The Financial Review works hard to preserve its reputation as the most boring newspaper in the southern hemisphere, but once every fortnight a hermit turns up on the op-ed page to provide some distraction. Today he’s at it again.

Mark Latham’s tirade against Opposition leader Tony Abbott in the AFR [no link, $1308 annual subscription] is quintessential Latham — highly entertaining, factually ambiguous and, like his own political modus operandi, full of contrived controversy. Abbott, says Latham:

“… has unashamedly declared himself to be an oppositionist, framing his electoral strategy around a carping, negative campaign on the government’s emissions trading scheme … This is the politics of an empty vessel, a leader who has narrowed his appeal to the bedrock Liberal Party base — the individualistic, bigoted, monocultural values of blue-rinse Australia”.

Latham concludes his essay from political exile by drawing on his own expertise:

“Although large parts of the electorate have low IQs, few people are so stupid as to fall for Abbott’s trick”.

M. Latham should know.

Peter Fray

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