February 18, 2004


Mark Latham supports free trade:

Tariffs and other forms of protection are the economic equivalent of racism. They encourage Australians to think poorly of people from other countries and to believe that we would be better off isolated from the rest of the world.

Wait a second; he opposes free trade:

Speaking in the heart of the motor industry, in Adelaide, Mr Latham said he opposed the proposed cut in car tariffs from 15 per cent to 5 per cent without a thorough review.

Today he supports free trade again:

Labor may abandon its opposition to a free trade deal with the United States after party leader Mark Latham today argued an inquiry may find it is in Australia's national interest.

But only a week or so ago he opposed free trade:

"If we were asked to vote on it today or in the parliament tomorrow we would be opposing it," said Labor leader Mark Latham. "It is not a free-trade agreement at all, it's a partial trade agreement that from our assessment this morning is not in Australia's interest."

The press went nuts over Howard’s perceived backflip on the relatively minor issue of parliamentary superannuation. How will they treat Latham’s somersaults on an issue so vital as trade?

(The Gnu Hunter has more on Rotating Mark.)

Posted by Tim Blair at February 18, 2004 10:25 PM

Most likely with apathy. The majority of them (including males, it seems) want to have his babies.

Posted by: Phil at February 19, 2004 at 12:26 AM

Sooner or later some over-ambitious middle-ranking Liberal MP will recognise your talent and give you a job. Then, eventually, you can retire on a staffer's pension.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at February 19, 2004 at 05:30 AM

Sooner or later some over-ambitious middle-ranking pimp will give you a job Miranda. Then you can fuck off and leave us all alone.

Posted by: Quentin George at February 19, 2004 at 06:22 AM

The media are deperate for there to be a real fight in the next general election. And the average journalist leans to the left politically anyway. So one would expect them to give Latham a good run. Unfortunately for him, the real movers and shakers (ie those at the top and those in the marginal seats) don't really give a stuff what the ABC and the SMH/Age say. Such organs are for the half-educated pseuds who think they are classy because they discovered lattes in 1995.

Posted by: Toryhere at February 19, 2004 at 07:14 AM

Heard on ABC news last night (this is not a verbatim quote, this is a paraphrase):

"Mark Latham says he will support a free trade deal with the US if it is in the national interest. This represents a turn-around from last week, when he said he would oppose a free trade deal with the US"

My immediate thought: so previously, Latham was going to oppose a free trade deal, even if it was in the national interest?

Posted by: TimT at February 19, 2004 at 07:55 AM

`Only a partial agreement'... nothing is better than nothing, it seems. Watch out for the white coated types, Lathy.

Posted by: d at February 19, 2004 at 08:46 AM

ahem: `...nothing is better than something,it seems.'

Posted by: d at February 19, 2004 at 08:47 AM

Latham's inconsistencies are evidence of a Labor Party with a fractured agenda. You have to feel sorry for the man. Where are all the Opposition spokesmen? Hiding? Afraid to speak?

Posted by: ilibcc at February 19, 2004 at 10:33 AM

With regard to the Superannuation thing; we've all heard about the whinging that went on in the coalition party room (see 'Turkey' Ramseys' feb 14 column at http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/alanramsey/ )

Has anyone got 'off the record' opinions from the labour candidates in the marginals that Labour need to pick up to win the election ?

Posted by: magoo at February 19, 2004 at 11:47 AM

Miranda just gets stupider every month, doesn't she? It's a phenomena worth speculating about.

Posted by: John Nowak at February 19, 2004 at 03:13 PM