Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Mark Latham v Andrew Denton

Andrew Denton and Mark LathamWell the Denton interview was interesting. I feel like Latham is missing the big picture somehow. Denton definitely asked all the right questions.

The very fact that Latham's undenied intention for the book was payback seems to suggest that any glaring faults of the Labor party he points out are going to be of secondary importance to the reader. So I think I might have to withdraw my initial thankyou to him. If he wanted to write a book about how to fix the Labor party then fine. Even if he wanted to write a book about what's wrong with the ALP still fine as long as it's making some attempt to be objective. But writing a book containing his diary entries that are simply criticising and attacking the credibility of dozens of prominent Aussies -- that's just a big whinge and doesn't really deserve this kind of attention.

But hey we can't help but be fascinated by his downfall, now set in concrete with the release of this book if you ask me. Denton said he was profoundly saddened by the change he saw in Latham. I do also. I feel like Latham's attitude is small-minded, short-sighted and surprisingly self-centred. I once thought that Latham was a guy who would inject innovative, far-sighted and bold ideas into Australian policy brainstorms. How sad that this guy either never existed or has shrivelled up into a pathetic whinger under the relentless pressure of public life.

Ari Sharp (Melbourne) explains it much better than me. A sad and unsettling story indeed.

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Blogger Rob said...

It would seem, however, that over half the electorate was already onto Latham's game long before the diaries, long before the Tsunami non-response, etc, etc. The other half is now catching up.

September 20, 2005 8:40 am  
Blogger Lisa said...

Fair point Rob :) But probably even Liberals and Liberal voters overestimated his ability to be resilient and consistent.

September 20, 2005 11:56 am  
Blogger Rob said...

This is true, but there was always the potential for a blow-up just lurking below the surface. A lot of political commentators on the election trail bemoaned the fact he sort of neutered himself to appeal to a wider demographic, but it was probably a necessary thing to do. Nevertheless, it always seemed that the "real" him was lurking behind every corner, just waiting to pop out. It almost happened with "the handshake" with Howard towards election day.

September 20, 2005 12:26 pm  
Anonymous mick said...

Hi Lisa, nice blog.

I think the whole Latham thing has just been very sad. I think, as Kevin Rudd has said, that the guy seems to have problems recognizing what is true and what isn't.

I hope that Latham would be a good leader for the ALP and maybe for the country, in hindsight it doesn't look like he was good for either. However, I'm still glad I voted for the ALP. If Latham turned out to be a disaster, then he would have been booted out for someone better...

September 21, 2005 10:20 pm  
Anonymous ed said...

I think there's more to this than is conveyed by media reports of the diary. Sure he's behaving a little petulantly about the whole thing now but I reckon I'd be just as frustrated after such a long campaign of provocation by the media and after battling a diseased Party system for ten years. Have you read the book, Lisa? Very much worth it -- gives greater context to the juicy bits published in excerpts.

September 27, 2005 5:16 pm  
Blogger Lisa said...

Yes Ed, that is likely true. Also I didn't have a chance to read the book yet, but have been enjoying the excerpts posted by Ari at his blog.

Thank you Mick. Likewise appreciate your blog a lot. I'm also glad I voted for ALP at last election (otherwise Kate Ellis possibly wouldn't have been in that pub with Latham to make a silly story out of it). Nah, mostly because I'd like the election results to be as close as possible and didn't want Liberal having an even larger margin.

September 29, 2005 9:05 pm  
Blogger ffff said...

So glad to see some interesting and 'normal' responses to the Latham situation. Seeing Andrew Denton did give me an insight into his real self. I feel sorry for Australia to have wasted so much time when it is Howard we should be examining and exposing. Ah well.

October 01, 2005 4:47 pm  

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