October 05, 2004


The punters sure are impressed with Latham's Tasmanian scheme. An ALP win has blown out to $3.50, up from $2.65 on October 3. That price has increased by fifty cents in only the past six hours.

UPDATE. Thank you, Bob Brown:

Labor hopes of wresting a marginal Victorian seat from the Coalition have been dealt a blow, with a key independent to direct preferences to the Nationals because of Labor's Tasmanian forests policy.

UPDATE II. Remember when Mark Latham annoyed Bob Brown by not relating to trees?

"It was as if a veil had come down over his face," Brown says. "A reporter would ask, 'What do you think of this one, Mr Latham?' And he'd shrug and say, 'It's a big tree.' When we got to the cave tree, he just said, 'It's a big tree with a hole in it.'

"It was a studied, desultory response. He was not responding to me. It was as if he was saying, 'I am not going to be shown to relate' - not just to me, but to the forests."

UPDATE III. The CFMEUs Michael O'Connor:

We think that the policy that was being announced by Mark Latham will spread through Australia like wildfire. It will ensure that we'll have a competition between state and federal governments, Labor parties at different spheres trying to outbid each other, who's going to be greener than who.

And what Mark Latham has done by his announcement yesterday is set off another auction of timber workers' jobs, another auction of timber workers' communities, another auction of ruining timber workers' families.

UPDATE IV. Labor member for Lyons Dick Adams:

He's got to tell the Tasmanian members why he did this. It must be because he's so ambitious that he will sell out seats in Tasmania to take seats on the mainland.

Posted by Tim Blair at October 5, 2004 02:09 PM

Do we start the "we wuz robbed" yet?

Posted by: Razor at October 5, 2004 at 02:13 PM

Wait until at least Election night before coming up with excuses for their massive loss.

Posted by: Todd at October 5, 2004 at 02:31 PM

Latham is falling apart, the Labor vote set to collapse.

Labor's vote amongst women is collapsing and now for men (real men) its in free fall.

The story on Saturday night along with the return of the Howard governement will be the collpase of Labor.

For Latham its all strategy and manipulation, not policy and principles, the slimiest, greasiest politician this country has ever produced.

This snake will be destroyed come Saturday.

Posted by: klein at October 5, 2004 at 02:46 PM

Bye bye Labor you are a done dinner 2004 election. By the way, be careful. If your primary vote drops much further, say below 20%, you will be only a minor party.

Posted by: Steve at October 5, 2004 at 03:29 PM

Labor going down the gurgler brings into clear focus the lack of real agenda in the Coalition policies. Once the election is over the media (and yes, that includes you Mr Blair) need to start putting some heavy weight pressure on the Coalition. Lets get serious about the Culture Wars. This is the neglected area of policy. Yet it is ground on which the future for our kids and their kids will be won or lost.

Posted by: Steve at October 5, 2004 at 03:38 PM

I've been wondering if Tim still feels it will be a Labor/Latham win. The MSM seems to be saying it's out of reach now for The Hero of the Tasmanian Trees. Is this another bit of reporting that should be ignored?

Posted by: Melissa at October 5, 2004 at 03:45 PM

The thing that I'm looking forward to most is NOT a Coalition victory, but the reactions of the following "people" to that victory:

Michael Leunig (Melbourne Age cartoonist)

Phillip Adams


Alan Ramsey

John Pilger

The Greens (all of them)

The Triple J crew

...but to name a few...

Posted by: Richard at October 5, 2004 at 03:46 PM

Without wishing to count chicken before they hatch, I have to agree with Steve. Should Howard get the expected win from Lathams sell out of timber workers and all the rest of the crap he has proposed, it is really about time that he started using his power to reinvigorate the electorate. Take the fight up to the bad guys in our own country instead of just the terrorists overseas. The people listed by Richard really need to understand just how wrong and out of touch they are with the rest of Australia. Howard has a potential opportunity to make a real difference, rather than just tinkering around the edges.

Posted by: Todd at October 5, 2004 at 03:59 PM


Full list of predictions -- including mine -- will be up tomorrow!

Posted by: tim at October 5, 2004 at 04:02 PM

The mail is that Howard will not visit Tasmania between now and the election.

That means no change in Liberal Party policy relating to forestry.

Bass - Michelle O'Byrne is finished - she might as well start packing her bags.

