Lunatic beats wimp

What else is there to say? How depressing! I think I’ll return to blogging hibernation. I just hope they surround Motormouth with sensible minders, and spike his morning coffee with Prozac.

For John Howard, Christmas has come 23 days early. On my part, my election date bet with Michael Jennings is looking very sick indeed. If I was Howard, I’d be doing Latham slowly (as PJK might have put it) and giving him plenty of time to display his loose cannon qualities to best advantage. I hope I’m wrong, but I reckon this decision could well end up giving the conservatives a landslide victory of such monumental proportions that they’ll be in government for the next decade.

The only hope of a contrary result is if the housing bubble bursts much more suddenly and drastically than currently looks likely, exposing the Howard government’s vulnerable economic underbelly; there are no new major terrorist or asylum seeker events; and Latham can somehow be kept from making a complete idiot of himself for the better part of a full year.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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James Russell
2022 years ago

But surely reinstating a proven loser would’ve been a depressing result as well? Let’s face it, this was a no-win situation…

Jason Soon
2022 years ago

With Beazely the ALP would have had a 100% chance of losing the next election with a narrow to large margin.
With Latham the ALP has a maybe 15% chance of narrowly winning the next election and 85% chance of losing with a large margin. Take your pick.

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

Ken

As someone said at JQs, the Australian people voted for a known drunk and womaniser in ’83, so Latham’s rough edges mightn’t be such a negative after all. I hope he’s smart enough to bring in some good minders.

You’re only half right about Howard. He would have won with a certain landslide against Crean; he would have won with a certain comfortable victory against Beazley. And he would have done both on auto pilot.

Against Latham, it’s a completely different game. Nobody knows how the public react will react to Latham. You never know, he might just hit the punters’ G spot. They’ll forgive him his madness if he does. There was no chance of that with Beazley.

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

All the living Labor Federal leaders have put in their two cents worth today – Whitlam, Hawke, Keating, Beazley and Crean. All of them urging the party to get behind the new leader, blah, blah.

Is someone missing? Oh, yes – Bill Hayden. It’s funny how no one ever asks his opinion on these matters – he was Labor leader for over 5 years. It’s like he has been air brushed from history.

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

It’s certainly a surprise result, although this morning’s media all but forecast the result. I tried to buy his book “Civilising Global Capital” at Dymocks Eastwood this morning but it’s out of print. Fortunately Eastwood library had a copy on its shelf so I borrowed it for a bit of summer reading.

Just reading a few pages of the 28-page introduction is a bit depressing. My first reaction is that he’s an old-style socialist/statist interventionist masquerading as a economic rationalist libertarian, just like Jason. No wonder Jason has decided to rejoin the ALP. Back to his socialist roots so to speak.

David
2022 years ago

Beyond the victory thing, though, with its implications about length of incumbency and lack of a good opposition creating bad government, what kind of ALP would Latham deliver?

I fear he is a born persecutor. He does that stuff in Parliament, he seems to bash the poor… he wants people off disability pensions.. I don’t want to vote for an ALP which is drier than the vinegar at Golgotha. The electorate needs real choice.

Are we going to face the ultimate turn around, where the Liberal Party presents as caring and sharing? Can the ALP tolerate such a tension between its leader’s apparent instincts and the values of the party? Will the parliamentary party co-operate. We wait and see.. but I am depressed.

Whatever you think about the ALP, nearly fifty percent of the electorate deserves better than this.

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

Ah, Eastwood. Home of the whiter than white bourgeoisie who —

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

Ken , you are so boring now.
If you were french you probably wondered why Mitterand’s policies was so different from his written work!
for the first time Politics is exciting.
As that great Aussie philosopher said Howard is too old too slow too bald.
Australians are straining for the ALP to tell them what they represent. Iron Mark will do that

Ron we will have to do coffee at Eastwood sometime!

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

“Australians are straining for the ALP to tell them what they represent.”

Straining, as in a difficult bowel movement?

Mildly curious, yes; straining, no.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“I fear he is a born persecutor. He does that stuff in Parliament, he seems to bash the poor… he wants people off disability pensions.. I don’t want to vote for an ALP which is drier than the vinegar at Golgotha. The electorate needs real choice.”

One of the more surreal aspects of all of this has been listening to self-proclaimed Lefty ladies of a certain age, besieging talkback to register their undying affection for the Guevara of Green Valley. When did this socially conservative, economically dry, wildly erratic self-server transmute into a pinup for bleeding hearts? And please: one more comment about “loveable larrikins” and I’ll transmute into Dame Annabel Rankin.

