop for my meccano set and crystal set, railway set and more, all to myself and bigger than our shed in the country, ….. FAR BETTER. I was the “City Slicker” who chopped wood for the classroom heater, who made the A-grade football team, who settled his differences with boxing gloves on the oval at lunch time (with a blind eye turned by teachers).
      A better than good life, which as I recently discussed with my cousin whose father provided us with the shed “made me”, and I don’t see the other commenters as anything like “poor buggers”, let alone a “pathetic pack of virtue-signalling drongoes”.
      The disgrace is not TT’s article but your comment.

    • STD says:

      Truth comes in all shapes n sizes- just light hearted frivolity – it sure beats the hell out of listening to the ABCS welcome to garbage country spiel .
      As for drongo, here goes; a friend (mate= drongo) of mine had a German shepherd who’s name was Ringo, when I pushed him a bit further ,he replied that it made sense because everywhere he goes ring goes.

    • 27hugo27 says:

      I think you’ve read the comments the wrong way Biggles. Didn’t seem like complaining at all, just comparing today’s youth who wouldn’t know which end of a cow to milk, or even drive a manual car. Quite uncalled for and not like you.

    • Brian Boru says:

      Well yes Biggles, I may have been engaging in some virtue signalling to a small extent. But for me it was also as padraic has said and I was pointing out the contrast with some of us to that sweet Albo with his expensive clobber.
      I guess you must feel a little left out because all you had was “air adventures” of the kind when you were with Algie and the rest of them. “Baked potatoes” old chap.

  • padraic says:

    Biggles, I think you are missing the point. We were not virtue signalling. We were mocking Albanese in the sense that he started it and our responses were like those in that John Cleese skit where a group of men from north England were sitting around comparing childhoods – Looksury! One of my uncles grew up in Marrickville and became a captain of a RAN ship. That’s how Australia was and hopefully still is. He didn’t go around bleating about his background, because it does not matter. But in our days we never considered ourselves to be “victims” – so fashionable today. I cringe when I see our PM keep referencing his single mum in a council house and wondered if he mentions that when he meets other leaders at international events. It’s so crass and well worthy of comment in Quadrant.

  • en passant says:

    Th Jim Hacker of Oz politics, but without the class

  • norsaint says:

    Thanks Tony, you’ve just reminded me why I ditched the Oz.

  • pmprociv says:

    Thanks once again, Tony, for yet another entertaining episode of truth-telling, which obviously touched off a tsunami of nostalgia among your readers. I’ll resist adding my bit but, in the interests of pure truth, just thought it worth bringing to your attention, should my arithmetic serve, that the naked black man in your photo is sporting not a six-pack, but at least an eight-pack.

    • lbloveday says:

      The moniker “six-pack” comes from its appearance of visible rows of 4–8 distinct muscular segments that you can see on individuals with relatively low body fat.

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