September 30, 2004


Sounds like Matt Price is becoming a little bored with Mark Latham's raging sense of self:

Remove the perpendicular pronoun from Latham's impeccably delivered 41-minute speech and it might have finished under half an hour ... I say. I will. I want. My life. My home. In Latham's view, Labor's campaign is the extension of his life story where he, Janine and the boys live happily ever after at The Lodge.

"It is I, come to rescue you all. Do not be afraid, little ones."

Latham’s still at it today:

"I'm not a choker, I don't get the wobbles, I'm advancing good policies for the benefit of the Australian people ... At my age, 43, I'm in the prime of my life, I've got a lot to offer the country ... I'm giving the Australian people the guarantee (that) Mr Howard won't, that I'll serve a full term ... I'm there for the long haul fight against terrorism, to build up our health and education systems."

Please stop talking! In other election news:

• An insane telephone retailer is threatening to sue Mr. I,I,I, Me, Me, Me.

• John Howard’s often-mocked fondness for white picket fences is shared by one of his musical heroes.

• The new Jeebus party wants to charge all Internet users $7 to $10 every year so it can reduce the amount of material you can access.

• Professor Bunyip is not impressed by Medicare Old.

UPDATE. ABC election nerd Antony Green calls it for Howard:

John Howard will lose seats, win the election narrowly and announce his retirement at the first sign of economic downturn.

Mark Latham will keep surging in popularity and lead Labor to victory - in three years.

I’m still leaning to Latham, although his weakness on Ivan Milat-Molloy is damaging:

On Brisbane radio 4BC today Mr Latham denied he had anything to do with Dr Molloy cancelling at the last minute an interview he had agreed to with the radio station today.

Mr Latham said he was not aware of any contact between Dr Molloy and the ALP about the interview, after being told that Dr Molloy had told the program's producer that the party did not want him to talk.

Pressed on the issue of whether he believed Dr Molloy should be disendorsed and whether he found him an embarrassment to Labor, Mr Latham again shied away.

Wimp. Perhaps Latham is spooked by this comment:

Molloy doesn't want to talk, is waiting for a call from head office, promises to "unload" if they dump him.

Greg Sheridan has lots more.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 30, 2004 04:47 PM

Latham's new campaign theme:

*I'm* a picker
*I'm* a grinner
*I'm* a lover
And *I'm* a sinner
*I* play *my* music in the sun

*I'm* a joker
*I'm* a smoker
*I'm* a midnight toker
*I* get *my* lovin' on the run

Wooo Woooo
Wooo Hooooo

Posted by: George at September 30, 2004 at 05:41 PM

A slightly disturbing confession by David Marr in his opinion piece in today's Herald:

"I work to shape opinion. For a long time I believed that winning over the majority - even if way down the track - was what it was all about."

That's nice David, but don't you think that's kinda in conflict with your job description as "journalist"???

