Attila the Pun
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Out with the old, in with.. the old.

Nobody likes a loser. And very few people like Mark Latham as a possible Prime Minister - 27% of people in fact. As always, there is the caveat of trusting polls, the traditional slump of a defeated opposition leader etc etc, but when you chuck in a 38% primary vote, or 47% two party preferred, things look pretty grim. Though when you consider that Labor managed 37.6% primary vote at the actual election, things are looking up!

The other problem for labor is a lack of alternatives. Having waded through the steaming pile that is Philip Adams' latest column, we find that though he is calling for Latham's head:

"A better strategy would be to replace him within the twelvemonth, giving his successor a couple of years to build a reputation and a policy base."

He doesn't provide any suggestions as to who that successor could be. (As an aside, what kind of tosser uses the expression "twelvemonth"?)

Lets look at the options:

Simon Crean - He has leadership experience, having been stabbed in the back once already. Downsides include his negative personality quotient and complete lack of leadership skills.

Kim Beazley - He has contested more losing elections than Latham, so should really know which mistakes not to make again. If Beazley was reinstalled as leader, I would give even money odds that Howard would stick around for one more election, just to towel him up some more.

Julia Gillard - Invariably described as one of Labor's 'up and comers', which is code for 'media favorite'. Latham got this tag early (remember the Good Weekend profile suggesting he was a future PM?), and look how well he did.

Kevin Rudd. Election positives - speaks Chinese. Election negatives - looks like Harry Potter, is a member of the Labor party.

Wayne Swan - Current shadow treasurer. Can't do worse than Crean in this role. Also sets himself up for the traditional treasurer's role of stabbing the leader in the back. Short priced favorite. He will have to hope that some of the gems from his maiden speech stay hidden however:

"However, hindering the development of appropriate interventionist policies over the past few decades has been the unhealthy dominance of laissez-faire economists in universities, in the bureaucracy, in private industry and in the conservative parties. To those people, greed is good and taxation is theft. "

The "Glimmer Twins" BS has got to go as well (See Stephen Smith)

Stephen Smith: Industrial Relations spokesperson, and the other "glimmer twin" Have a look at these two. Is there anybody less rock and roll than them? Where do people get off comparing them to the real glimmer twins? Thats rock and roll baby! Smith also has what it is known as "angry man hair" Any person whose hair covers their temples like that is generally on a short fuse, and is not to be trusted as the leader of a major political party...

And really, thats about it. Labor aren't suicidal enough to install Martin Ferguson, another union hack, or desperate enough to go with a token appointment like Jenny Macklin. Nope, they, and us, are stuck with Latham for a while longer yet. Frankly, I can't wait...

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