December 08, 2003


Mark Latham is the new Alexander Downer, writes Glenn Milne:

Consider the parallels. Both were the same age when they were elected; 42. Both had been in parliament 10 years. And the last position each occupied was that of shadow Treasurer. But whereas Latham never even went close to taking any skin off Peter Costello's nose, Downer had done real damage to his opposite number, John Dawkins.

Well, heís almost the new Alexander Downer. Pro- and anti-Latham opinion continues to swamp letters pages; this from Lenore Kulakauskas:

Whether appropriate or not, it is interesting to note that Mark Latham in front of the American flag retains his personal and cultural identity, whereas John Howard in cohort with anything American morphs into a simpering sycophant.

And from Caroline Chan:

I am disgusted by the comments of Gabrielle Gwyther, Mark Latham's former wife.

Her petty attacks clearly demonstrate that she has not managed to put the past behind her. Instead, by claiming Latham thinks he is "God's gift to the universe", she has shown that she still carries a chip on her shoulder. Latham, on the other hand, demonstrated more maturity in conceding that she is entitled to her opinion.

Move on, Gabrielle, Mark has.

The sisterhood ainít what it used to be.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 8, 2003 08:35 AM

I read an article in The Weekend Australian which argued that Latham should be compared against John Hewson. Can't remember the exact details of the comparison now, but I think it holds up better than Milne's Alexander Downer comparison.

Posted by: Jethro at December 8, 2003 at 09:27 AM

It's about time Latham said something about Latham. He seems to be a bit of a Wizard of Oz figure at the moment. Everyone is projecting their hopes and fears onto him because he's a relatively blank canvas.

Posted by: PK at December 8, 2003 at 09:53 AM

I have to shake my head at the first comment written as regards Latham and his relationship with the USA.

I've tried to rationalize exactly why people hate Howard so much, it has got to the point that people's individual hatred blurs any real argument they may have. In the example above, Latham has proved to be a hypocrite.

Laugh at Howard all you like and call him a lap dog of the US, though at least he is consistent.

Its amazing that someone viewing the scene with the US flags placed as a cynical gesture can be so blinded.

Posted by: nic at December 8, 2003 at 10:06 AM

Over the last couple of years it has become clear that the Womyns Movement has a blind spot the size of Jupiter.

Their new philosophy is:

Men are scum ... unless they are left wing or "progressive" or hate Jews or like to kill their own people by the hundereds of thousands. Then they are ok. And if they hate George Bush there is no sin that won't be forgiven or swept under the rug. Or ignored.

Women can be anything they want to be ... except conservative or right wing or whatever you want to call it.

Posted by: Bruce at December 8, 2003 at 10:06 AM

`Persoanl' and `cultural' `identity' are in any case meaningless vulgarisms, and the navel gazing pre-occupation of the vertically challenged.

Posted by: d at December 8, 2003 at 10:24 AM

Bruce- except at universities, nobody pays any attention to those nuts.

I had to deprogram a male co-worker who had recently graduated. I raised his consciousness, I guess you could say.

Posted by: Donnah at December 8, 2003 at 10:27 AM

They were equally as duplicitous over the rampant misogyny of Clinton when he was in the White House (and we know why it was white when Bubba was loose in the place, sans trousers). Clinton could do no wrong- all he had to do was bat his eyes, mouth some glib platitudes and throw some public money at the harpies, and they loved him.
Feminists do more damage to the credibility of females than an entire coterie of simpering supermodels.

Posted by: Habib at December 8, 2003 at 10:34 AM

One of Gwyther's 'criticisms' of her ex-husband Latham was that he 'forbad feminist literature in the house'.

Hey Gabs, are you really sure you want to co-habit with the kind of guy that has Stein, Dworkin, de Beauvoir and Greer lying around on the coffee table?

Posted by: ilibcc at December 8, 2003 at 10:44 AM

Donnah's consciousness-raising course ... where do we sign up?

Posted by: tim at December 8, 2003 at 10:55 AM

Do you really think they damage the credibility of females, Habib? I sure hope not. I think they damage the credibility of feminists is all.

Posted by: Donnah at December 8, 2003 at 10:57 AM

Latham: the blogosphere's Rosarsch blot test.

Posted by: Jack Strocchi at December 8, 2003 at 11:15 AM

I'm not kidding you, Tim, he was arguing with me about what women think about various things, giving me the whole NOW line. I had him practice saying things like "Who cares what a bunch of man-haters think?" and "Most women want babies".

At first he looked pretty nervous, then he got into the spirit of things as the mental chains snapped and he became more liberated.

Then I filed a harassment complaint against him and got his a$$ fired. Just kidding.

Posted by: Donnah at December 8, 2003 at 11:18 AM

As Latham is to the blogosphere, Andrew Bartlett is to the blottosphere.

Posted by: tim at December 8, 2003 at 11:30 AM

Donnah, he needs his ass fired anyway if it took a woman to program him and then another (no insult intended to you, only to him) to deprogram him.

Like, make up your own mind, man.

Posted by: ilibcc at December 8, 2003 at 11:38 AM

Well, my theory is that a lot of these young guys haven't had any male role models. I know he didn't. Then in school they learn that they're evil male oppressors. It's got to be confusing for a lot of young fellows.

Posted by: Donnah at December 8, 2003 at 11:50 AM

It's more confusing that so many University students so easily go along with the crowd, considering that the supposed purpose of said instituiton is to stimulate independent thought.

Posted by: gaz at December 8, 2003 at 12:01 PM

Gaz, most people are followers, though, no matter where they are; and I'm not so sure colleges are about stimulating independent thought anymore.

I gave him Katie Roiphe's _The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus_, then we had a "rap session" about it.

Posted by: Donnah at December 8, 2003 at 12:31 PM

Donnah- the only females that get any attention from the media are usually feminazi ratbags and lefty ideologues; if that is your sole source of information, it tends to make people think that all females think likewise.
Fortunately I live with and know a lot of other females who think very differently- none of them have newspaper columns (with the exception of Janet Albrechtsen, who is portrayed as some sort of neo-con stooge).
Get yourself in the media, for Christ's sake!

Posted by: Habib at December 8, 2003 at 01:03 PM

My wife decided (on her own, of course) before I met her that any of those idiot feminists that got in her face would get her ass kicked. Just one of the many reasons I love her. (On the other hand, she's been known to threaten me, too.)

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at December 8, 2003 at 01:26 PM

I ponder if Bartlett is taking over from Latham as head bovver boy.He hasn't quite got the hang of it yet.

Posted by: d at December 8, 2003 at 03:03 PM

Donnah's conciousness-raising course obviously lacked the one essential stress-release the poor guy wanted - a quick nob polish.

Posted by: freddyboy at December 8, 2003 at 03:53 PM

T'is a cruel world we live in, Frederick.

Posted by: Donnah at December 8, 2003 at 04:36 PM