Hey 31, Mr Albanese sir, how ya doing?

by Mark Sawyer | May 22, 2022 | Lobbyland

So Albanese is our 31st prime minister. Will people start calling him 31, in that infuriating way the two presidents Bush called each other 41 and 43? Or the way characters in The Sopranos referred to the Godfather films as 1, 2 and 3?

Thirty-one isn’t one of those fancied numbers. It’s a prime number, which makes it a bit less versatile than a lot of other numbers. Nick Hornby wrote a book called 31 Songs, about 31 of his favourite songs.

Herbert Hoover was the 31st US president. He had the misfortune to take office the year of the Wall Street crash. The resulting Great Depression squeezed the life out of America (and Australia). Hoover showed little aptitude for dealing with the economic crisis. Encampments of homeless people became a feature outside big cities, and were nicknamed Hoovervilles.

In 1932 Hoover was defeated by Malcolm Turnbull lookalike Franklin Roosevelt. You’re right, none of this has much to do with our 31st prime minister.

Mark Sawyer is a journalist with extensive experience in print and digital media in Sydney, Melbourne and rural Australia.

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