October 18, 2004


Mark Steyn on John Howard and the Australian election:

The US and British press could barely disguise their befuddlement at the way the first of the Anglosphere's three musketeers to face the electorate had survived being run through by Ramsey and a thousand others and was dancing round the parapet crying, "All for one and one for all!"

Well, not exactly dancing, but raising his arms for that endearingly stiff victory gesture Howard does, as if he's put his back out joining in the "conga line of suckholes" (in Mark Latham's contribution to thoughtful political debate). There were no conga lines in the world's newsrooms. Front-page splashes ("Angry Oz Turns On Bush Toady") were hastily shuffled to page 37 section D ("Minor Regional Figure Of No Consequence Ekes Out Victory In Election On Obscure Domestic Issues Like Interest Rates With No Wider Significance, Honest, Take Our Word For It").

And Michael Gordon reports that its Iraq policy was a crucial election blunder for Labor:

Mr Textor also shed light on Liberal research on Labor leader Mark Latham, asserting that his troops-home-by-Christmas promise was a "watershed" reinforcing concerns that he "just made up stuff because it was exciting and got him a headline".

UPDATE. Not happy, Mark:

As the magnitude of the task ahead of Labor sinks in, party figures are sharply divided over the campaign and post-campaign performance of Mr Latham ...

Critics of Mr Latham, who mostly decline to go on the record, complain he is in denial and not personally accepting enough of the blame for defeat ...

One Latham critic said at the weekend the interest rate issue had been raised with Mr Latham before and during the election and he "didn't consider it a key issue".

Posted by Tim Blair at October 18, 2004 10:12 AM

his troops-home-by-Christmas promise was a "watershed"

Dead right. No further proof needed that the guy lacked everything necessary to be PM.

Posted by: Janice at October 18, 2004 at 10:53 AM

This is the same befuddlement that our MSM in America has with Bush steadily gaining in the polls despite their full press (pun intended) to be positive on Kerry, negative on Bush. They all said Kerry won all three debates - which might be true on 'style' but Bush won on being himself - which resonates with people more. November 3 I hope will lead to more MSM befuddlement in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. Us little peoples are either THAT stupid - or we're RIGHT and they're wrong...

Posted by: Kathleen A at October 18, 2004 at 11:13 AM

Yeah, well Latham supposedly won the great debate over here hands down. Fat lot of good it did him.
Plus there was some bullshit about a worm or something, can't remember where that ties in.....

Posted by: Johnny Wishbone at October 18, 2004 at 11:31 AM

there is just one thing wrong with all this drivel.

johnee spent money like it was going out of fashion to win the election. Why would he think he needed to do that if this 'polling' was telling him he didn't need to do it.

If this 'polling' is correct then howard has needlesly spent money on specious policies when he could have done something substantial on taxation.

Posted by: Homer Paxton at October 18, 2004 at 11:36 AM

the interest rate issue had been raised with Mr Latham before and during the election and he "didn't consider it a key issue".

FMD, if nothing else it tells you just HOW out of touch Latham is, given the good old days of Labor (mortgages at 18%), you would have to say that interest rates were always going to be a key issue.

Throw in the fun 'troops home by Xmas' stuff and you have to wonder if his autocue wasn't being hijacked by the Libs.

Posted by: Harry Tuttle at October 18, 2004 at 11:39 AM

Homer, are you actually Puce? There's a certain similarity of tone and content. CLICK.

Posted by: tim at October 18, 2004 at 12:07 PM

Donít trust these polls. They oversample Republicans, then they turn & oversample Democrats. And with what timing. With the right timing, they can demoralize Republicans & energize Dems. And the polls donít reflect election-day get-out-the-vote efforts. Back at this time in 2000, lots of polls showed W further ahead than this. I wonder whether, as they did to W in 2000 & as they did earlier to his father, the networks will announce a winner in Florida before the polls in the heavily GOP Florida Panhandle have closed. All those GOP voters not bothering to vote.

Posted by: ForNow at October 18, 2004 at 01:52 PM

"just made up stuff because it was exciting and got him a headline".

other exciting latham headlines -

"would ya lay off my family?"

anyone else like to add any of their fav Biff latham election headlines !??!

Posted by: Will s at October 18, 2004 at 02:18 PM

For now ó I really don't think too many FLA Republicans are gonna sit on their hands this election.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at October 18, 2004 at 02:43 PM

Is Mark out from under his grubby doona yet?