Posted by: Jorge at September 30, 2004 at 05:48 PM

I am so very concerned that many people will fall for Mark Latham's Policies and will vote him in on this health care and age package.
They HAVE to, NEED TO know, that there is NO such thing as a
'free lunch' Mark Latham's promises just cannot ever be fulfilled. If the labor party give with one hand they use 2 hands to take it back somewhere else.A
contact with strong links to labour, who has never bothered to save for anything gleefully told me that the Labor Pary will re-implement death duries on the family home and estate taxing big time, any wealth aquisition -they just cannot toplerate people being successful- you can climb the ladder of opportunity only as far as they permit and then they will do everything to take it from you.
They do not believe in families benefitting from inherited wealth and yet this is exactly what has given many the chance to be'self' funded retiree's. Of course all this is hidden from view until after the election,
He says his policies will depend on agreements with the States- with wall to wall coast to coast labour--Perrlease. The State Goverment of Victoria HAD signed a contract with the Federal Goverment on the Scorsby Freeway and that little agrement, NOT to have it as a tollway was broken in a heartbeat.
Paul Keating and tax cuts signed into LAW- Hawke'No Child In Poverty by 1990'!!!!!!!!
As a nurse for 40 years I can assure you that there is nowhere in the commonwealth that can train the number of nurses needed to fulfill his fantasies nor do young women want the hard back breaking stressful long hours for such lousy pay- they all want to rapidly move up the ladder and have someone else to clean the soiled and dirty beds, clean up the floors of incontinence and vomit. The days of the dedicated little nurse has long gone and they are not going to return. As many nurses as he hopes will be trained I guarantee as many will leave, tired , disheartened and never to return.
He says that the old can enter any hospital, private or public-with choice of their own Dr.NONSENSe.NO PUBLIC PATIENT EVER has a choice of their own Dr, and since many hospitals are often chockers with demented,confused, incontinent long term frail whom even the nursing homes do. not want to accept, how many hospitals does he propose to build? He talks of opening up beds- what beds may I ask?? and if he thinks that private hospitals will accept this he must need help himself.
People young and old PAY so that they can be treated in pleasant surroundings in a private room
and even if that is not available and they have to settle for a four or six bay ward they do not want to have soiled, noisy and confused elderly along side them.
AND which of the elderly will go into any private hospital'just like that'!! Labor hiearchy and family??
Then there is the other situation- how do you shorten waiting lists- the Specialist surgeons prefer to work in the private sector where they have control over their workload and with insurance they way it is he will be hard pressed to 'train up' all the Dr's he thinks will serve his cause.
I just hope the public will remember from lessons past.

Posted by: Rose at September 30, 2004 at 06:17 PM

I just heard another Lathamism on channel 7;

Posted by: gubbaboy at September 30, 2004 at 07:04 PM

Tim, what is the matter with your peers. This guy is seriously bonkers. They would have us elect to Prime Minister a man who gets drunk and hits people who disagree with his sense of power and brilliance. He thinks his ideas are cosmically special. He is going to lead the US by the hand to a better place. He has no idea what the ramifications of his over 75's policy is for example, neither do his compatriots. Was this another Latham grand scheme thrown to us with out any discussion with his party. His women are merely extensions of his ego, as are his children. He has failed as a mayor and as a shadow minister, because of his narcisissism. He plaguerises his policies and campaign from the Democrats and your peers speak of his genius. He doesn't so much as lie as have no sense of obligation to truth or coherence. He is erratic, cruel, callous and dangerously capricious. He is handcuffed to minders who he will throw aside if he gets up. He is in compulsive pursuit of gratification, adulation, attention and affirmation ("narcissistic supply"). Paul Kelly spoke of the classic Latham, forget the policy and listen to me. One of the clearest messages he has given about what his Prime ministership will be about. And yet they love him. The Bomber has made his last surrender to powerful and frightening men. There will be no place for him in this madman's rule.
If I believed in God I would say God help us. Australia at war with terror is preparing to hand over power to a madman.

Posted by: Ros at September 30, 2004 at 07:06 PM

"PRIME Minister John Howard should be big enough to acknowledge that weapons of mass destruction never existed in Iraq, Opposition Leader Mark Latham said today."

Hmmm, I don't know Mark, I think the Kurds might disagree with you...

Posted by: Om at September 30, 2004 at 08:00 PM

Yes, Ros. I share your despair, but look if he gets too out of hand there's always the 1975 option.

And if elected he still belongs to a party *some* of whose members remain sane, even if allegiance to party-speak makes them sound otherwise.

Cheer up, we are still a democracy!

Posted by: Om at September 30, 2004 at 08:05 PM

One of your fellow journalists, Hugh Lunn, was famous for having the same problem with the first person pronoun to such a degree that one of his colleagues filed the "I" off his typewriter while he was out.

