News Ltd columnist Glenn Milne has copped plenty of abuse from Mark
Latham in his Diaries and during interviews with the ABC. Despite
having two opportunities to respond in columns so far, Milne has not
gone into print defending his actions in writing extensively about
claims pushed by Latham’s first wife or his alleged problems with women
and the bogus buck’s night video.

Latham has certainly upped the pressure by revealing private conversations with Milne, such as this from Enough Rope:

There’s no doubt someone like Glenn Milne sees himself as a mover and shaker and
not just a writer of stories. He actually sees himself as a
participant. He once said to me that he
played a role in helping Keating defeat Hawke, and he’s determined to help
Costello defeat Howard for the Liberal leadership. So he hasn’t done too well on
that front. That’s a long running project for him. He’s been
working at it for 10 years, but he’s a participant more than an observer of the
system. They’ve really got a culture of know-alls, that people sit in the press
gallery, they see all this stuff, they get on the grog at night with the odd
politician. They swan around Canberra. They get into the idea the culture the
state of mind that they know everything that’s going on. Nothing could be
happening that they don’t see. Well, you know I think they see the tip of
iceberg basically. What’s under the waterline is hidden from the media and these
diaries are one example of how there’s a lot of stuff happening behind the
scenes that where the media just wouldn’t know diddly squat.


Milne really should respond to that. Latham also fired this shot at him on Lateline: “Inevitably, I’m this time leader of the Labor Party, it (the Kate Ellis rumour) will get into the media
at some stage – a Glenn Milne will feed it into the system somewhere, all of
these perverted voyeuristic types will feed it in at some point and I’ll have to
go through the same thing.”

Milne is clearly furious and is darkly hinting that he will be raising the stakes against Latham by finishing today’s column in The Australian today as follows:

A final postscript: while some divisions have emerged within the Labor caucus
over Latham’s diaries there has been near-universal revulsion at his
resurrection of the June 2000 suicide of Victorian Labor MP Greg Wilton. Latham
last week virtually accused Beazley and Labor’s deputy Senate leader, Stephen
Conroy, of causing Wilton’s death.

Latham’s gratuitous revival of the memory of this dreadful incident for his
own self-serving political purposes has had an awful impact on Wilton’s widow
and two children. For that reason, no one wants to respond publicly to his
attack. But one day, the real story of Latham’s role in the Wilton suicide will be
revealed.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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