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Attila the Pun
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
 
Turn it up

I remain eternally grateful that the Australian public had the good sense to not make Mark Latham our PM, but I will be damned if I can think of a political figure that has provided me with this much amusement in such a short period of time. When the Latham Diaries hit the bargain bin, I am pretty sure I am going to shark a copy.

I am not sure if Latham has completely lost it, or if he is just enjoying speaking to various media types in the manner in which he wished he always could have. Check out Crikey's transcript of a recent interview between Latham and the ABC's Matthew Abraham:

Abraham: It's okay to smear somebody if you do it with your name on it?

Latham: We're going to have to talk about specifics. You're making this generalisation, I don't know if you've actually read the book.

Abraham: I have.

Latham: Okay, you're making this allegation about smearing people. Give your listeners the specific thing that's got up your nose.

Abraham: In recent days, people have had to come out and deny the rumour that you've repeated in the book about them; Pru Goward, Kate Fisher, Kate Ellis, Kim Beazley's daughters.

Latham: Have you read the book? It's not Kate Fisher.

Abraham: I have read the book.

Latham: Kate Fisher's not in the book. Turn it up.

and

Abraham: Does it connect with you that you have smeared her because by repeating a rumour, that a lot of people wouldn't have been aware of,and saying this isn't true, it then raises the question - you get the rumour out there, it gives it a lot more credence than it may ever have had.

Latham: Well, maybe in your perverted mind it does, but it doesn't in mine. If someone says it's not true, they're saying that in black and whiteand this person's been hard done by, then the literal meaning of that means it's not true, this person's been hard done by. I don't know what you sort of get up to in your wild imagination when you read these things Matthew. Maybe like other people in the media with an obsession with sex, but you need to read the literal words there, take the literal meaning.

and

Latham: Turn it up, you're the one who just said in this interview that I spooked myself. I'm not complaining about it, I've set it down in the book. This is the Mad Hatter's tea party, as ever interviewed by you, you're just running around in circles. It's hilarious.

Abraham: Well, I'm glad you're enjoying it, I wouldn't want it to be an unpleasant experience. Your descriptions of women in the book as 'quality box and boiler bunnies', is that how you refer to women? What is a bunny boiler?

Latham: when you watch that movie with Glenn Close and Michael Douglas, Fatal Attraction is the name of the movie, she sticks the bunnies in the boiler. You need to go down to the pub, talk to your mates, get with the lingo.

Abraham: I don't spend a lot of time at the pub.

Latham: Oh no, I'm sure you don't.

I never rated Latham's "I use aussie lingo" approach, but when it comes to getting stuck into an ABC interviewer, I am all for it. He keeps going:

Abraham: You go into a fair bit of that about your previous wife, too, I just wonder whether anything is out of bounds?

Latham: Well it's all there in the diary and people can make their judgement. I found in public life the media had no ethics, there was no moral standard when you've got a cadre of journalists who go through garbage bins to find their stories I've got a fair bit to say about the media in this book in response, as you've pointed out.

Abraham: I wasn't asking about that but anyway.

Latham: No, you had another sexually related question and I think you really should see someone who's read Freud and can give you some better advice about how to handle these things.

Abraham: Well you can duck and weave around that one Mark Latham.

Latham: Got any more sex questions, this is so typical of the media and I think it's tragic that it's on the ABC, wouldn't you think thepublic broadcaster would want to talk about the serious issues in this book instead of a perverted commentator there, who's highlighted the sexy bits in the book and that's all he can get his hands on.

Abraham intends on wrapping it up with the traditional "thanks for speaking to us" line, but Latham won't have a bar of it:

Abraham: Mark Latham thank you for talking to 891 Mornings.

Latham: Yeah, well Matthew, good to know that you haven't changed one iota mate, and I'm very surprised your program never made it into the diary because you and the other jibberer were quite legendary in our office things never change, hey.

Abraham: Well I was disappointed I wasn't in there.

Latham: It's a miracle you weren't, my press secretary, you'll probably be in his diary he had quite a thing for you and I'm seeing him tomorrow and I'll let him know that nothing's changed there at the ABC in Adelaide and one of the joys of putting you on the list and doing the interview was just to check out that fact it's nice to have some consistency at the good old Adelaide ABC . You have a good day Matthew and I hope you can read the book in full and have a look at some of those public policy and bigger issues as well.

Abraham: Mark Latham thank you. Former National Labor Party Leader on 891ABC Adelaide.

Aaaah Mark - long may you hang around throwing hand grenades at the ALP and ABC

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