December 11, 2003


Mark Latham is getting friendly with sinister Murdoch henchmen:

News chief executive John Hartigan is cautiously optimistic about re-establishing a working relationship with the former Daily Telegraph columnist.

"I've always had a regard for Mark, that's why we employed him," says Hartigan. "Now he's leader I understand we're going to see a different person. I look forward to that."

Recently, Latham has attended private briefings with senior staff on The Australian. "Since he became shadow treasurer our relationship has been quite cordial," editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell says.

Latham may be turning into Australia’s Howard Dean, adopting whatever position he thinks will earn him favour:

The old Dean was a free trader. The new Dean is not. The old Dean was open to Medicare reform. The new Dean says Medicare is off the table. The old Dean courted the N.R.A.; the new Dean has swung in favor of gun control.

UPDATE. John Howard is all things to all people, too. He’s simultaneously the liberator of the Solomons and the crusher of Zimbabwean autonomy.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 11, 2003 04:57 AM

Shame on you, Tim Blair.

Howard is the genetically modified crusher of Zimbabwean autonomy.

How can you omit such crucial facts and claim to be an impartial observer of events?

Posted by: Carey Gage at December 11, 2003 at 05:35 AM

Latham's attempt being friendly with the Murdoch press isn't rubbing off on The Australian's Greg Sheridan. See his latest article for example.

Posted by: Jethro at December 11, 2003 at 08:32 AM

Tim writes:

adopting whatever position he thinks will earn him favour

Who woulda thunk you would see that kind of behaviour from a politician?

Posted by: Jethro at December 11, 2003 at 08:36 AM

TB is quite correct to pinpoint Howard's political, um...flexibility.
It was Howard who has variously oppposed and supported:

  • Medicare

  • GST

  • Asian immigration

Howard is the best man for the top job in times of war, but he is still a politician.

Posted by: Jack Strocchi at December 11, 2003 at 09:08 AM

Is it a prerequisite that you have to be retarded to be in Mugabe's government? Still, if Howard is provoking this kind of response then it means he's doing something right. (but reacting like immature,scolded children??) Imagine though the uproar if Howard had responded in kind to Mugabe's stupid comments last week about being a genetically altered criminal? I doubt though if there would be a strong enough tree in Africa to hold Mugabe though.

Posted by: Ross Carroll at December 11, 2003 at 12:53 PM