Surely the whole point about being an authentic Aussie larrikin is the inherent lack of self-awareness about so being. Latham plays it up for all it’s worth – “I’m a larrikin, and I’m proud of it burble, burble, blah, blah, blah.”

Give it 10 years and he’ll be living in a mansion in Woollahra surrounded by Empire Clocks, or something….

The saving grace is his revelation that Meatloaf’s “Bat out of Hell” is his favourite tune. I sort of like the image of him blatting down the Hume Highway towards Canberra yesterday with these lyrics booming out:

(you may take some heart here Ken)

“The sirens are screaming, and the fires are howling
Way down in the valley tonight.
There’s a man in the shadows with a gun in his eye
And a blade shining oh so bright.
There’s evil in the air and there’s thunder in the sky,
And a killer’s on the bloodshot streets.
And down in the tunnels where the deadly are rising
Oh, I swear I saw a young boy down in the gutter
He was starting to foam in the heat.

PRE-CHORUS
Oh, baby you’re the only thing in this whole world
That’s pure and good and right.
And wherever you are and wherever you go
There’s always gonna be some light,
But I gotta get out, I gotta break out now
Before the final crack of dawn.
So we gotta make the most of our one night together
When it’s over, you know,
We’ll both be so alone.

CHORUS
Like a bat out of hell I’ll be gone when the morning comes.
When the night is over, like a bat out of hell, I’ll be gone, gone, gone.
Like a bat out of hell I’ll be gone when the morning comes.
But when the day is done
and the sun goes down
and the moonlight’s shining through.
Then like a sinner before the gates of Heaven
I’ll come crawling on back to you.

I’m gonna hit the highway like a battering ram
On a silver-black phantom bike.
When the metal is hot, and the engine is hungry
And we’re all about to see the light.
Nothing ever grows in this rotting old hole,
And everything is stunted and lost.
And nothing really rocks, and nothing really rolls,
And nothing’s ever worth the cost.

Well I know that I’m damned if I never get out,
And maybe I’m damned if I do,
But with every other beat I’ve got left in my heart,
You know I wanna be damned with you.
If I gotta be damned, you know I wanna be damned
Dancing through the night with you/
Well if I gotta be damned, you know I wanna be damned,
Gotta be damned, you know I wanna be damned
Gotta be damned, you know I wanna be damned
Dancing through the night,
Dancing through the night,
Dancing through the night with you

PRE-CHORUS

CHORUS

Well I can see myself tearing up the road
Faster than any other boy has ever gone.
And my skin is raw, but my soul is ripe,
And no one’s gonna stop me now, I’m gonna make my escape.
But I can’t stop thinking of you,
And I never see the sudden curve until it’s way too late.
And I never see the sudden curve until it’s way too late.

Then I’m down in the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun,
Torn and twisted at the foot of a burning bike,
And I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell.
And the last thing I see is my heart, still beating,
Breaking out of my body and flying away
Like a bat out of hell.

Then I’m down in the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun,
Torn and twisted at the foot of a burning bike,
And I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell.
And the last thing I see is my heart,
Still beating..still beating…
Breaking out of my body, and flying away
Like a bat out of hell
Like a bat out of hell
Like a bat out of hell…
Like a bat out of hell
Like a bat out of hell
Like a bat out of hell……..”

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

The Lefty ladies will support anyone with a sniff of a chance of beating Johnny H.

Latham could support public floggings of asylum seekers, with whips made from the hides of endangered species, and the Lefty ladies will support him anyway.

It’s not a head thing, it’s not a heart thing, it’s a gut thing.

At least until about 3 months after he becomes PM, when he opens a McDonalds in his electorate, and they will excoriate him for betraying traditional Labor values.

Tony James
Tony James
2022 years ago

I read the last word in political philosophy painted on a sandstone cliff somewhere. It said “don’t vote it only encourages the bastards”. I think I’ll abstain.

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

“Give it 10 years and he’ll be living in a mansion in Woollahra surrounded by Empire Clocks, or something….”

Surely a true believer could never do that, Geoff. Nah!

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

Ron , what is this reverse snobbery that says a Labor politician can never live in a rich suburb? Latham’s whole political philosophy is based on the idea that people should be able to improve their lot in life through hard work etc. As Neville Wran said, the best part of being in the working class is getting out of it.

Do I detect just a hint of envy that Paul Keating has managed to make it from Bankstown to Woollahra, while you, perchance, have been stuck in the middle ground of Eastwood, or its equivalent, your whole life? Would this mean that that horrible, horrible Keating person, has
overtaken you on the social ladder?

