Christian Kerr explains why we need a properly functioning Opposition…
The sad, slow strange death of Iron Mark Latham continued yesterday – briefly interrupted when this yours truly paused to draw everyone’s attention to the remarkable physical resemblance between Sharan Burrows and David Combe. If only she had darker hair…

It’s been hard to actually get a good view of the expiring carcass, as it’s been surrounded by a flock of noveau Kremlinologists lovingly studying the entrails that trail across the ground.

As high profile figures leave like dying breaths, they mumble to each other about the way in which the ultimate dummy spitter is complaining about his former shadows throwing a dummy spit and nod knowingly.

Puh-leaze! For poor old Iron Mark’s state, for their state, for the Party’s state and the nation’s state – there’ll be even more need for quality opposition after July 1 next year, remember – can we all put a sock it in.

Mark Latham needs to confront his own election loss. Full stop. Once he’s done that, his party can then confront its loss. Ok? No mention of the stories about mum on election night. No whispering. No finger pointing. That’s it. That’s all we’ve got to say. Do it.

We need quality Opposition. We need an Opposition than can deliver.

The Liberal Party suffered an even more shattering defeat in 1993 than Iron Mark and the ALP have been through this time.

And, to their credit, within about six months of that they’d already put an enormous hole in Paul Keating. He never really recovered.

Part of it was because he was in full Captain Wacky mode – but part of it was also because people like the then shadow treasurer, Alexander Downer, identified his weaknesses and went to work on them. Mercilessly.

John Howard is back there with a majority in both Houses because the current Opposition has been very good at talking about all the symptoms of what’s wrong with his Government – but bl**dy useless at identifying and explaining the underlying rottenness at its heart. Ditto the meeja.

Good opposition is vital to good democracy. Fix it.

Sorry. We’ve lingered to long and can’t resist just a few kicks at the body sprawled on the ground before we move one.

The election results suggest that a majority of Australians believed that Mark Latham was simply pretending to be nice, that it wouldn’t be long before his autocratic, bullying days returned. They seem to have been right.

How, if he is acting in the interests of Labor – as opposed to his own – and genuinely wants strong parliamentary and cabinet performance, can someone like Tanya Plibersek (Left, lightweight and ever thankful to Anthony Albanese) get a shadow ministry over, say, Bob McMullan. Where does such crass, dated factionalism fit in with the new politics preached by Iron Mark?

At the same time, too, isn’t it just a little fraudulent that all these former frontbenchers who have intimated that they can’t work with Latham seemed quite happy to play along when it looked as if ministerial jobs were in the offing?

As we said, fix it. For all of our sakes.