One of the stranger things about The Latham Diaries is the way Iron Mark dobs in some people but hides others. His introduction explains the process:

My style was to take down notes as things happen and write up the
diary in full later, usually within a week. For the publication of this
book, I transcribed these hand-written entries into the computer. Some
entries have since been modified to protect privacy and reputation of
certain individuals. Otherwise, the original entries have been
preserved.

So, why on earth would you retain the crude line about
Ross Cameron’s philandering – “Some quality box for Ross” – and then
not name the Federal Minister who sent this glowing letter which was
used to end the introduction:

Whilst there will always be some things you and I will disagree on, I
admire the contribution that you have made to public life. At Liverpool
Council you changed the Old Guard and put in place a dynamic
infrastructure. In Federal Parliament you took risks that gave you
opportunities to change the nation from Opposition. I admire that. Now
is a time for you and your family. I genuinely wish you a good life
ahead. Enjoy the time you have with family. In a number of ways you
have made Australia better.

Peter Fitzsimons outed Joe Hockey for this letter in The Sun-Herald,
but why didn’t Latham just name him given that it could only be one of
a couple of “senior ministers” who would have been across what happened
in Liverpool. Presumably Latham didn’t want to break a confidence as
Hockey probably stressed that the letter was not for publication.

The Latham Diaries
completely trash the notion of off the record conversations and private
correspondence but some people have clearly been selectively protected.

So,
which journalist passed Mark Latham the joint? Name names we say! They
should be outed, as should various other people who Latham decided
not to name. Who was the drunk ABC presenter who drove Latham the wrong
way down the street in the 1980s? Send your tips to
[email protected]

Get more Crikey, for less

It’s more than a newsletter. It’s where readers expect more – fearless journalism from a truly independent perspective. We don’t pander to anyone’s party biases. We question everything, explore the uncomfortable and dig deeper.

Join us this week for 50% off a year of Crikey.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
50% off