How unfair that Keating – and soon Latham – gets regularly feted by the business and social elite, people whose interests you were fighting for when you spent those long days handing out the Liberal how to vote cards! against the Keating socialists! while the same business and social elite wouldn’t give you the time of day.

Aint life a bitch.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

I used to live in Woollahra. Now I’m in Earlwood (which is not to be confused with Eastwood). Maybe I’m non-aspirationally downwardly mobile?

SP
SP
2022 years ago

It depends Geoff if you went from a renter to home-owner.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“It depends Geoff if you went from a renter to home-owner.’

I moved for love SP. I’m not sure which rungs they are on the Latham Ladder of Opportunity….

SP
SP
2022 years ago

I think it is up to you Geoff to decide if the move was downwardly mobile, but I suggest it was probably aspirational, at least I hope so.

But I think it is okay for people to buy nice houses in nice suburbs no matter where they were born. I am less impressed with those who infer that those that do are class traitors.

wen
wen
2022 years ago

Guess it depends on what becomes of your attitude to where you came from & the people who still live there, SP. Are you ashamed to admit that you once lived in Woollahra, Geoff?(:

SP
SP
2022 years ago

I agree wen, but was someone suggesting that Keating and Latham have said that they are ashamed of their past… I haven’t heard that before.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

The TA comment boxes are nowhere near as entertaining since Ron Mead learned to ignore Dave Ricardo’s provocations and vice versa. You’re both going to have to try harder to be so utterly obnoxious that the other won’t be able to resist rising to the bait.

As for Geoff, PJK and Woollahra, I suspect the thing many found so irritating about Keating was that he unhesitatingly played the politics of class envy and division (though not as well as Howard now does) while simultaneously implementing the neo-liberal multinational agenda and embracing its preferred lifestyle and affectations.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“I think it is up to you Geoff to decide if the move was downwardly mobile, but I suggest it was probably aspirational, at least I hope so.”

It was SP. You’re absolutely right :)

“Guess it depends on what becomes of your attitude to where you came from & the people who still live there, SP. Are you ashamed to admit that you once lived in Woollahra, Geoff?(:’

God no Wendy! I lived in the funky Paddo end in a share house with totally cool, zeitgeisty people.
One was at NIDA….

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“The TA comment boxes are nowhere near as entertaining since Ron Mead learned to ignore Dave Ricardo’s provocations and vice versa. You’re both going to have to try harder to be so utterly obnoxious that the other won’t be able to resist rising to the bait.”

Well, if you got off your overly self-reflective – though not in bad shape for a bloke your age – butt and blogged a bit more Ken, you might, based on the enthusiastic response to this post, reignite the passion :)

David
2022 years ago

Since you all, except Wen, seem to live in Sydney, I think Dame Smack should come around and sort you all out. Geoff Honnor, radiant with love, will guide her with his radar eye for hypocrisy. Snitting about suburbs indeed! And you don’t even understand the sheer erotic value of a good Second Empire clock..

I can’t explain the absence of the Melbourne Mexicans. I fear Kennett taught us the drought toad trick – dig a hole, wrap yourself in a ball of dirt and saliva, and just try and wait it out. Trouble is, we are still down there. Probably waiting for a real alternative.

23 sleeps to Christmas. And Don’t Argue about the calculation..

observa
observa
2022 years ago

I guess being in Adelaide we are expecting really innovative, socially aware things from Mark’s Labor. While I get to look forward to Latham’s bipartisan top end tax cuts, I am anticipating more wildly socialist policies like Rann’s door snake, couple of light bulbs and a chat with a public servant for pensioners struggling with power bills. Some of us enLIGHTened folk are really agog with anticipation of Mark’s prospective brainwaves. Perhaps Fly-Buys with Centrelink payments for the battlers.

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

Where did you get the vice versa bit from, Ken?

By the way just because I shop occasionally in Eastwood and use the library there doesn’t mean I live in Eastwood.

Patrick
2022 years ago

Latham is the sort of leader who could convince me to vote labor, this from a life-long Liberal voter (at least at the federal level)

And you should try the Chatswood library. Heaps better than Eastwood.

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

“By the way just because I shop occasionally in Eastwood and use the library there doesn’t mean I live in Eastwood.”

No, on reflection you’re probably not a Beecroft man. Would it be Epping?

BTW, I see Latham has recanted on his desire to bring corporal punishment back into schools.

Obviously, he’s already been captured by the Left.

