Australian PM defends attendance at radio host’s


Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has flatly defended his seven-hour involvement in last weekend’s $1 million wedding of Sydney radio “king” Kyle Sandilands, a right-wing shock jock, amid an intensifying cost-of-living crisis for millions of working-class households.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with Kyle Sandilands and Tegan Kynaston’s son, Otto. [Photo: Twitter]

There was widespread disgust at Albanese’s participation in the extravagant celebration, especially with his government refusing to lift sub-poverty welfare payments under conditions of mounting housing and social need, and rising homelessness.

The old saying of “by your friends, shall ye know him” certainly fitted the Labor Party leader’s involvement in the event. It featured an array of wealthy celebrities, media personalities, pop stars, a convicted drug smuggler and an alleged gangland boss, as well as the recently-elected New South Wales Labor Premier Chris Minns.

Within days of joining the ritzy soiree at a Sydney harbourside mansion, Albanese, a supposed republican, further showed his true ruling class colours by landing in London for an audience with King Charles III. That was followed by a prominent attendance at the royal coronation, estimated to cost more than £100 million, and a pledge of allegiance to the monarch, supposedly on behalf of the Australian people.

Some media commentators and others expressed shock at Albanese’s decision to join the marriage service and party for Sandilands, who has been known for years for controversial on-air stunts and offensive comments, including denigrating and hurtful remarks to or about talent show contestants, gay men and people with disabilities. Last year, for instance, Sandilands branded monkeypox—a very serious infection and public health issue—a “big gay disease.” He was recently ordered to undertake “sensitivity training” after referring to the Paralympics as “horrific.”

Given exclusive access, the Sydney Sunday Telegraph provided a glowing picture of the scale and expense of the occasion. “Held in the sprawling grounds of prestigious Darling Point estate Swifts—a castle ‘owned by his mate and built by the man who started Tooheys beer’—the million-dollar wedding started with a moving 3pm ceremony, held in a chapel within the historic homestead.…

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