Confused by the hectic rise & fall of Mark Latham? Crikey’s Labor historian reminds us that the origins of Latham’s demise lie in his poignant attempt to challenge the party’s traditional powerbrokers. (As written in the oracles of years gone by, and translated by Labor historian Herodotus Freudenbergus)

In a galaxy not so long ago and not so far away there lived a group of Jedis who proclaimed themselves the custodian of the Alpha empire. They were divided into three sub groups: Red, Blue and White. They and their followers occupied different parts of the empire, more or less in harmony.

The Red Jedis occupied the left bank of the river that separated the empire; the Blue Jedis occupied the right bank; and the White Jedis
occupied the few small islands scattered in the middle of the river.

For eons these Jedis enjoyed the undisputed power to decide among themselves who would become their emperor. The Jedis also decided who would serve on the inner centum to advise the emperor. And although it was the High Council that made that final decision, their followers in the council always obeyed them.

And it came to pass, that it was time to replace their ailing emperor Simple Simon. The Jedis met and decided to proclaim Kimcellus the Chariot as their choice. All they needed was for their followers to rubber-stamp that decision in the High Council.

However, unbeknown to the Jedis, some members of the council led by Princess Juliana decided it was time for the council to make its own decision, without directives from the Jedis.

Princess Juliana had all the qualifications of a Jedi but was unable to become one because, based on time-honored procedure, the Jedis
would only admit the male species into their exclusive order.

When the High Council met to endorse the Jedis’ choice, Marcellus the Iron Man decided to throw his hat in the ring. And, to the surprise
of everyone, was elected emperor by just one vote.

The undisputed power of the Jedis had been broken.

The new emperor Marcellus had some extrordinary ideas. He wanted to do away with the influence of the Jedis. He wanted to appoint
advisers from the council on merits rather than on patronage! And he also wanted to guide the empire on a different direction.

Marcellus was attempting heresy. The Jedis had to put a stop to that.

Antonio, a master red Jedi from the middle kingdom, Stiletto, a master blue Jedi also from the middle kingdom, and the Albatross, a master blue Jedi from the upper sunshine kingdom, met to plot the demise of Marcellus. But they had to put their plan on hold because of the impending battle with the Cons.

At that battle the Cons led by their emperor Lazarus defeated the Alphas led by Marcellus. After the battle the Jedis decided Marcellus had to be replaced, but they could not decide among themselves who should become the new emperor.

Antonio, Stiletto and the Albatross struck on a program of destabilising Marcellus until the Ides of March when they would deliver the final blow. Meanwhile, they would consult the heavens for a sign to make their move.

Meantime, Marcellus decided to take a break during the festive season, leaving the High Priestess from the Temple of the Jedis in
charge of the council. Unbeknown to him, a poison challis was slipped into his personal baggage.

That poison challis was the master stroke. Marcellus was struck down sick and incapacitated when a galactic storm struck the outer
planets, creating destruction and havoc.

The Jedis saw this galactic storm as a sign from the gods to make their move before the Ides of March. They instructed the High
Priestess not to contact the incapacitated Marcellus to inform him what was happening. She was told to proceed with her pilgrimage and
leave the council in the charge of an inexperienced and unknown gatekeeper from the West, Senator Camaraman Joe.

Many members of the council were stunned, shocked and angry Marcellus did not return to tour the outer planets, chosing instead to visit the Valhalla Sanitorium with his family. The Jedis whispered in the ears of the councillors; they wanted blood.

“Marcellus must be sacrificed to the gods,” they urged, and the rest was history: the Jedis got back their undisputed power, and Marcellus
got back his old job as writer of bodice-rippers for the political classes.

The saga continues …

Crikey’s Labor historian Herodotus Freudenbergus updates the saga of the Labor leadership:

The Ides of March came early for the emperor Marcellus. The Jedi plotters and their followers including the High Priestess rejoice, shedding copious crocodile tears.

The High Priestess then performed the ceremony of washing and cleansing the blood from their hands. After that ceremony the Jedis anoint Kimcellus the Chariot as the new emperor. This time they took extra precautions to make sure they would be no surprises at the High Council. Word got around that any member of the council who disobeyed would be fed to the lions…

That was the continuing saga of the Revenge of the Jedis as told in the oracles of years gone by. It’s now time to return to earth and uncover a few home truths.

Where was Latham’s loyal deputy Jenny Macklin during the tsunami crisis? Why was she hardly visible as acting opposition leader? And why didn’t she contact Latham and suggest a game plan when the magnitude of the disaster became apparent?

Any loyal and trustworthy deputy worth a pinch of salt would have done that.

Instead of taking up the challenge she decided to proceed with her holidays and went MIA – leaving everything to Senator Evans, an inexperienced and unknown Third Eleven skipper in charge of the team.

Remember. Macklin fought tooth and nail to keep her deputy’s position after the election, employing the heavies of the boys club to shore up her support.

Perhaps it’s time for the ALP caucus when it meets to anoint Beazley as the ‘back from the future leader’ to also seriously consider the position of the deputy as well?

Besides a new leader, the ALP also needs a deputy who can act and think on her feet. It cannot afford to have a deputy who needs to rely on directions and directives from above. Caucus should seriously consider dumping Macklin for Gillard.

And come to think of it, perhaps the ALP caucus should also once again disobey the wishes of the Jedis and do another ABB number? Happy knee-capping.