December 05, 2003


Margo Kingston’s awesome reverse-prediction powers have ended wars (she foresaw a long conflict in Afghanistan), elected governments (she thought the Tampa episode would damage John Howard), inverted polls (she anticipated collapsed post-war ratings for Bush, Blair, and Howard), destroyed careers (she believed Pauline Hanson would be hugely influential), and boosted international markets. The other day she deployed her uncanny Webdiary voodoo to appoint Mark Latham as Labor leader:

As I write, Kim Beazley has the numbers and the game looks over.

Her latest crucial prediction bears watching:

Can Latham rise to the occasion? Yes. Will he? Probably. Can he win the election? Probably not.

Place your bets.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 5, 2003 10:34 PM

Margo's prediction should be re-worded as follows:

Can Latham rise to the occasion? Yes. Will he? Probably. Can he win the election? Yes. Will he? Probably not.

Maybe all her fuck-ups are due to problems with semantics.

I'm just trying to rationalize here.

Posted by: Cruddrick at December 5, 2003 at 11:04 PM

I am not surprised that you didn't mention the letter from a Web Diary reader (Robert Bosler)that she sent Latham before the vote. It pretty well Fisks itself I guess but you would expect that someone who says they "live for art, and strive for beauty" would take the liberty to ensure that their letter reflects this attitude. Like shooting fish in a barrel I guess, or serving turkey at thanksgiving?

Posted by: Rob at December 5, 2003 at 11:06 PM

Margo got dat mojo workin' Latham will not win.

Posted by: Rich Cook at December 6, 2003 at 03:31 AM

I'm no fan of Margo's, but I can't help but think that you are wrong. Again.

Afghanistan - notice that the Taliban are conducting offensives against the US-backed warlords, some of whom are fighting each other, and Karzai is President of Kabul and nothing else? The most powerful military ever invaded in 2001. It's now two years later, with no end in sight. Sounds like a long conflict to me.

Tampa - Margo was dead wrong here, politically speaking. Though if I was Christian, I'd say it damaged Howard morally.

Ratings - these did collapse for Bush and Blair, especially Blair, but not Howard. So she was a mostly right that time.

Hanson - surely you watched as she became more influential than the Democrats or Greens? Surely you saw the Howard Government adopt some of her policies? Dear Pauline is no longer hugely influential, but she once was.

International markets - quote from your own source: "Jack, it's a joke, a cheap shot. Relax."

As for Latham, that's the same prediction made by almost everybody, including most of the media. Did you hear the gasp of surprise when the result was announced? Did you see the confusion on Latham's own face at the prospect? I guess Margo is in good company on this score.

How would your powers of prediction hold up under similar scrutiny, I wonder?

Posted by: fatfingers at December 7, 2003 at 09:06 AM