||Issue No. 248||26 November 2004|
Interview: The Reich Stuff
Economics: Crime and Punishment
Environment: Beyond The Wedge
International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Politics: Labo(u)r Day
Human Rights: Arabian Lights
History: Labour's Titan
Review: Foxy Fiasco
Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
The Locker Room
Pee Pole Shame
Latham Is A Scapegoat
Letters to the Editor
Latham Is A Scapegoat
From the start of the federal election campaign, and especially after the televised debate between Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Mark Latham, the media consistently reported that Mark had well and truly won the campaign, but that Howard remained by far the preferred leader, according to opinion polls.
Labor suffered a disastrous defeat, the extent of which was probably a surprise to everyone.
So the post mortem started, and immediately Latham was made the scapegoat by his colleagues.
He had supposedly well and truly stuffed up his election campaign in just about every way possible.
How could this be so, when he had received so much adulation and support during the campaign?
Well I surmise that the only way Mark's Labor colleagues could rationalise their bitter disappointment at the outcome of the election, was to pass the buck onto Mark.
Of course it couldn't be the fault of his advisers and associates , how could they be responsible for such an undesirable outcome?
Most sickening to me are the comments by Michael Costello, formerly Beazley's chief of staff:
"Labor was comprehensively done, especially in strategic terms. Its Medicare Gold was a strategic disaster, as last week was the campaign from hell. There was hardly a mistake they didn't make."
"The prime responsibility for this lies with Mark and those that put him there."
What extraordinary hypocrisy from the person who had advised Kim Beazley.
Apart from 9/11 and Tampa, the failure of Labor at the 2001 election was ENTIRELY the fault of Kim Beazley, whose campaign was nothing short of woeful and \ pathetic.
But then I guess it is the nature of the animal that back-stabbing and buck passing is part and parcel of Labor Party tradition.
Factional in-fighting takes priority over the more important issue of actually winning government.
And then of course there is the nonsense about Labor losing the election because of the frequently repeated lie by John Howard that interest rates would rise under a Labor Government.
Despite the fact that this was contradicted by economists BEFORE the election, Labor said nothing.
It was not Howard's lie that cost Labor the election, but Labor's total failure to repudiate this lie.
But I say: "Well done, Mark. A magnificent job."
Marvellous lateral thinking policies that were consistently aimed at making Australian society more fair.
And of course, unlike some other gutless people, you didn't hesitate to call a spade a spade.
Of course Howard‚s subservient relationship with George Bush was arse-licking, and of course GWB is an extremely dangerous man."
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