Crikey reporter Michael Newhouse writes:

Can we trust anything Mark Latham says in his diaries?

Since The Latham Diaries hit the shelves yesterday his many
victims have been doing their darnedest to disarm and discredit his most
politically explosive grenades. Here’s a few of the key allegations and
their rebuttals:

Latham on Beazley’s campaign to undermine him through slurs and rumours:
“My friends in Parliament House are adamant that Beazley’s staffers
Epstein and Justin Di Lollo have been spreading shit about me all over
the place… Race Matthews tells me that a senior Right-wing Victorian
told him that I have been stalking a young woman and the police are
involved. Things are out of control… Politics can be a dirty
business, but our Caucus is infested with the sewer rats of the

“I think the mistake Mark’s making is of treating corridor gossip, and
the sort of nonsense that goes on all the time, seriously. The sorts of claims he’s made against Kim Beazley – I think you’ve
either got to substantiate them or ignore them. I don’t believe they’re
correct and I think the numerous other
allegations he’s made in his book are simply corridor gossip that
should not be treated seriously.”

Beazley’s daughters
: “Our father does not have dirt files on anyone and does not engage in
vicious vitriol. Mark Latham’s bitter and hateful rantings will not
destroy dad’s legacy or service to Australia. Our father is a
quintessential Australian man. He is a man of decency. A man of honour.
A man of integrity.”


Latham on Beazley’s response to suicidal MP Greg Wilton: “And what about Beazley? He had two weeks in which to call Greg and
never did. The family know the truth: that he never had the decency to
pick up the phone to give one of his MPs a bit of comfort and security
about his political future. It confirms my worst thoughts about him.”

: “As I recollect those times – and they were a long time ago – my
office and myself were consistently in touch with people, including
members of the Caucus, who were helping him. It was a tragedy but we must reflect on the fact that there is
a wife and children left from this and respect their privacy and
therefore, beyond what I have just said, I don’t intend to continue


Latham on a sexual encounter between now Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward and John Howard:
“The Canberra rumour mill is insane with some of the stuff it comes up
with. For years, Howard has had to put up with rumours about Pru
Goward, just like I’ve copped them about her daughter, Penny Fischer.”

Goward has released a statement denying the accusations.


Latham on allegations of inappropriate conduct with South Australian MP Kate Ellis:

“Joel told me a rumour circulating on the backbench: that when I
dropped into the Holy Grail for a drink after work last Tuesday night,
the first time in more than a year, ‘Gillard had to be sent down there
to pull you off Kate Ellis.’ What a way to mark my first anniversary in the wretched job: scuttlebutt, a filthy rumour on the

Kate Ellis: “It’s completely news to me and it certainly didn’t happen. Mark Latham has certainly never sexually harassed me.”

Julia Gillard: “It was completely untrue.”

Latham on a meeting with
NSW Labor State Secretary Mark Arbib: “It’s interesting to listen to these machine guys: they live in a world
of non-stop political manoeuvres and gossip, no structured thoughts to
making society better… The focus group also showed that it’s popular to bash blacks: ‘You
need to find new issues, like attacking land rights, get stuck into all
that politically correct Aboriginal stuff – the punters love it.'”

Mark Arbib
: “The only things
he got right were mine and the restaurant’s names. I’m amazed he
could recall that, given he drank two bottles of red wine. But what made me absolutely furious was his totally untrue
claim about blacks. I find it disgusting and I’m
seeking legal advice.”
Latham on Rudd’s weak and snaky nature: “He’s such a prima donna… I put my cards on the table: that I regard
him as disloyal and unreliable, and only holds his front bench position
because of his media profile and public standing among people who have
never actually met him… He appeared surprised, protested his
innocence and then broke down badly, sobbing over the recent death of
his mother, just before polling day.”

Kevin Rudd: “It’s no secret in Canberra that Mark’s never seen
me as his number one pin-up boy … that’s been the case for
a long, long time. But you know something? The stuff that he went on
about, about my mother’s death is just beyond the pale.”

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