July 20, 2004


You donít need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. You just need Phillip Adams, who unfailingly blows counter to prevailing trends. Back when Mark Latham was a popular new Labor leader, Adams trashed him:

Latham's economic rationalism and ridicule of the Left's "rights agenda" would preserve the domestic status quo. Forget the refugees. Forget reconciliation ... Instead we'd have more of Howard's picket fence, razor wire politics.

But now, with Latham sagging, Adams (hesitantly) jumps aboard an emptying bandwagon:

From the outset I feared the worst and, from time to time, we've glimpsed it. What I didn't expect was that, for all his wrong notes, Latham would strike a chord.

Well, Latham sure has struck something:

The personal satisfaction rating of the Opposition Leader has dropped to its lowest this year after hitting a record high in March.

According to the latest Newspoll survey, taken exclusively for The Australian last weekend, the Coalition's primary vote was steady on 43per cent and Labor's dipped slightly to 40per cent.

The latest ACNielsen Herald poll tells a similar story:

Support for Labor has dropped to its lowest point since Mark Latham won the party's federal leadership, with the Coalition clearly ahead on the primary vote and the ALP relying heavily on Greens preferences to scrape together an election victory.

Free-trader Latham crawling to victory on protectionist Greens preferences? Thatíd be fun to see.

UPDATE: "It is not the raw numbers in today's AgePoll that will give Mark Latham cause for concern. It's the trend."

Posted by Tim Blair at July 20, 2004 07:12 AM

Subterranean Homesick Blues?

Same line the Weathermen copped their name from, IIRC...

Posted by: mojo at July 20, 2004 at 08:05 AM

It always freaks me out when, from my government office here in Washington, D.C., I come to your site and see that date at the top and it's bloody tomorrow! I thought, with our empire and all, we had fixed that. Goddamnit. Hey, Bush lied again!

This has nothing to do with your post. Your bandwidth is nice and cozy.

Posted by: sligobob at July 20, 2004 at 08:20 AM

hey sligobob you will have to just get used to the fct that we are a bit ahead of you down here

Posted by: mike.a at July 20, 2004 at 08:46 AM

Mr Latham last night rejected claims that he had misled Parliament over his financial management while mayor of Liverpool between 1991 and 1994. The ABC's Lateline quoted council advisers who said Mr Latham's policies had left the council finances worse off. But Mr Latham said the figure no one challenged was that, under his administration, the council's debt servicing ratio fell from 17.2 per cent to 10 per cent.

What a crock. I imagine it is the only figure he can find which shows an improvement in Liverpool council's figures.

But that improvement would have little to do with Latham - interest rates fell over that period.

Posted by: 2dogs at July 20, 2004 at 10:10 AM

Not so much a windsock, more like a sagging old condom.

Posted by: Freddyboy at July 20, 2004 at 10:14 AM

Free-trader Latham crawling to victory on protectionist Greens preferences? Thatíd be fun to see.

Yeah, but only fun in a can't-take-my-eyes-off-the-car-crash kinda way. I'm sure you wouldn't want that as your actual government. (We've got that here, and it's not a pretty sight.)

Posted by: PW at July 20, 2004 at 10:22 AM

Speaking of Lateline. When we speak of ABC bias the auditors tend to look at the transcript, not the open displays of love and affection shown in the manner of the presenter last night.

If he could have given Latham a quiet, loving shag out the back he would have. All Latham had to do to get it would have been to lean over and give him the kiss he so obviously craved.

Posted by: Allan at July 20, 2004 at 11:25 AM

do some research and find out if there is any correlation between a preferred PM or Leader's satisfaction rating and what the party vote is.

hint think negative.

Posted by: Homer Paxton at July 20, 2004 at 11:39 AM

Homer, since it appears you've already done such research, please do share. I'm sure everybody here will be interested to read your well-reasoned post.

Posted by: PW at July 20, 2004 at 11:47 AM

Homey, you dumping the "Iron Mark" tag for Latham now? how's about using "Boiled potato-head Latham" or "The one-nut thug Latham" or "Meat and one veg Latham"? -- I cant see "Knacker Lacker Latham" being bothered by having to suck up to the Greens; he strikes me as the kinda guy that would suck dicks if it meant he could be Prime Minister.

Posted by: rocsoe at July 20, 2004 at 12:44 PM

More airily smug copy delivered by Adams from on high, boasting once again his position at front and centre of Australian court life, ex-Prime Ministers at hand for instant consultations about anything it occurs to Adams to ask:

'I asked Paul Keating what he thought. He repeated something he'd told Latham. "People like the wild boar, not the processed ham," he'd said.'

No, stupid: people like policy, not personality. Latham has none of the former and is still to release any significant economic policy at all.

Posted by: ilibcc at July 20, 2004 at 01:28 PM

Me hate Phil. He bad man. Copy my work.

Posted by: Dirk Moses at July 20, 2004 at 01:31 PM

If this doesn't spell the beginning of the end for Lacker, then the nation is heading for a deep dung experience.
MARK Latham has declared that the looming election will be fought on social problems rather than broad economic issues, dismissing the clamour for tax and budget policies as elitist.
This comes in the wake of 30-year low unemployment, 5pc interest rates, year after year of controllable growth and record high levels of asset ownership.

Posted by: slatts at July 20, 2004 at 02:01 PM

The real reason for months of horseshit about reading, junk food, advertising bans, dirt units and the rest has finally been revealed. On the economic front, Costello and Howard will slaughter the ALP on the hustings.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at July 20, 2004 at 03:50 PM

Didn't Mikey M. come out and tell you guys to get rid of Howard?

Good God, does he have the same power as Prince Al?

Posted by: Sandy P at July 20, 2004 at 04:18 PM

Allan, I kinda got that feeling witching Lateline last night as Taliban Tony asked his lovemaster Latham the 'hard' questions. Boy it must have been hard to lightly grill, and I mean medium rare, his butt buddy Latham over his figures he quoted in Parliament last month.

Latham (RE:Budget Summary)" : "The Liverpool councils budget figures were a surplus of +$1,650,000". Lie!!

STEPHEN McDONELL(Lateline): "The figures were actually a Budget deficit of $2,752,000" Truth!!

By the way, has anybody seen the Budget Summary that Latham was referring to? Seems the Liverpool council aren't aware of its existance...

Sorry this isn't linked, but it is the transcript of the interview with Harrington about Latham's fiscal inneptitude and how easily Latham finds it to lie.

This also from Price waterhous & Coopers Dennis Banicevic on Lathams policies at the Liverpool council;
Banicevic told the recent inquiry that, following the introduction of Mr Latham's purchaser/provider scheme, "Liverpool Council's benchmarks, its financial indicators, had deteriorated to the point that it then triggered a warning at the Department of Local Government."

Like I said before, "This dickhead wants to run the country???"

Posted by: scott at July 20, 2004 at 06:26 PM