||Issue No. 251||11 February 2005|
Economics: Super Seduction
Interview: Bono and Me
Unions: The Eight Hour Day and the Holy Spirit
Technology: From Widgets to Digits
Education: Dumb and Dumber
Health: No Place for the Young
History: The Work-In That Changed a Nation
Review: Dare to Win
Poetry: Labor's Dreaming
The Locker Room
Morals Beat Hasty Retreat
Uncounted Cost Of Asbestos
Voting Farce Expands
I Beg To Differ
Letters to the Editor
By way of background, an image comes to my mind of an election rally at Randwick in 1972, when Gough Whitlam was campaigning for election as
potential Prime Minister of Australia.
The hall was filled with people apparently from across the social spectrum.
As the great man entered the hall from the rear and walked towards the stage, the hall was filled with a
tangible feeling of love.
Here was the Messiah, come to save us from the
debacle created by Billy McMahon's pathetic leadership.
And so I am sure that Labor supporters across the country were pinning their hopes on Mark Latham to liberate Australia from yet another term of Howard‚s
Personally I think Mark performed excellently, but was outwitted by the shrewd and seasoned John Howard, with his oft repeated lie that interest rates would rise under a Labor Government.
More than likely Gough would have seen through this ploy and stopped it in its tracks.
But that was not to be and Labor, under Mark Latham, lost it's fourth successive Federal election.
From Mark's comments in his resignation announcement to the media, the unforgivable degree of intrusion by the media into his private life,
especially as he was suffering from a very painful illness, greatly added to the distress and disappointment that he was already feeling.
As a former Sydney Morning Herald journalist myself, I am deeply ashamed at the outrageous behaviour by elements of the media.
It has been reported that after the election defeat, Mark's parliamentary colleagues found him moody and irritable.
And well he should have been after the ordeal he had gone through.
But I and many of my fellow Labor supporters think he did a great job, and it is a great loss to the party and the parliament that he has decided to resign from politics altogether.
And now to address the current situation regarding Labor leadership.
Whilst many people, myself included, consider Julia Gillard the best choice for the job, this is very unlikely to happen because of factional pressures.
Regrettably it is painfully obvious that the Federal Labor Party is far more concerned with factional infighting than in winning government. And so the
leadership will most likely go to that two-time loser, verbose and entirely uncharismatic great lump of lard, Kim Beazley.
The irony is that Mark only won leadership of the party 12 months ago by one vote over Beazley.
Had Beazley won, he would have presumably led the Labor Party to a third successive electoral defeat, and would have disappeared into political oblivion.
But all is not lost, and a much more encouraging scenario may develop over the next two or three years.
Eventually Howard must step down as Leader of the Coalition. And when he does, he will leave a vast vaccuum.
He is the only politician of any calibre in the entire Coalition front bench.
Can you seriously imagine Peter Costello as Prime Minister?
And what about the pathetically unimpressive Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the various other cabinet ministers?
Any talent there? None that I can see.
Meanwhile Labor has an impressive array of strong, clear-thinking rront-benchers ˆ Rudd, Gillard, Swan,
Smith and other Eventually one of these people will become Opposition Leader and in time
And they will have such a solid front bench to support them, that perhaps it will be the Coalition‚s turn once more to spend a long term in the wilderness.
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