Posted by: Clem Snide at September 30, 2004 at 08:07 PM

You might be right OM but who will have control of the senate. And I once would have thought that the Bomber could be relied on. But the Bomber is issuing challenges to terrorists to target an impregnable Australian. I am horrified by the thought that we might have to rely on Kevin Rudd, because jokes are made about his caucus of one. Do you know who has the guts to cross him. Other than his first wife.

Posted by: Ros at September 30, 2004 at 08:18 PM

I have been a registered nurse for 40 years and I can assure all, that what Mark Latham and Labor are trying to sell is total and cynical nonsense.
ALL people who have no private insurance/health cover, already get free treatment now in the State public hospitals now, and certainly do not have to wait until 75 years.
As for free entry for aged patients into Private hospitals, is the man quite demented?
The one reason to have Private health cover, is to ensure a bed in a private hospital, IF and when one requires it - I would want also a private room and if this is unavailable, maybe would consider shared accommodation in a 4 or 6 bed ward, but I do not wish to share my space with a confused, incontinent, noisy or demented patient.
I have battled for the past 10 years on night duty trying to cope with these poor old dears for whom I have great sympathy, but in the event I have to have surgery or be hospitalised for any medical condition- I WANT PEACE.
Latham is going to'train up 1800 nurses- oh yeh/
By the time these raw young grads' come on line another 1800 like myself will have thrown in the towel- weary, frustrated, short staffed and sick of having to work with many young nurses who do not want to do the hard dirty work of cleaning up soiled dirty beds and patients who have had their fingers in and up to their necks-thats how it is out there.
The young nurses want the 'glamour' work-intensive care, emergency room and operation rooms. They want to fast track into Admin or 'UNIT Mangers ( Chrge nurse).
No longer, the life long dedication to basic care. I cannot blame them, they compare themselves to friends in the private commercial sector and wonder what in hell they took on.
Under all Labor goverments the nurses have suffered and their union has not been much help.
The matter of Drs also is of import. where does he think he is going to get all these Dr's he is 'going to train up/ he makes them soung like pet monkeys. There is a shortage of specialists across the board and this is not going to improve because of the litigenous society we now inhabit and the insurance premiums so overburdening.
It take years and years to specialise, and these skilled men prefer to work in the private sector where they have control of their workload and are not going to take on hundreds of cases extra to satisfy young Mark's dreams-
The problems of old age are ones that need treament that is expensive and skilled - hip and kneee replacements very costly procedures and require intense post operative care,
Pace makers etc just to mention the few.
He claims you will be able to enter any hospital, private or public when and where you wish it along with the Dr of choice. BALONEY.
Public patients NEVER get a Dr of their own choice
and even in private hospitals you have to go to the hospital where YOUR Dr, of choice has visiting rights and that could be miles from home.
Doe Mark plan hundreds of hospitals and where in hell are all these beds he is going to'OPEN UP'???. Who will get the choice of a Privete Hospital?- labor party friends and families"
I have it from a staunch labor aquaintance that when the election is over there are plans to reintroduce death duties- you see they do not like the idea that you may wish to leave your children anything- that is not the 'AUSTRALIAN SOCIALIST WAY' NO SIRREE.
I am a self funded retiree, whose parents lived on the age pension and thought they were very well off- they had consessions for taxis, buses and trains, their dentist accepted their consession card and having been through the depression and WW2 thought they were so fortunate.
We have been able to save enought by prudent living to fund our own retirement and are happy to do so but we are not much better of the those on the full pension as we are eligable for nothing.
However if ever I am ill-
hopefully never,like Mrs Bunyip I keep active and well as does my old bloke.
We, through my work, paid for our children to go to a private school and for 10 whole years my total salary went into their education and guess what- I am very proud of that.
I pray that the older generation will not fall for this dangerous mans policies.
I bought my first home during the term of a labor government and had the misfortune to sell under a labour goverment- 14% on purchase then Interests 18% when trying to sell and force to accept half of what it was worth, NO WAY JOSE!!
I would also ask of him, when the hospitals are bursting at the seams with all these elderly of which I may be one, where does he plan to have the beds for casualties in the event of a Major major catastrophic disaster. Old people, sadly, take up beds long term and there will never be enough accommodation - an aging population with less of the younger generation to pay the taxes to fund it- Many are working part time now and finding it hard to fund anything let alone retirement so how can they afford to pay for all the aged with no prospect of benefitting themselve.
The world of to-morrow is very unstable and we need strong sound management and whilst Labor is promising 'fools gold' it is forcing the Howard goverment into reckless promises because he will not be elected if he does not match Mad Mark- I would like to think many think as we do but whe offered a free day in the supermarket of life - the green eyed god wins out.
It is dangerouse to trust any goverment for cradle to grave care because you will get neither,