Posted by: Tony.T at October 18, 2004 at 03:04 PM

Speaking of the debates, there are plenty of other similarities with the election here and the US. I noticed an anti-Bush letter from 650 leading US foreign policy experts in the paper last week...anyone remember the 43 'eminent' *coughcough* Australians?

Posted by: Art Vandelay at October 18, 2004 at 03:36 PM

In essence the far Left is in control of the ALP these days as it has been for some time. The Left cannot/will not accept that their message no longer sells in the arena of ideas and has taken to the view that their message delivery is the problem and are therefore looking for scapegoats in that area.

The fact they have also taken to blaming the PM as part of their problem because of the PM's extensive 'lying' is further indication that their message does not carry much weight to start with especially in view of the considerable support the ALP obtained from the media at large.

I suggest that we should give the ALP all our support in their conclusion that message delivery was indeed their problem and not the message.

Posted by: Shaun Bourke at October 18, 2004 at 03:44 PM


I wrote a post on it and attracted a live one.


Posted by: murph at October 18, 2004 at 04:11 PM

ps How's the latex importing/exporting business going?

Posted by: murph at October 18, 2004 at 04:12 PM

I can't speak authoritatively on the issues in Australian elections, but it seems to me that the losing party can't quite come to grips with the fact that their issues might have been the key to their loss.

I think the same thing might happen in the U.S. soon: We lost??? To George Bush??? Much breast beating, ash scattering, and gnashing of teeth will ensue, without the slightest hint of personal responsibility vis Š vis political goals.

Posted by: Rebecca at October 18, 2004 at 04:39 PM

By the way, anybody who tries to hurt Puce before he makes it back to Master Jim's will have to deal with ME!

Posted by: Rebecca at October 18, 2004 at 04:43 PM

President's Ramadan Message - 2004

October 15, 2004

I send warm greetings to Muslims in the United States and around the world as they begin observance of Ramadan, the holiest season in their faith.

Ramadan commemorates the revelation of the Qur'an to Muhammed. By teaching the importance of compassion, justice, mercy, and peace, the Qur'an has guided many millions of believers across the centuries. Today, this holy time is still set aside for Muslims to remember their dependence on God through fasting and prayer, and to show charity to those in need.

American history has taught us to welcome the contributions of men and women of all faiths, for we share the fundamental values of religious freedom, love of family, and gratitude to God. Americans who practice the Islamic faith enrich our society and help our Nation build a better future.

Laura joins me in sending our best wishes.

[Posting this three times in the same comment was incredibly stupid and pointless, Allah Is A Stupid Wienerhead. Pull idiotic crap like this again and you will be banned. The Management.]

Posted by: ALLAH WILL LICK YOUR HEINIES at October 18, 2004 at 05:07 PM

Nice work Murph! It's like shooting fish in a barrel these days! I've been gloating for a week and it shows no sign of stopping.

Thanks for asking about the business. I've actually been thinking about quitting the exporting and focussing on the importing but my girlfriend disagrees ;)

Posted by: Art Vandelay at October 18, 2004 at 05:11 PM

George W Bush will win the presidential election,
he is now surging in the polls and will surge further as Americans see that Kerry will not even defend the country if attacked.

Bush will surge another 5- 10 points this week and another 5 or so next week. He'll win New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida all the south and mid-West, a couple of NorthEast states as well, Pacific north West.

Kerry is collapsing, Bush will win.

Posted by: klein at October 18, 2004 at 05:25 PM

Is it just me, or has Homer P got more incoherant since the Federal Election?

Funny bugger.

Posted by: Quentin George at October 18, 2004 at 05:31 PM

I think there is one word that describes Latham's behaviour - both before the election and after the election - and that word is arrogance.

Arrogance that he thought he could be PM with only 10 months experience of being opposition leader.

Arrogance that he thought that over 75 year olds would be persuaded to support him over Medicare Gold, and that he could convince the wider electorate it was physically possible to even implement the insane policy, let alone fund it at such low cost.

Arrogance that he thought the electorate cared about the fact that he grew up in Green Valley or that his second wife had made him a better man, better man, better man - whereas most voters couldn't give a toss.

Arrogance that he thought trees mattered more than people's jobs or mortgages.

Arrogance that he has not take one bit of responsibility for Labor's loss, either publicly or privately.

