Government is for grown-ups.
There is nothing which quite concentrates a politician's mind like being in power.
Suddenly, it's not about slogans and sound bites. It's about decisions with consequences, one of the consequences being the ejection of the party from power in three years' time.
The signs are that the new Labor government's mind has been concentrated very quickly - and in a good way.
On Friday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that he would sign a letter to the Fair Work Commission advocating a rise in the minimum wage - but, tellingly, he would not put a figure on that rise.
"What there will be, though, is the strong view that people who are on the minimum wage simply can't afford a real wage cut," Mr Albanese said on radio.
This is sensible. The difficulty is that nobody really knows how fast prices will go up in the coming year. If he were to put a figure for a desired wage rise to keep pace with prices, it might well turn out to be too low, meaning a fall in real wages.
And it might be unwise if the economy heads into very choppy water, which it may well do as energy prices skyrocket. There is deflationary pressure on the way. Seeming to be involved in the detail of wage fixing is not good policy or good politics.
His assertion that "people who are on the minimum wage simply can't afford a real wage cut" is consistent with what he said in the election campaign, but it is vague enough to keep him at some distance from the final decision, which is for the Fair Work Commission to make, taking into account a variety of wider factors like the state of the economy.
Mr Albanese seems to be recognising that government is for grown-ups. It is not about grand gestures to the faithful. At some stage, he may have to disappoint them but the indications are that he is pragmatic and thoughtful.
We are heartened, too, by Foreign Minister Penny Wong's face-to-face meetings with leaders of Pacific island nations. During the election campaign, Scott Morrison dodged questions about the neglect of the area "under his watch" but China's advance is a blot on his government.
And so is the disgraceful, cynical announcement of the interception of an asylum seeker boat on election day.
Mr Albanese is showing why a change of government was necessary.
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