Posted by: Rose at September 30, 2004 at 08:22 PM

Off topic,I am now watching Downer debate Rudd on the ABC.They have put a green caste over Downer making him look like a Martian while pixie is sharp and clear"colour balanced" How bad is the ABC.You suck.

Posted by: gubbaboy at September 30, 2004 at 08:55 PM

"Horns and Pitchfork added digitally by the ABC"

Posted by: Quentin George at September 30, 2004 at 09:36 PM

Firstly, can people posting please keep it brief. Some of us have other things to do than read blog comments.

Secondly, Latham speech yesterday very much exposed the weakness to the ALP position. Clearly their polling is telling them that it is Latham who has credibility problems with the electorate.

A man of 43 (only 5 years older than me I hasten to add) his past has already caught up with him: Liverpool Council, taxi drivers, very unhappy divorce, lots of ex-mates who are now enemies, bashing voters, pornos at restaurants, the way he keeps using his kids for political ends, etc. (It's a long list, isn't it?)

He simply looks shifty and his past certainly seems to back this up. (The "i'm ready" crap just doesn't work.)

Besides I think he is way too young. My Mum, who is double my age, thinks he is far far too young.

And don't discount the added 'impression' of a wife who keeps her maiden name (mind you given his past she is probably pretty sensible).

Posted by: TN at September 30, 2004 at 09:59 PM

Firstly, can people posting please keep it brief. Some of us have other things to do than read blog comments.

Secondly, Latham speech yesterday very much exposed the weakness to the ALP position. Clearly their polling is telling them that it is Latham who has credibility problems with the electorate.

A man of 43 (only 5 years older than me I hasten to add) his past has already caught up with him: Liverpool Council, taxi drivers, very unhappy divorce, lots of ex-mates who are now enemies, bashing voters, pornos at restaurants, the way he keeps using his kids for political ends, etc. (It's a long list, isn't it?)

He simply looks shifty and his past certainly seems to back this up. (The "i'm ready" crap just doesn't work.)

Besides I think he is way too young. My Mum, who is double my age, thinks he is far far too young.

And don't discount the added 'impression' of a wife who keeps her maiden name (mind you given his past she is probably pretty sensible).

Posted by: TN at September 30, 2004 at 10:00 PM

Latham's Health

One view doing the rounds has Labor fall below the wire in Oct 2004. The economy goes pear shape, Howard high tails it outta there, Costello inherits full responsibility, and Labor storms home in 2007. This fanciful scenario omits one glaring problem, Mark Latham's mental health. Latham's focus, as noted, IS ALL ABOUT MARK. Mark's phrases, such as "it makes my head spin" suggest he his nearing the point of pathological self-obsession.

Interestingly, Mark's father was reported to have suffered from mental illness. The heritability of psychological configuration and IQ from father to son is in fact quite high. Now try this scenario. Labor fall just below the wire in Oct 2004. The economy goes pear shape, Howard high tails it outta there and Costello inherits the leadership and the economic woes brought on by Howard.

Given this NEW and added stress, as a result of a close election, Latham continues to be dogged by psychosomatic illnesses of increasing frequency. Eventually, this precipitates undiluted neurosis, hospitalization and clinical treatment in a psychiatric ward. AS a result of Mark's collapse Labor elect Kevin Rudd as leader. Rudd, however, mainly as a result of his fine countenance, proves unacceptable to coarser Australians and an electoral liability.