Posted by: George at October 18, 2004 at 05:34 PM

As for Latham. One of the hallmarks of people with great ability in any field is their ability to cope with setback and adversity. I thought that Mark was supposed to be a brilliant leader and politician and yet it appears that his strategy is to blame everyone else but himself? How original, what a great way to unify the party after a crushing defeat. Although people were complaining a lot about the advertising campaign the liberals ran during the election one thing is becoming a bit clearer. What Latham did to Liverpool council he's doing to the labor party.

Posted by: Rob at October 18, 2004 at 05:58 PM

Hi Tim:-

Found this on one of your links. Read what Latham has to say about Phillip Adams and lots of other things.

Posted by: Yoo Hoo at October 18, 2004 at 09:24 PM

Thanks for that Yoo Hoo. I agree with nearly every word in Latham's letter. It's such a pity that Latham himself doesn't, and is willing to backtrack on every worthwhile thing he pretended to stand for in order to get the support of the socialist left faction. Back when he released his book which slammed socialism, I never would have imagined Latham would stoop so low as to pander to the socialist left. But then I never would have imagined that the secular, multiculti, homphilic, feminist left would stoop so low as to embrace islamic supremacism. Latham has revealed himself to be a true leftist - no principles, just a lust for power and ego gratification irrespective of the cost.

Posted by: Clem Snide at October 18, 2004 at 10:37 PM

I'm right with you Clem. Latham's letter clearly expresses my view on the subject and I fully supported his ascension to Leader of the Labor Party because I thought we might get a plain speaking old time Labor candidate to liven up the party.

It took only a couple of days before it was apparent that he is held in space and time by the left of the party. There is no return from that position to what is espoused in his epistle.

From the moment he announced his "on the run" policy on Iraq I silently rejoiced because I knew Australia would not elect the man to make them "cut and run".

I have posted earlier on his apparent symptoms of BiPolar Disorder http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/bipolar.cfm#bp1

His pre-election mode seemed similar in many respects to those described under manic episode, but I am now starting, post election, to watch for depressive mode symptoms. He hasn't been seen too much as yet. They may have strapped him into a tight white overcoat and slapped him into a room full of Alexander the Greats and a couple of Lord Nelsons.

Posted by: Michael Gill at October 18, 2004 at 11:45 PM

Hi Yoo Hoo,

Is that letter from Latham real? I agree with it entirely, especially the bit about the NSW Police Service.

I read an article from Latham some time ago about what he termed white flight from the south west Sydney suburbs to the north west and west. He encapsulated there much of my own opinions about where I perceived south western Sydney going.

What happened to that Mark Latham? He dissapeared and became Keating the Undead.

Posted by: pat at October 18, 2004 at 11:46 PM

The letter referred to above was signed by Mark Latham. Any suggestion that these were Latham's words...or thoughts or convictions.... is fanciful to say the least.
The bloke's a dill...an opportunistic boofhead.
Taliban Tony Jones lamented on Lateline a few episodes ago to Lindsay Tanner that he (Tanner)was the only Labor bencher....front or back...that would agree to come on the program.
As Howard said: "Hello...Hello"
But there was no answer from The Biff.
Because the electorate said "Goodbye....Goodbye"
(Actually they said "PISS OFF"....but this is a respectable blog so a little bit of literary licence is in order).

Posted by: JD at October 19, 2004 at 12:50 AM

It's great to see that Australians could not be fooled by the anti-Howard propaganda. I hope US voters will ignore anti-Bush propaganda, disguised here as news, and be as sensible.

I confess to a bit of pessimism for the US. For those who depend on our MSM (mainstream media) for news, there has been an unrelenting campaign against Pres. Bush. Some people I know have taken what the MSM has said about Bush to be true and are considering Kerry. (I'm supplying these people with information they had not heard/read about.)

Posted by: Chris Josephson at October 19, 2004 at 01:09 AM


Speaking as an American I'd like to thank our Aussie friends. America has far too few friends these days. Friends who can be relied upon during the hard times as well as the good times. It's vastly reassuring to know that, as we struggle for a better future for everyone, that Australia and her staunch citizens will be there with us. Not in some servile or obsequious role, but as a friend, an ally and our equals.

Thank you.

Posted by: ed at October 19, 2004 at 02:18 AM

Wow - you computer people are so smart, and ugly too.
think about much other than yourselves

Posted by: Quoc Li Nygen at October 19, 2004 at 02:19 AM