December 02, 2003


Kim Beazley leads as Labor’s less-popular version of Australian Idol enters its final day. He’s got the support of Australia’s biggest and most influential unions, too, although Australia’s unions are neither big nor influential. Kind of like Kevin Rudd, who says the Beazley-Latham duel is too close to call.

Both men would lose to NSW premier Bob Carr if the public was voting. Who’d want to lead Labor anyway? The entire party is riven with treachery. Simon Crean and Marn Ferson (his own pronunciation) aren’t speaking. If the personal is political, this party is pathological.

I don’t even know what that means, so here’s what the pundits are saying:

Gerard Henderson thinks Mark Latham is a blunderer who may shed more votes than he can attract. Piers Akerman believes Latham is hyped by an easily-gulled press pack eager for Keatingesque conflict. (Keating’s support for Latham prompts a fine Tim Dunlop observation: “What I want to know is how Kim Beazley and his minders managed to organise this?”) And P.P. McGuinness warns of Carmen Lawrence’s lurking menace, supported by that class of Australians who “put one hand on their hearts to declare their concerns for the poor and disadvantaged while putting the other hand in the public purse for themselves.” The leadership dispute is killing The Age’s Ron Tandberg, who craves a commie candidate. Keep on drawing the sad little people, Ron. Keep on drawing them forever.

The only genuine winner likely to emerge from today’s vote is, as usual, John Howard, now returned to a six-month high in opinion polls. So, who’s my tip to take over as senior lemon of the ALP? Latham ... by fewer than five votes. Although I’d prefer Jennifer Collins, who really knows how to work the Labor machine.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 2, 2003 02:01 AM

Re the PIERS AKERMAN commentary
He used the phrase "Mutual Masturbation" when discussing the Canberra politico-media elite. Hmm, not something you’d likely hear about in the Nytimes when discussing life inside the Beltway. But then again Australians are perhaps more forthright.

Posted by: Frank Burdett at December 2, 2003 at 06:50 AM

Carr may be attractive to NSW voters but he has zero profile in my neck of the woods. He looks too effete to be popular here. I remember someone telling me that he had an unnatural relationship with a Blue Groper.

Posted by: Pig Head Sucker at December 2, 2003 at 08:45 AM