Labor will also lose Braddon. They will win Franklin and Lyons marginally and thump the Libs in Denison as per usual.

If I'm right that's two seats lost on the basis of this forestry policy. My question are these:
1) What are the seats that he is expecting to pick up on the back of this policy?
2)Who's advising this chump?

Posted by: Pig Head Sucker at October 5, 2004 at 04:04 PM

The majority of oldies are smart and will see that Medicare Gold cannot work and if it did it would stuff the economy. Piss-all votes to Labor on that issue. Also, his "I see green" stance has stuffed his chances in Tassie of taking any seats at all down there, and this will have a flow-on effect when the mainlanders see that he's getting ready to ruin any other region that has timber felling as a primary income. Pauline Hanson will get a seat in the senate.

Liberals to win by 12 seats and Greenies to wonder where it all went wrong when Bogcatcher Bob Brown doesn't get the million votes he's been crowing about.

Posted by: Lofty at October 5, 2004 at 04:28 PM

Whose advising Latham? Thats easy. Himself mainly (trying to be like Howard), John Faulkner, Steven Smith, Paul Keating (Nicola Roxon's sugar daddy), and, of course, the worst PM this country ever had, Gough Whitlam, not to mention a few deadbeat journalists and assorted hangers on.

Posted by: Steve at October 5, 2004 at 04:55 PM

Mark appears to be running well on some mood altering drug or pethidine since his discharge from hospital- too calm for old Mark- I hope that labor has the ambulance and straight jacket ready for when he comes of them on Saturday and falls off his ladder of opportunity the one that he has believed in all his life

Posted by: Rose at October 5, 2004 at 05:50 PM

And we'll all be able to say: what happened to the ladder of opportunity? Somebody must have pulled the rungs out!

Posted by: Freddyboy at October 5, 2004 at 05:55 PM

My prediction: when Mark loses the election, he'll go out and get pissed, smack someone in the mouth, and either end up in hospital with renewed pancreatitis or in jail for resisting arrest. Any takers for a wager?

Posted by: Freddyboy at October 5, 2004 at 06:04 PM

A significant pro-logging vote outside Tasi? Good luck.
Don't underestimate the average person's satisfaction screwing (err... metaphorically) a unionist (CFMEU). We get the opportunity so rarely...need to take full advantage.
The private contractors may be collateral damage.

Posted by: TT at October 5, 2004 at 06:12 PM

I tend to agree, i think the predictions of Labor's doom due to the forestry thing is somewhat premature. How many votes will this actually shift?

I am still waiting for an explanation of why the CFMEU gave $100k to the Greens as well

Posted by: attila at October 5, 2004 at 06:17 PM

You guys have gotta get with it. The problem Labor has is the primary vote the Liberals do have. No matter what they throw at it they can't get it to budge below mid 40s. The Coalition will be back, its a mathematical near certainty (99/100).

Posted by: Steve at October 5, 2004 at 06:32 PM

I remember seeing Bob Brown on tellie about a year back during a documentary about the Green campaigns of the late 70s/early 80s. He was describing one particular geological specimen which was endangered by a proposed dam:

"There it was ... huge, magnificient, noble, old..."

My response to Bob Brown, then and now:

"It's a fucking rock, Bob!"

Posted by: TimT at October 5, 2004 at 06:44 PM

Sort of Steve.
It's a preferential vote and the devil's in the details.
Primaries currently 45% Lib, 40% ALP, up to 10% Green, (all Green prefs will be distributed) and 5% miscellaneous.
In todays climate.... my estimate... Greens prefs at a ratio of 4:1 to the ALP. That means Lib 47% ALP 48% and the distribution of the 5% of odds and sods (+ informals) may decide it.

Odds and sods rule.

Posted by: TT at October 5, 2004 at 06:59 PM

Just checked Centrebet to find Labor blown to $4 and Coalition into $1.20. This is ridiculous for a two-horse race. Surely Hawke and Singleton will swoop on those odds. If not, what do they know?

Posted by: slatts at October 5, 2004 at 08:40 PM
We think that the policy that was being announced by Mark Latham will spread through Australia like wildfire.
This is a coded threat from O'Connor that can be translated to: If we can't cut em down we are going to fuckin burn em down. Posted by: drscroogemcduck at October 6, 2004 at 12:39 AM

Now $1.16 for Howard and $4.50 for Latham.

What Slatts said.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 6, 2004 at 11:05 AM