Thursday, July 04, 2002

In this morning's Australian, Greg Sheridan puts forward a strong argument about why Mark Latham is doing more harm than good.

Personally, I have a lot of time for Latham. His ideas about welfare and use of public resources are well worth reading. The bovver-boy bullshit is a bit obvious, and the whole "hater" identity is patently a grab for the vacant Keating mantle.

Latham needs to gather support from the Left in the ALP if he is to make a grab for the leadership after Crean fails at the next election. He know full well that anti-US rhetoric plays poorly in the electorate, where the US-Australia alliance enjoys overwhelming public support. His "arselicking" comments will not move one single vote in the election. He knows it, Crean knows it, Howard knows it. As Sheridan points out

The danger is that Howard will do to Labor on the US alliance and security generally what he has done to it so effectively on border control

Latham is "muscling up" all right. He is getting ready to make a run for the top job. Expect some change in his hardline stance on illegal immigration and/or mandatory detention soon

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