So The Princess of Wales slept with John F Kennedy Jnr, according to “energy healer” Simone Simmons… whoops, we’re talking about a different sensational book today, aren’t we?

Twenty four hours to go before the launch of Bernard Langan’s Mark Latham book The Loner – what a good time for the PM to take a few days off – and Johnno Johnson
is comparing Iron Mark to Billy Hughes? Unions NSW secretary John
Robertson has joined in. The former Labor leader never came up with
abuse like that even at his most baroque.

We thought the
bruvvers always knew their history. Hughes, famously, was a member of
parliament from Federation until his death in 1952 and, after the
conscription split, joined virtually every anti-Labor party he could –
the poor old bloke carked it just before the DLP came along. Compare
and contrast with Iron Mark’s career – short, spectacular and Labor
through and through.

It’s a good thing that Labor’s unofficial historian, former Senate leader John Faulkner, is launching The Loner. We understand Faulkner’s focus will be on the book itself. Context, maybe – as befits a historian.

we also understand that Faulkner is doing the launch because, well,
he’s a decent bloke – he had promised Langan he would do it long before
Iron Mark succumbed to mettle fatigue and he’s keeping his word.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey