Prime ministerial incumbency bias in PNG
Labor’s 7 point plan for the Pacific

A look at Jason Clare – Labor’s coming man

Jason Clare in full flight


NOOSA –  Jason Clare, the Labor Party member for Paul Keating’s former seat of Blaxland in Sydney’s west, has leaped to national prominence in Australia after stellar performances as party spokesman in the current election campaign.

Or that's how it may appear. But Clare became a minister  early in his political career, was mooted as a potential prime minister in 2013, and since then has occupied a firm position as both a shadow minister and a senior member of Labor’s shadow cabinet.

But there can be no doubt that after his recent very compelling performances, Clare has emerged in the public eye as a future national leader.

Maybe after Anthony ‘Albo’ Albanese serves a term or two.

These performances included as warm-up man at yesterday Labor Party election campaign launch, when he delivered a quip-laden speech reminiscent of the great repartee of Keating in full flight.


Some of Jason Clare’s zingers

 “Morrison is all tinsel, no tree."

"Nothing about this bloke is real, except his ability to let you down"

“Australians know Scott Morrison too well”

“A prime minister who thinks his job is to dress up pretending to do other people's jobs"

"We're the party that turns the Australia of your imagination into something real”

“Australian Labor is led by a man who didn't make up his own nickname"

"Half the Liberal Party think climate change is what happens when you go to Hawaii for a holiday"

"He thinks climate change is when you check out the April sun in Cuba."

"A prime minister who thinks the way to win the trust of Pacific nations is to play the ukulele"

"Scott Morrison made 50 phone calls to get Mathias Cormann a job at the OECD but he couldn't pick up the phone to talk to the Solomon Islands when they were on the verge of signing a security package with China"

“You’ve got the foreign minister of Australia hiding under her desk with the phone pulled out and they send some bloke called Zed. Is this Pulp Fiction or national security?”

 “The Coalition MPs are all in witness protection, and where is Alan Tudge?”

“I don't think even Scooby-Doo can find Alan Tudge at the moment”

“You’d need the Hubble telescope to find him”


Clare pugnacious
Clare's political career has seen him learn the ropes from top politicians like Paul Keating and Bob Carr. He's a smart, strategic and pugnacious operator. Definitely a man to watch

Clare, who had just turned 50, is a Sydney westie born and bred.

He was the dux of Canley Vale High School in 1989 and joined the Labor Party immediately upon leaving school, serving as secretary of the Cabramatta Branch from 1992 to 2002.

He emerged from the University of NSW with a BA (Hons) and Bachelor of Laws and in 1995 quickly found a job as a policy adviser to the NSW Police Minister for from 1995.

By 1999, he’d impressed NSW Premier Bob Carr enough to be appointed as his senior policy adviser.

In 2003 Clare decided to gain some experience slightly outside politics and spent four years as corporate relations manager of Transurban, one of the world’s largest toll road operators company that manages and develops urban toll road networks in Australia, Canada and the United States.

By 2007, he was ready for parliament and, after an intense preselection struggle, became Labor’s candidate for the safe seat of Blaxland in the triumphal Kevin Rudd election that year.

By 2011 he was Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice and has been a shadow minister since Labor lost power in 2013.

He is currently Shadow Minister for Housing and Shadow Minister for Regional Services.

Following his recent impressive public performances, he has been discovered by a starstruck Sky News.

“Move over hot Albo, there’s a new Labor poster boy on the scene, Captain Handsome Jason Clare,” enthused a recent news (sic) item.

“Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s week-long absence barely registered with some voters who swooned over the performance of Labor's campaign spokesperson.

Clare fam with Keating
The Clare family with former prime minister Paul Keating, who saw Clare's potential from an early age

“Mr Clare had already set hearts racing prior to Mr Albanese’s Covid isolation but again had viewers frothing over his good looks and confident performance in a press conference on Thursday.”

And for any readers who may be interested in following  Jason Clare’s future career, he joined Twitter a month ahead of me in November 2009 and can be found and followed at @JasonClareMP.

His handle states he is “Atticus & Jack's dad. Louise's husband. MP. Cricket Tragic. Pearl Jam fan. Star Wars kid.”


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Bernard Corden

I forgot to include Angus Taylor on the impressive rap sheet:

Here is another link covering Julie Bishop and her controversial appointment with Greensill, which engaged in the notorious reverse factoring supply chain finance:

It is pure gangster capitalism amidst a festering Ponzi scheme underpinned by pyramid selling, which inevitably collapses.

The debacle is often followed by a royal commission or parliamentary inquiry with constrained terms of reference, which ensures the vast profits are privatised to protect the interests of obsequious party donors and losses are socialised accordingly.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Given his track record to date I wonder how instrumental Scomo actually was in advocating for the POSM to be awarded to kiaps.

Maybe I'm being unkind but he's very good at taking credit for other people's hard work.

A Police Overseas Service Medal was a curious thing to offer the kiaps considering it was such a small part of their job and it sounded to me like a fairly dodgy Band-Aid measure, so maybe Scomo was heavily involved.

Not being a fan of gongs in general I was personally disinclined to apply for it, as were many other ex-kiaps.

Does anyone know how much Scomo was involved? My gut feeling is that Jason Clare probably made most of the running, particularly given that the Libs didn't support the award when Scomo tendered it in parliament.

If I'm wrong I'm happy to apologise.

There is no doubt that Morrison advocated for recognition of kiaps but it seems very likely that Clare was better placed to deliver a result. I worked with Chris Viner-Smith for a period during his extraordinary mission to gain recognition for kiaps' service.

At this time the intent was to have an original medal struck which would have represented the full dimension of the kiaps' role in building a nation. The public servants involved in Honours & Awards were dead set against any such thing. I know this because Chris and I flew to Canberra to find a way to have this happen.

But in the end, Chris had to compromise on the Police Overseas Service Medal, even though it covered only a part - and a lesser part at that - of the kiaps' contribution. He was later deservedly awarded an OAM for his efforts and I believe Morrison, who I think was his local MP, would have had a role in nominating him.

But enabling the POSM to be awarded to kiaps was a matter for the government and there is no doubt in my mind that Clare understood and agreed with the cause and found a pathway through - KJ

Chris Overland

Jason Clare is an impressive figure in a party that, factional machinations notwithstanding, seems able to produce more than a few examples.

For example, I am a particular fan of Mark Butler, who was a deeply impressive Minister for Aging and of Amanda Rishworth, whom I have known since she was a toddler. Both are highly intelligent, articulate, genuinely empathetic and very committed to making Australia a better place for everyone.

Should Anthony Albanese become Prime Minister, he will preside over a Cabinet that is full of talent, unlike ScoMo's assembly of mostly mediocrities masquerading as people of substance.

So all Albo has to do is be a competent 'Chairman of the Board' and give his ministry permission to get on with the job without the necessity to scrutinise their every decision and he will place himself in a far better position than Morrison to focus on the big picture issues that should take up most of a PM's time.

Morrison's lack of administrative competence, poor judgement, lack of genuine empathy and an apparently instinctive tendency to want to micro manage everything is part of the reason he is such a poor PM. It may also help explain his problematic employment record before he entered Parliament.

I have seen his type before. They are people who lack the personal qualities needed to be an effective leader yet insist that they know best even in the face of ample evidence to the contrary. If a decision goes bad then it is obviously down to those trying to implement it, not because the decision was inherently flawed to start with.

Vladimir Putin is a prize example of this in action right now, where he is doubling down on an already disastrous series of decisions and compelling his increasingly alarmed and degraded military to try to do things that, in practice, they lack the capacity to achieve. What could possibly go wrong?

The saddest thing about a possible win for Albanese is that he and his colleagues will inherit the numerous now hidden economic problems that have been created by successive LNP governments through their often irrational and counter productive adherence to neo-liberal economic thinking.

When these problems become manifest they will, of course, promptly blame an Albanese government for allegedly mismanaging the economy.

This has been the LNP modus operandi since Robert Menzies was PM and far too many Australians are sufficiently credulous to believe it.

Our 'Pacific family' had better hope that Albo becomes PM because he and his colleagues are likely to do much better in terms of listening to them and trying to better meet their expressed needs.

With Morrison, it will just be more of the same: patronising lectures, finger pointing and studied indifference to their expressed concerns about things like climate change.

Bernard Corden

Atticus is obviously taken from Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mockingbird', which indicates Jason Clare is somewhat humane, literate and very much unlike anything the LNP coalition has to offer:

Here are some recent antics of several past and present socially autistic neoliberal acolytes:

SloMo Bushfires:

Julie Bishop (Greensill Capital and GFG Alliance):,the%20consultancy%20agreement%20she%20had%20with%20Greensill%20Capital [$$$ needed to crash through the paywall]

Andrew Robb (Landbridge):

Josh Frydenberg (JBS):

Sussan Ley (Shopping for a Gold Coast Unit at the expense of taxpayers):

Teresa Gambaro, Julie Bishop & Barnaby Joyce (GVK Reddy Hyderabad wedding):

Bridgette McKenzie (sports rorts):

Christian Porter (aka Frank Spencer):

Alan Tudge (affair with parliamentary staffer):

Tony Abbott et al (broken Italian coffee table and APH bacchanalia):

Ross Lightfoot (gun toting redneck senator and alleged former squeeze of Julie Bishop and Michaelia Cash):

Parliamentary staffer jizzing on APH office desk:

Brittany Higgins rape:

The fons et origo [source and origin] of the Purdue Pharma hillbilly heroin pandemic emerged at Westbury in Tasmania and our corporate media and national broadcasters remain ominously silent about who was involved in the clandestine trade deals:

Meanwhile, many of Australia's elected representatives have the gall to call members of the Haus Tambaran in PNG unethical or corrupt and are perplexed or bemused when Manasseh Sogavare in the Solomon Islands turns towards China for assistance.

Qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent - If you lie down with dogs, you catch fleas.

And on 4 Corner tonight, how Aspen Medical grifted more than a billion dollars in government PPE contracts despite no experience in large-scale procurement. Echoes of the UK Johnson government. I do wonder if Scotty & Bojo have weekly convos to discuss rorting techniques- KJ

Philip Fitzpatrick

When I first came across this bloke I wondered why Labor wasn't making better use of him.

He'd be a great replacement for bumbledoom Richard Marles. How he made deputy leader is hard to believe.

The party clearly needed someone from Victoria to retain 'balance' in its parliamentary leadership, but the choice of Marles was perplexing. As Phil notes, he is a mediocre performer - even in his supposed specialist area of PNG and the Pacific and, like Albanese, he's not very good on his feet. But then the Victorian ALP works in mysterious ways with factions, sub-factions, cliques, fractions, tendencies and segments all held together by some complex simultaneous equation - KJ

Ray Weber

Jason Clare pinned the POSM [Police Overseas Service Medal] on the first bunch of ex-kiaps.

Read below Chips Mackellar's account of how Jason Clare and Scott Morrison collaborated in ensuring kiaps' service in PNG was recognised through the award of the Police Overseas Service Medal - KJ

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)