Karen Middleton’s 2016 biography of Anthony Albanese concludes with a speech he made that year, on the 20th anniversary of his election to parliament.
“I’m patient”, he told his clapping audience, “I’m patient — I’m a Souths fan”. The South Sydney Rabbitohs are the Rugby League club Albanese supports, which for the greater part of his adult life was notorious for its competitive under-performance.
The audience realised, of course, that in proclaiming his long-suffering dedication, Albanese was really alluding to his political vocation and his other underachieving “tribe” — the Labor Party.
Albanese’s journey in Labor politics has indeed been long and arduous.