October 19, 2004


The Coalition’s 2004 advertising campaign against Mark Latham was based on his contentious term as Liverpool’s mayor. The Coalition’s 2007 advertising campaign may be based on the total debacle that's taking place under Latham's command after the election loss:

Former Labor minister Bob McMullan today said he would not run for a frontbench position, citing a difference of opinion with Opposition Leader Mark Latham over the role he would fulfil.

Mr McMullan joins workplace relations spokesman Craig Emerson, who today said he would not contest a position on the frontbench.

Dr Emerson stood aside after acknowledging factional wrangling made it unlikely he would win a position.

Mr Latham issued a brief statement through a spokesman thanking Mr McMullan for his contribution over the years but making no further comment.

"I thank Bob for his long service on the front bench," Mr Latham said.
"His statement stands on its own."

Spoken like a true leader.


Party figures suggested last night that Mr Crean might be next to take a seat on the backbench. "I wouldn't be shocked if he stepped aside," one colleague said.

Mr Crean's spokesman said he had nothing to add to Mr Crean's statement last week that he was not seeking the shadow treasury position and would serve where Mr Latham and the party wanted him to.

Labor's multicultural affairs spokesman, Laurie Ferguson, and the party's housing spokesman, Daryl Melham, are both "under pressure".


Mr Latham has now lost five frontbenchers who have resigned to go on to the back bench, and another is in danger of losing his seat ...

One frontbencher said yesterday that Mr Latham's use of US political strategist Dick Morris' "triangulation" was "strangulation", and that Mr Latham should have concentrated on the economy as an issue. "We need to have a head to head combat on the economy," he said. Another frontbencher said that the "morally bankrupt" factions and supporters of Mr Beazley were blaming Mr Latham and trying to position Mr Smith for Treasury.

Labor MPs were warning that Friday's parliamentary meeting in Canberra could be "long and bloody".

UPDATE III. It just keeps getting better and better.

Posted by Tim Blair at October 19, 2004 03:29 PM