It’s not in the transcript, but I hope you didn’t miss a magic moment of dialogue during Monday’s Australian Story. Simon Crean walks into a meeting and Julia Gillard tells him: “We forgot to buy you a latte”.

The coffee you get from Aussie’s Parliament House General Store must be some of the worst in Australia – but it’s the sort of thing Labor’s going to its grave over. This lot deserve to be out of office forever.

Even when the Young Turks get someone into parliament, they still stuff it up. Evan Thornley settling for the Victorian upper house? Such ambition! Such vision! At least it shows that money can’t buy you a Labor preselection. That’s about the only bright point in the current Labor rows.

Here we have a gang of young, gifted, articulate lawyerly Victorian Labor right-wingers coming though – if they can bump off the boomers with talk of “generational change” and “renewal”. They’ve all done their political exchange trips to the nouveaux left meccas of London, Berlin and Prague.

They can all talk AFL football, John Raulston Saul and Bellarine shiraz with the same earnest conviction with which they purchase their $500 designer frameless glasses.

Most of them have got the lucrative Workcover law practice to fall back on when they tire of recreational politics or find their paths blocked by more seasoned stackers. Lucky.

With that lot around, Peter Costello, Alexander Downer, Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott and Brendan Nelson should be considering their futures. John Howard should be able to see off these clowns for another decade.

But just one final thought. Maybe it’s unfair to link Simon Crean with that latte line. After the way he’s seen off the rottweilers this week, he may well have done better against Howard than either Latham or Big Kim.

Peter Fray

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