Christian Kerr has some frank advice for Mark Latham if he wants to make it to The Lodge in 2007.
Dilbert lookalike Mark Latham has the grim task of carrying out a post-mortem on himself as the mortal remains of his body of troops are laid out Canberra.
Kim Beazley enthusiasts like Michael Costello have not made his task any easier. He does have expert help, however, like party Vice President Warren Mundine, who appeared on Sunday Sunriseyesterday to say “the message is quite clear to the parliamentary wing: stick with Latham, he’s the man who’s going to do us the job and he’s going to be prime minister in 2007”.
Mundine does not help in any practical way. However, he does points in a vague way to what is wrong with the ALP – and how it goes all the way to the top.
Who is Mundine Vice President to? Exactly. A has-been with blood on her hands who has been a political liability for, oh, let’s be generous and say the last nine years.
If Latham wants to emulate his old boss and make it into The Lodge on his second bid, he also needs to emulate him and take on the party. So here are some gratuitous suggestions as to what he can do.
- Dump Carmen (see above).
- Dump the unions. One member, one vote. Stuff the bloc vote. Ok, so Tony Blair mightn’t be flavour of the month, but he’s won whacking great majorities in two elections and seems set to smash the Tories to pieces next year – and what was the first thing he did when he became leader? The bruvvers should have no more say in the party than anyone else and should only be able to win their case on merit, not on the brutal exercise of their numbers.
- Dump factions. They represent disunity, represent the past and guarantee the survival of a self-perpetuating system that rewards lackies, toadies and placemen – not talent – but does sod all to win elections.
- Start scouting for candidates – ASAP – and start dumping the Creans, the Ferguson brothers and anyone else who reminds anybody of any former members for Greenway. It’s time for an exciting new idea for the ALP. Merit. It’s time to get out there and find some new blood. Ok, so it will be politically risky, but some staggered retirements, some staggered bye-elections and the staggered replacement of the has-beens and never-will-bes who have kept Labor where it is with some budding new talent could create a sense of rejuvenation, a sense of momentum and – heaven forbid – a sense of “It’s Time” in the lead up to the next election.
- Dump the latte left. Who else are they going to vote for if they actually want something to happen? Stuff their gesture politics. Look at the booth results. Bob Brown’s either a liar or a fool. If left wing whiners get upset about having to modify their principles then they can go a join him or any other subset of the self deluded – or get reminded just how good it is to be in government. Civilising global capital takes precedent over silencing the moans of the soy decaf set down on Glebe Point Road.
However, it’s not looking good. Craig Emerson has fallen on his sword this morning to make way for the ultimate nepotistic hack, Senator Joe Ludwig. Joe is the son of Labor’s most celebrated backroom union powerbroker, veteran Queensland AWU heavy Bill Ludwig. It looks like Emerson is being punished for not following the faction line when he supported Dilbert for the leadership last December. This support might have had something to do with his recently ended relationship with close Latham ally Julia Gillard.
Queensland Premier Peter Beattie claimed he was going to ignore the “Labor mates” network after the Energex fiasco, but then turned around and appointed Bill to the board of Queensland Racing, just two days after son Joe had just scored another six year in the Senate. Queensland Racing is now in an almight pickle as you can see below in item 14.
Finally, Mark, chin up, son. This is for your own good. Wanna know what it was like to be a Liberal after the fifth consecutive election loss in 1993? I can tell you – and what it was like on the floor of the Tally Room just three years later.