The manboobs shot should have been a giveaway – Mark Latham is John Howard’s Great White Whale
The Prime Minister’s obsessive pursuit of Mark Latham this week has revealed his true role model.

It’s not Menzies. It’s Captain Ahab.

An old salt has flicked through their sea-stained volume of Moby Dick
to provide us with the crucial quotes to support this contention.

Here’s what we can expect the PM to say on election night if he goes down:

“From hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.”

Howard considers his opponent:

“There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness.”

The Government’s tactics explained:

“Ignorance is the parent of fear.”

This is a line the PM may well have used to Arthur Sinodinis or Tonys
Nutt and O’Leary as he prepared for Question Time during the week:

“They think me mad – Starbuck [read Costello] does; but I’m demoniac, I
am madness maddened! That wild madness that’s only calm to
comprehend itself!”

And this is what Peter Costello must be thinking:

“Is he mad? Anyway there’s something on his mind, as sure as there must be something on a deck when it cracks.”

Herman Melville presciently predicts the role of the media in modern Australian political life:

“Though amid all the smoking horror and diabolism of a sea-fight,
sharks will be seen longingly gazing up to the ship’s decks, like
hungry dogs round a table where red meat is being carved, ready to bolt
down every killed man that is tossed to them.”

Jenny Macklin warns the Caucus:

“An utterly fearless man is a far more dangerous comrade than a coward.”

And the PM realises he should have got out last year when the going was good:

“This whole act’s immutably decreed. ‘Twas rehearsed by thee and
me a billion years before this ocean rolled. Fool! I am the
Fates’ lieutenant; I act under orders.”

Hillary Bray can be contacted at [email protected]