And Geoff,

“totally cool, zeitgeisty people.
One was at NIDA….”

is an oxymoron.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“And Geoff,

“totally cool, zeitgeisty people.
One was at NIDA….”

is an oxymoron”

Yes Dave. Almost certainly true :)

Jason Soon
2022 years ago

Used to live in Glendenning (closest station – Blacktown) when I was attending uni and living with my parents. Neighbouring suburbs – Plumpton, Mount Druitt, Rooty Hill. Now I live in Neutral Bay. Must be one of those class traitors too.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Can this be true? Here’s the Red Kezza, peering dolefully forth from the “7.30 Report” screen, telling us that Mark Latham isn’t available for interview tonight, for other than Kerry Packer’s Channel 9 purposes…………

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

Geoff, I’m starting to really warm to this guy. Now if he snubs the Hilmer rag, he’s just about got me.

Homer, do you have any connection with Homer’s Cafe on Rowe street?

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

Dave, I used to live at Ryde but now would not associate with the riff raff there.
Eastwood is a much more culturally intergrated place.

Ron those bludgers will never give me a free coffee despite my generous nature of not suing them for taking my name in vein!

Care to share coffee nearby at some stage Ron, we won’t let that working class ratbag Dave anywhere near the place.
I was rereading Ross’s biography of Curtin and I hate to say it but a lot of the things people were saying about Him were exactly what they were saying about Iron Mark ( except the drinking of course although that was brought up in the lobbying). Howard is similar to Lyons too!

Swan, Conroy and Smith couldn’t lobby their way out of a paperbag and what about Hard hat Laurie!

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

You Sydney people with your little snobberires. Transplanted Englishmen the lot of you.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“You Sydney people with your little snobberires. Transplanted Englishmen the lot of you.’

So unlike egalitarian Adelaide, eh Scott? :)

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

Hey Scott, coming from SA, I’ll bet you’re really proud that your state was the only one to have never had any convicts.

And on the subject of the working class, why does the Lathster’s elevation remind me of this old ditty?

The working class
Can lick my arse
I’ve got the foreman’s job at last.

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

“You Sydney people with your little snobberires. Transplanted Englishmen the lot of you.”

You’re right, Scott. I’m a transplanted Melburnian from 32 years ago, and I’ve just stopped calling rugby league “rugby” as us Mexicans are wont to do.

The district we’re discussing is known as the Northern Districts as distinct (definitely) from the North Shore. I mischievously claim to many locals that I live in the western suburbs, much to their chagrin. If you look at a map of Sydney and suburbs you’ll note that Eastwood and Epping are far more westerly from the CBD than they are north. Doesn’t do your social life any good to emphasise this of course.

In the area north of the Harbour/Parramatta River there is a distinct heirarchy with the Lower North Shore followed by the Upper North Shore (with the East side of the railway line having much more cachet than the westside); followed by the Manly/Warringah/ Pittwater suburbs, followed by the Northern Districts with Beecroft and Cheltenham having local supremacy, followed by the Hills District (although residents of Castle Hill and Dural would bitterly resent being classed below any suburb in the Northern District.

Far too complicated for a Melbourne lad to follow in all its shades of nuance. Down south we all knew Toorak was number one, with everyone else a poor second so we consoled ourselves with barracking for Collingwood or Carlton or Richmond et al. Here in Epping/Eastwood at least we have the premier rugby team, Eastwood, for the last two seasons.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

There’s something profoundly – and depressingly – familiar about a thread that began as a commentary on the leadership of ALP reaching it’s inevitable conclusion: a bunch of Sydneysiders chatting about comparative real estate cachet….:)

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

*a bunch of Sydneysiders chatting about comparative real estate cachet*

It’s the zeitgeist.

Especially for aspirationals.

McMansion at Camden, here I come!

Christ, what did I say? I think I’m going to puke.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

Ron, I wasn’t let into Vimera as I didn’t have a tweed jacket with leather patches on. When I said I had only been to Meadowbank high school then I was black banned!

When Iron Mark is PM the proletariat will take control!

David
2022 years ago

Thank you Ron, or should I say Thank you senor Mead… I am beginning to get a grip on this real estate obsession.

As ultimately an Adelaide person, I should remind you all that the city of churches had no convicts, but it was thunk up (as a private enterprise market driven corporation) by a man who was in prison at the time. For abducting an under age girl.

Or has some Dunstonian boosterist historian debunked one of my most cherished histrybites?

trackback
2022 years ago

Latham wins

Mark gets the numbers—just. Federal Labor MPs today threw caution to the wind and narrowly chose a “generational change”, voting for 42-year-old Mark Latham to lead the party over the experienced former leader Kim Beazley by 47 votes to 45….