Meanwhile, Costello, formerly an accomplished treasurer, surprises his enemies and starts to regain control of the economy. The election year 2007 sees an improving economy and Labor adrift without a credible leader. Costello goes on to win the election comfortably.

The alternate version of this description has Mark Latham take a narrow win in 2004. This promotes even greater stress than he is under now and accelerates his own mental and psychosomatic descent. During the early stages of his illness, Mark inadvertently scares the crap out of the greater public and Labor are forced to dump him. There is an awful leadership battle between Beasley, Rudd and Gillard supporters. Beasley wins but is unable to prevent a landslide against Labor in 2007 resulting in the Coalition also gaining a precarious control of the upper house.

Posted by: Jim at September 30, 2004 at 10:05 PM

I can't see this madness working, a free death bed to over 75's, with a week to go most of the over 75's have probably already voted, and is not a swing vote and everyone else is left saying well what are going to do for the rest of the country.

I think there'll be a big swing back to to Howard in the final week when everyone thinks errh this grerase ball as Prime Minister no thanks.

Posted by: wednesday at September 30, 2004 at 10:06 PM


A week is a long time in politics and anything can happen between now and Saturday night.

I suspect that Latham doesn't have three years in Opposition in him especially if the Coalition has a majority in the Senate.

Posted by: TN at September 30, 2004 at 10:25 PM


Can you please take down that disgusting picture? Like a lot of people I know, the sight of Latham turns my stomach. That is probably one of the real reasons he will lose on 9 October, he is so unprepossessing.

Posted by: Toryhere at September 30, 2004 at 10:37 PM

Ted Robinson or one of his kids did the lighting

Posted by: David Marr at September 30, 2004 at 10:46 PM

Centrebet has Howard at $1.40, and L***** at $2.70.

In my electorate, Page (Northern NSW):

Causley (Nationals, sitting MP): $1.12
Bell (Labor): $4.40
Jackson (National Socialist Australian Layabouts Party AKA Greens): $201.00
Behn (Ind): $251
Flanagan (Socialist Alliance): $331
Griffiths (CEC): $331
Anderson (LFF): $501
Mateer: $501

For the US Election, Bush at $1.33, K**** at $3.30

Posted by: Sheriff at October 1, 2004 at 01:04 AM

Rose, one of the most passionate and well stated comments it has been my privilege to read.

I come from a family that has had nursing as a multi- generational profession.

I can vouch for the "tired, disheartened, never to return"

Why? Public health and the pervasive "entitlement" mentality of many patients. The entitlement mentality springs from never have had to pay your own way in any endeavour of life or ever contribute anything to the public good.
Mr Latham's proposal will entrench and extend this belief that it is a right to have someone else pay for your hospital treatment, regardless of whether you have been a good citizen or a leech all your life.

Trouble is, the good citizens cover themselves with health insurance, guess who is left to be "entitled"?

Posted by: Pedro the Ignorant at October 1, 2004 at 01:13 AM

Why do people crap on about "white picket fences"?

Just ask anyone who was alive in the 50s or 60s (the dreaded Menzies era) whether white picket fences were a feature of Australian suburbia.

They weren't!

Posted by: peggy sue at October 1, 2004 at 01:14 AM

"Firstly, can people posting please keep it brief. Some of us have other things to do than read blog comments."

