While readers’ concerns about the Latham’s past continue, other Crikey
issue have been creeping back in such as a state funeral for Sir Joh,
sporting gags, plus Shane Warne and Channel Nine.

Latham’s past

To all those busy raking over the coals of Latham’s past indiscretions,
just one thing to say, “You who are without sin, cast the first
stone.” I think everyone has now got the message that
he has a very colourful past, but unless what he has done is illegal
and against the law, who cares in this day and age? Do you?
I don’t!

What I do care about is that he has the guts and the balls to take on
all comers who would bring this country to its knees, financially,
environmentally or security wise! His only priority should be the
future wellbeing of the country and its people of all cultures, ages
and wealth, not the battered and bruised egos of past conquests.

Think of the energy that has been wasted by all concerned in sussing
out 20 years of a life lived, instead of focusing on the needs for the
future. Mark has at least promised change, John Howard, on
the other hand, doesn’t see the need to change because he is already
perfect! (Perfectly


Latham and sex comps

Alleged competitions to bed Liberals reeks of the sort of competitions
that the country boys had when they visited Brisbane for the Exhibition
(the Ekka). Except their goal was to have sex with the ugliest

The Labor Lads’ comp to have sex with Liberal lasses is an old rumour
and one which my then boss warned me of when I first went to Canberra
in 1997. He said there were guys out there looking for notches
and not to sleep with anyone in Parliament House or my reputation would
be ruined.

Patronising, yes. But some of the best bloody advice I ever got
in my life, along side look both ways before you cross the road.

Withhold name please.

Looking for dirt on both sides of the fence

I see that you are stirring the Latham pot nicely, whilst trying to
maintain the high ground. I fail to see the national importance of when
Latham met his latest missus and whether he lied about it. So what if
he did? When it comes to lies, Howard is the master. At least Latham’s
lies haven’t killed anyone. Howard’s complicity in the lies that led to
the Iraq invasion have, at the latest count, led to the deaths of
around one thousand coalition troops and countless thousands of
innocent civilians. But what do they count when getting to stay at
Kirribilli House is at stake?

And I know that the Latham violence claims have subsided, for now, but
when is someone going to investigate Peter Costello’s fistic
achievements? Laid on the ground and cried, didn’t he? Yes. I can see
why News, Fairfax and Crikey don’t want to pursue that one!

Not to worry though. When Howard finally does take a big swallow and
calls the election, he is going to be killed. How the Libs aren’t
fifteen or twenty points in front is beyond me, given the dream run the
media gives Howard. Is he really that bad that people STILL appear to
want Latham? As usual, Howard will be stomped on in the face to face
debates, like he always is. People have had a gutful of this bloke.
Sooner or later, the media will have to face up to it. It’s time. I
know it. You know it. And John Howard knows it. He wanted to go on
August 7th. He shot his (or the taxpayers, more correctly) load and he
wimped it.

South Sydney

Is Howard going for the PM record?

PM John Howard will reach Bob Hawk’s time as PM on 20 Dec 04 (8 years 9
months and 9 day). Any time he serves as PM after that date will make
Howard the second longest Australian PM since Federation in 1901. The
longer serving PM was Sir Robert Menzies (16 years 1 month and 8 days)
as Liberal leader but he also was a UAP PM too (2 years, 4 months and 4
days) before Faddan and Curtin. Does this mean that the election could
be in Feb 05?

The PM pecking order in 2005 would be Menzies, Howard, Hawke, Frazer, Hughes, Lyons and Bruce.

All other PMs served shorter periods from 20 days to 4 years 5 months and 7 days.

It is interesting that most of the longer serving PMs did so after WW2
and in many cases their successors held power for their party for even
longer (eg) Forde and Chifley for the ALP, Holt, McEwen, Gorton and
McMahon for the Libs/Country Party and Keating for the ALP.

Source: AEC Electoral Pocketbook 2001 – its a good read.

Adrian Jackson
Middle Park, VIC

Lay off Sir Joh and his state funeral

While I acknowledge Sir Joh had many faults (as do we all), I think its
grossly unfair to call into questions his right to a State funeral
(Subscriber email, 13 July).

He was the best Premier Queensland ever had, and probably still
is. He was a fantastic defender of Queensland, and he knew how to
get things done.

More relevant is the fact that for various (admittedly some technical)
reasons – to my knowledge, he was never officially convicted of

He served as Premier, and deserves recognition for his amazing achievements in the service of Queensland.


Joh and “The Queensland Muzzle”

Crikey pointed out a few of Sir Joh’s defects, but did not mention the
hung jury when a Nat Party jury member’s vote kept Joh out of jail. Not
so some of his cabinet ministers who were jailed, surely the most
number of Westminster type ministers ever jailed at the one time.

Joh’s immediate legacy to garbage headers anxious to hide their
villainy was to slap a writ on whistleblowers, which silenced them
making any statements once the writ was served. There was no timeline
on the writs, which could, and did, go on for years without any court
action. This technique was known in Queensland legal circles as The
Queensland Muzzle and silenced many genuine persons trying to disclose
infamies in local authority, government and rural organisations.

Clive Morton

Where are Brian and Margo?

Hi, I’ve been trying to find out what happened to the Sun-Heralds
columnists, Brian Toohey and Margo Kingston. They contributed a
lot to the paper, and were a joy to read, offering different opinions
to most journalists. Surely it can’t be because a Federal
election is approaching? Hope you can help.

Cheryl Finch

Don’t speak ill of a sporting body

Motor Sport is big on gags too – fines of up to $10,000 have been
levied against competitors and team members by CAMS, the organising
body, for criticism or publicly disagreeing with decisions.

Problem is, to be a part of any of these sports, you generally have to
sign a document stating you agree to be bound by their rules. If
you don’t sign, you can’t play. Or officiate or anything
else. In the case of motor sport, the competitor has to bear the
responsibility for anything their team do – so if a crew member is
behaving badly, the competitor (who could be in bed, asleep and several
kilometres away) can be fined or assessed a sporting penalty.
This is exactly what happened to the Holden Racing Team a couple of
years ago.

Seems to me that sporting bodies are traditionally afraid of being
criticised. Makes it hard I know, but you also have to remember
that the sporting administrators are very often volunteers, who might
just stop volunteering if they are not fawned over.

I realise that at elite levels, the officials tend to be paid, so maybe they should have to learn to take it on the chin.

Thanks for a thought-provoking read.

CRIKEY: Read “Outside Centre’s” story here – Sporting gags on the skids

Bored by Shane and Muralitharan already?

I don’t know how long Shane or ‘Marty’ are going to keep bowling but
it’s going to be very old news very quickly when either of them reaches
and or exceeds the previously set target. Is Australia still going to
stop what it’s doing and watch the ‘moment’ on the 4th or 5th time
around? I certainly hope not because I’m bored by it already.


CRIKEY: Read Patrick Fitzgerald’s story here – Nine shame, bowled Shane!


Is the nuclear waste dump backflip by the Howard Government a case of
not in my backyard (NIMBY) or not in marginals before elections (NIMBE)?

Simon Rolfe
Hobart, TAS

This week we also published various letters on other parts of the site underneath relevant stories:

Piers Akerman feedback: Iron Mark vs The Parrot

Media Watch feedback: Media Watch does over Crikey & friends

Plus Owen Outsider on Charles Richardson and The Canadian elections debate

Peter Fray

Support journalism that makes things better, not worse.

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