December 06, 2003


Having decided in October that Mark Latham was supine, then reversed course on December 3 to write that Latham was the real thing, Alan Ramsey now believes him to be a snivelling groveller:

What on earth was the man who called John Howard "an arselicker" of George Bush doing on Thursday grovelling before the American flag? Why did our new, very green alternative prime minister feel the need to humiliate himself so publicly? ... I mean, what a grovel? What a truly snivelling statement three days into the "new dawn" of Labor's "new beginning"?

Superheated Al isnít coping very easily with the new Labor leader. Neither is the Labor Party:

Labor leader Mark Latham has suffered his first setback at the hands of his party's national executive, which has rebuffed his appeal to save the preselection of a close supporter.

They rebuffed a man known among friends as Osama bin Latham? This is gonna get bloody.

UPDATE. The anti-US lobby is angry at Lathamís about-face:

What a disappointment Mark Latham has turned out to be. After rejoicing that , for the first time in Australian political history, we had a potential leader who was willing and able to stand up to the US, Mr Latham starts backpedalling as quickly as he can as soon as he gets a whiff of leadership.

Two days into the job and he's become an arselicker.

Matthew Adams, St Ives, December 5

And in The Age:

I was genuinely excited at the appointment of Mark Latham as Labor leader. At long last a straight-talking, upfront, no-nonsense kind of guy who reflects my beliefs that we should not be pandering to the Americans - the sort of leader seemingly in touch with real Australians.

In a matter of days my excitement has been shattered as Latham does a complete about-face, stands there with the American flag behind him, sucking up to the American embassy. One wonders who's the "arse-licker" now. Sorry, Mark, you just lost my vote. I want a strong, reliable and true-to-his-word guy to lead this country. While I disagree with John Howard's policies, at least he doesn't change his tune every five minutes.

Craig Cahill, Upwey

Posted by Tim Blair at December 6, 2003 02:16 AM

No kidding, take a look at his website. Poor bloke's about to snap. Gonna be pretty funny to watch.

Posted by: gaz at December 6, 2003 at 05:20 AM

a snapping knacker lacker? cool!

Posted by: roscoe at December 6, 2003 at 09:07 AM

"30 local Labor families and the patrons of the Green Valley pub each chipped in $2 a week for three years to keep him at Sydney University." Why didn't Latham get a part-time job like the rest of us westies who went to university. Talk about a sense of entitlement.

Posted by: JoeJr at December 6, 2003 at 09:37 AM

Their dissapointment amuses me, as does their naivete in the strength of a politician's convictions. Check out Ruth Gills letter right after Adams' though. (Something about that name.) For every bitter malcontent there's somebody fairly switched on.

Posted by: gaz at December 6, 2003 at 11:07 AM

Bit rich to talk about Cookie's preselection loss as a rebuff to Latham. Do you even know the facts of the case? Greg Sword's Victorian faction wants WA to change its preselection. There is no precedent for such intervention, and Latham couldn't have expected to have succeeded -- he was just speaking up for a mate whose time is past.

And the whole Ramsey thing is just ridiculous. Ramsey said Latham was supine on the war/US, the real thing as Labor leader, and now he's grovelling on the war/US. Wow, such amazing backflips! Oh no, wait, he's just maintained his previous position.

Posted by: Robert at December 6, 2003 at 11:22 AM

Amid all this silliness is there no sympathy for the poor flag for to endure all of this silliness?

Posted by: S.A. Smith at December 6, 2003 at 11:59 AM

Silliness, silliness, silliness. I really must start previewing my posts.

Posted by: S.A. Smith at December 6, 2003 at 12:00 PM

Didn't Keating say that Latham's leadership signalled an end to factionalism?

On Ramsey: give me a break, mate. How can "the real thing" also be a "sniveller, groveller" etc? How can someone who is as supine as the rest of the ALP become the "real thing" as leader?

Posted by: tim at December 6, 2003 at 02:15 PM

Um, yeah, but why would you believe Keating?

As supine as the rest of the ALP on one specific issue. In any case, if the rest of the party are supine wouldn't it take someone just as supine to be "the real thing" as their leader?

Posted by: Robert at December 6, 2003 at 02:58 PM


Posted by: tim at December 6, 2003 at 03:01 PM

It's funny, the same day Latham appeared on the evening news with an American flag behind him, he had appeared on ABC radio telling schoolchildren that he stood by his anti-American comments six months ago. It's called "straddling the fence", and may end in some discomfort for Mr Latham.

Posted by: Clem Snide at December 6, 2003 at 04:35 PM