Yes, everyone skip TN's comments. Since he has better things to do, so do we.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 1, 2004 at 01:45 AM

Sorry for the long blog-very fired up and cannor express my feelings in fewer words- this election concerns me so very much.
One other point- spare a thought for Mark Lathams poor little sons- he should be up on child abuse charges- He admits teaching his son to HATE conservatives- what sort of man can admit to teaching his son to hate???????the sort of man you want to entrust your children and grandchildren's future-I don't think so.
I have had much to do with young childen -been a trained mothercraft nurse- kinder teacher also a RN - the poor little chap already has a frustrated and shifty look inherited from dad,I will bet my last dollar that whatever kinder he attends, other parents will have their children coming home complaining of being thumped , bitten or kicked. All this parading in front of the TV camera's and crews in an attempt to portray what a 'caring dad' he is, is most inappropriate- we know he has a family and the best he can do is to refrain of bringing them into the public eye, it only emphasises what a phony he is, and as for Janine, she should stay at home and keep life as normal as possible. We are not voting on her record but since she saw fit to conduct an affair with Maek whilst he was still married does not give her much character cred' sorry

Posted by: Rose at October 1, 2004 at 07:50 AM

Couldn't they have picked a better timeslot than "Inspector Rex" for this?

Seriously, I love that show!

Posted by: TribeHasSpoken at October 1, 2004 at 08:21 AM

Will someone please help a Yank with what I assume is Aussie slang-"bit of a dill?"

Posted by: DWAYNE at October 1, 2004 at 09:56 AM


A dill is a moron, idiot, dufess, 'tard, tinfoil hat wearer, someone not playing with the full deck etc. etc.

Posted by: Huddo at October 1, 2004 at 12:30 PM

Medicare Gold – it really beggars belief, after I stopped laughing out-loud I had to wait for the next radio news bulletin to find out that I hadn’t earlier accidentally spun my radio dial to a comedy channel and that Labor really has promised such a shabby, deceitful `policy'.

Latham is truly the king of spin and divisive politics. Who could possibly say anything negative about poor old people having access to a `free’, non-means tested hospital bed with a doctor of their choice whenever they want.

Perhaps 73 year olds with dud hips or cataracts currently waiting for treatment might.

They might wonder why they have suddenly been deposited on the lower rung of Latham’s new two-tiered health system.

But I guess under Labor’s plan they will just have to remain on ever lengthening and painful queues for a hospital bed and without a safety net for out-of-pocket medical expenses whilst they wait until they celebrate their magic 75th birthday and become eligible for a top-tier, `free bed’.

Many public and newly government funded private hospital beds will be filled by the very `north shore nannies’ Latham professes to hate, whilst they undergo intensive botox treatments, take a tax payer funded break from the `awful people’ at the retirement village or arrange a little `stay in’ so their doting children can take a holiday in the `Merc' using the cash saved by sending their grandchildren to a public school.

Sure many elderly Australians will benefit from a `free bed’, but they will find the crisp sheets and cable telly come with a whole course of bitter pills as they join lengthening queues for scarce surgeons and other equally in-short-supply medical professionals, pathology laboratories and operating theatres, not to mention the `doctor of their choice'.

Medicare Gold – a gold plated farce.

Posted by: Peter W at October 1, 2004 at 03:59 PM

anyone can have a free bed in any public hospital now- even if you have private cover and deny you have it as Mark tried a little while back.
And for all those gullible enough to think that they will score a bed in a private hospital at age 75 ' "Just like that" is a fool.
Dr.s have rosters and schedules and you will still be waiting two years for a bed.
I pay my Private health fund and have done for 37 years and do not expect to be put on a waiting list because all the private hospitals are chockers with frail aged who cannot be shunted off somewher else- thankyou Mark L

Posted by: Rose at October 1, 2004 at 05:30 PM

Anthony Green is right in his projection Howard will win. Howard needs a massively popular policy though which brings in the majority though, I've suggested cutting Islamic immigration.

Posted by: port augusta at October 2, 2004 at 12:00 AM

Latham is with out a doubt the most repulsive political figure this country has produced for some time, Whitlam, Hawke and Keating were all arrogant and insane but at least they had some kind of intelligence and/ or humour, Latham's got nothing a thoroughly repulsive reptilian creature.

Howard is no Dame Edna but he has judgment and intellect.

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