Back-handed endorsement

Until now I’ve been equivocal at best about Mark Latham as federal Labor leader. But the ultimate argument in Latham’s favour is that Phillip Adams doesn’t like him. Reckons he’s too right wing! That’s enough for me. Latham for PM.

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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Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2021 years ago

And it’s entirely mutual. Latham had a public go at Adams on Lateline in 2002:

In response to a question about asylum-seeker policy from Tony Jones, Latham responded:

“Well, I think it’s really a 3-sided debate and this needs to be carefully understood.

That you’ve got the Government that’s trying to provoke politics, rather than solutions, they’ve run these debates through a federal election campaign, they’re now running through the South Australian election campaign.

So that’s at one extreme.

At the other extreme, they’ve sort of got a gentrified left-wing group, led by the likes of Philip Adams and Anne Summers, who are really soft touch.

They want a full abolition of mandatory detention.

Much more an open-door policy.

And really they’re insatiable.

They won’t rest until that extreme goal has been reached.”

David J
David J
2021 years ago

and this in 2001…
http://www.sen.org.au/resources/conference/1022037119_5132.html
While millionaire media commentators such as Phillip Adams and trendy Left politicians such as Natasha Stott Despoja focus solely on the rights agenda, the people who live and work in poor areas have a different set of priorities. They know that there can be no end to the poverty cycle without effort and responsibility.

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2021 years ago

“the ultimate argument in Latham’s favour is that Phillip Adams doesn’t like him”

The ultimate argument? I hope not. That means there won’t be an another one.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2021 years ago

Dave,

“Ultimate” is defined in Dictionary.com as:

1. Being last in a series, process, or progression: “As the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution, the Supreme Court occupies a central place in our scheme of government”

peggy sue
peggy sue
2021 years ago

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone,” it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

Scott Wickstein
2021 years ago

It’s not enough for me, but it’s a step in the right direction….

Observa
Observa
2021 years ago

Guess I wouldn’t mind Latham as PM if he led the Coalition. Any chance of him doing a Kernot?

Graham
2021 years ago

A child of Whitlam? *cough*

Guido
2021 years ago

Anyone listening to Radio National would know that Adams (and most of RN listeners) do not like Latham because it does not reflect their ideas of what are the values of the left. You just have to hear the program ‘Australia talks back’ and listen to the litany from callers that the ALP under Latham is just like the Howard government etc etc.

Adams has had programs about Latham before and most recently commented to Laura Tingle of the Fin Review how depressing it was that the ALP was ‘mimicking’ the Coalition on refugee policy.

Latham of course can’t stand Adams. In a celebrated letter to ‘Labor for Refugees’ a couple of years ago he had this to say:

“In my experience, the strongest supporters of the rights agenda are those who do not have to face the daily consequences of irresponsible behaviour. They have the resources to buy themselves away from social problems, to purchase private security, private education, private health insurance and private transport. This gives them the luxury of being able to talk about human rights without the need for social responsibility.

The best example of this abstract process is Phillip Adams. In his public life he opposes border protection, safe in the knowledge that asylum seekers are unlikely to settle near his Paddington terrace. In his private life, however, he is a strong supporter of laneway protection, even to the point of preventing a 90-year-old woman in a wheelchair from accessing his property so that she might have Christmas lunch with her son.” Meeaowww!

Norman
Norman
2021 years ago

What if Labor ran Latham AND Adams as Leader and Deputy Leader? Then we could . Maybe not.

Jacques Chester
Jacques Chester
2021 years ago

I’ve got no problem with Mark Latham per se – it’s all the others that come in behind him. As a leader he has a worse potential cabinet than Howard’s (which is really saying something); and there is no clear line of succession.

Furthermore, when Costello pushes for important things like workplace reform and debt reduction, there isn’t an entire institutional wing of the party doing its darndest to sabotage him. Latham may get elected, and he may be right wing. But he won’t be able to get his way all, or even most of the time once he is in government. Necessary workplace reforms will grind to a halt and ultimately, once Mark has finished his trivial tinkertoy experiments (a kind of Whitlam Lite), we will find ourselves in economically stagnant waters.

Mark’s a tyro, but as a long-term proposition he is a sucker’s punt.