January 23, 2004


Mark Latham two days ago:

Opposition leader Mark Latham said today he was not really politically correct.

Mark Latham today:

Mark Latham will next week announce a ban on accepting political donations from tobacco companies.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 23, 2004 11:45 AM

Refusing donations from tobacco companies is an example of "political correctness"?

Some might call it "principled".

Posted by: Mork at January 23, 2004 at 11:49 AM

Principles and Labor? Are you kidding Mork?
They would be really pricipled if they rejected money from facist, multi-national organisations such as Greeenpeace.

Posted by: Toryhere at January 23, 2004 at 12:05 PM

'principled' would be to stand on his hind legs and state that, due to tobacco killing people, he would ban tobacco completely from Australia when elected, and fully compensate all industry participants for their economic losses.

As it is, he's just a posturing wanker, as is anyone who would call his position 'principled'.

Posted by: Paul Johnson at January 23, 2004 at 12:10 PM

Tori - since when does Greenpeace donate to Labor?

Posted by: Mork at January 23, 2004 at 12:11 PM


Since tobacco companies have been.

The poit is that if Latham had principle he would rip into Greenpeace (which has recently been shown to be fiddling its books and engaging in some very dodgy coprarte racketeering)rather than beating up on the tobacco companies. Picking on Soft targets will not make the ALP electable

Posted by: Toryhere at January 23, 2004 at 12:24 PM

"rather than"


"in addition to"...

Better adjust your skirt Tory, your biases are showing.

Posted by: LD at January 23, 2004 at 12:47 PM

But of course political parties should take money from tobacco companies because they'll have less to make cigarettes with and less people will die of cancer.

Anyone want to go for that argument? Anyone?

Posted by: Adam at January 23, 2004 at 12:48 PM

You are PC dude.

To be PC is the only reason to get up on your moral high-horse against tobacco companies. They are selling a legal product to consenting, fully informed, adults. And have done for years. When I started smoking (back in 1972) every man and his dog (and the occasional shiela) knew that tobacco was harmful. The slang for cigarettes was 'cancer-sticks' and 'coffin-nails'.

It shits me to see people who started smoking back then sueing the tobacco companies saying "I didn't know - boo-hoo". Bullshit they didn't know. Everyone knew.

And I gave up smoking in 1981 because it was bad for me. My choice. Open to everyone else to choose too.

Why not pick on liquor manufacturers ? Lots of health problems and premature death there. What about parachute manufacturers ? That would stop all those sky-diving accidents.

Why not usher in restrictions on the manufacture of every single item that increases risk in any way shape or form ? Lets start with Ducati - can't have young men seduced by sexy dago bikes into EXCEEDING SAFE RIDING SPEEDS can we ?

Posted by: Arik at January 23, 2004 at 12:52 PM

"sexy dago bikes" - Gold!

When my Aprilia arrives, I am going to get a t-shirt made with that on it...

Posted by: Paul at January 23, 2004 at 01:14 PM

Of course I am biased!! We are all biased here; that's what comments sections on blogs are for. Of course, in my view, I am merely biased towards the truth. And in my book that is the best definition of objectivity you will find anywhere.

Mr Latham and his party, if they want to occupy the Government benches in Parliament, have to win back consituencies such as Paterson, Hughes, MacCarthur and Lindsay whilst holding seats like Barton and Banks. I would suggest that these are all constituencies with a high proportion of those Australians who like a cigarette and a beer. Attacking tobacco companies will not win the Labor Party many votes in these areas. But if Latham were seen having a go at the self-righteous on the left (the odious Greenpeace being merely an example) he may at least give some indication that he understands the things that motivate the outer suburban voters.

Making anti-tobacco noises is only appealing to the half-educated pseuds in Balmain who would vote Labor or Green anyway.

Posted by: Toryhere at January 23, 2004 at 01:34 PM

i say we ban cats too! they're dangerous when you try to bathe them x_x oh well, least i don't need to sing "smelly cat" anymore.

Posted by: samkit at January 23, 2004 at 01:49 PM

"can't have young men seduced by sexy dago bikes"....
it's the young women who fall for the charms of Ducati.... my daughter rides one, and her husband pilots a Buell......and they are the local funeral directors

Posted by: Galen at January 23, 2004 at 02:06 PM

Sure, you can use my beautifully crafted phrases on your T-Shirt - BUT ONLY: if you make a donation to those kids who have been orphaned by terrorist bombings in Israel - there are 439 children who now have no parents because a sick twisted Islamist blew them up.

Go here to donate: One Family

Posted by: Arik at January 23, 2004 at 03:33 PM

On a related topic, it wasn't that long ago that the Salvation army turned down a very large donation from Tabcorp, a company that owns pokie machines.
The salvos argued that they would not accept money from a company that they claimed helped cause many of the problems that they had to help sort out.
Tabcorp said that they realised that there were some problem gamblers, and that this was a way that they could 'do the right thing'.
Though i realise that some will refuse to believe anything done by a corporation is anything but evil, it is interesting to note that the donation only became public when the salvos rejected it. Tabcorp had not publicised the fact that they were giving (i think) about $5 million..

Posted by: Paul at January 23, 2004 at 03:55 PM


First - did you donate some shekels yet ? How can you sink that lager while orphans are crying ? Beast!

Nextly: The Salvo's are right. They would be compromising their mission to accept money from a Corporation that they are duty bound to advise their clients to avoid like the plague.

Would be the same for an Anti-Smoking charity to accept money from Phillip Morris, or PETA to accept money from Live Animal Testing Corporation, Pty Ltd. It places a reasonable suspicion over the strength of their convictions ...

The Labour Party isn't a single mission charity - it should be the opposite, with the interests of ALL Australians in its purview, including smokers, cigarette manufacturers and Ducati riders ...

Posted by: Arik at January 23, 2004 at 04:23 PM

Do the Salvos still shake the tin at pubs? I always thought this to be a bit dodgey considering their hardline stance on the evils of alcohol.

Mind you, I always gave generously. It's my pension plan.

Posted by: Fidens at January 23, 2004 at 04:43 PM

Knacker Lacker should go the whole hog and refuse to take taxes from tobacco companies.

Posted by: slatts at January 23, 2004 at 04:51 PM

Very clever politician playing to both sides.

Assuring many that he's not going to be held hostage by the 'PC Police' = He's his own man and will stand on his own.

Hedging his bet by caving into the fashionable tobacco/smokers = new lepers crowd. He won't take such 'dirty' money.

People who smoke are needed by the PC crowd. They are needed because the PC crowd can feel morally superior to them. All that righteous indignation can be vented upon the hapless smokers.

There are very few non-political groups the 'PC Crowd' can feel superior towards. Smokers are fair game and have the added advantage of being brainwashed,themselves, by pseudo-science into believing they are killing others who inhale second hand smoke.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at January 23, 2004 at 06:26 PM

'Mono-nut' Latham's trying so hard to please everybody that he's going to end up pleasing no-one,including himself.

Posted by: Drago Milovechek at January 23, 2004 at 06:59 PM

I think they should go the whole way.

Only allow political parties to collect contributions from those eligible to vote.

I see any entity which cannot vote yet gives money to a political party as a straight bribe. That goes for melons like Greenpeace as well as free-market organisations.

Anyway the moral good of a company is to make a profit! Give that money to shareholders to decide how to spend.

Posted by: Rob Read at January 23, 2004 at 10:23 PM