Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, March 21, 2004
WHAT A CHEAP TART Lord Bob-Brown of the Barricades turned out to be!

Media Mark Latham takes him for a walk in the woods, has the usual media-fuelled intercourse with him, goes home in the morning without even promising to phone, and what does Lord Bob-Brown do?

He falls in love with him, calls him Prime Minister and wills his Green preferences to him.

It's not that Mark is some kind of suave Latin lover:

As they stood in the tree's hollow base - as roomy as an eight-man tent ...there was a cathedral hush to the depths of the Styx Valley.

Not that Latham seemed to notice. "It's an old tree that's been hollowed out"

Brown enthused over the pristine stillness of the Styx River, and the pair stood on a log and cupped their hands to sip water like a couple of boy scouts.

"Fresh water, can't beat it," was Latham's terse verdict.

On to a section of recently cleared old-growth forest, full of giant stumps, fallen towers and bulldozer tracks. While Brown mourned, Latham was moved to concede: "There's a bit of debris here."

Lord Bob-Brown wasn't the only one to lose his knickers:

Will that be soy or normal milk with your coffee?" asked one of scores of Greenpeace volunteers tagging along.

"Soy, thanks," said Latham.

"Oooh, you've got my vote.

Mark "Bodice-Ripper" Latham didn't even offer to pay for dinner!

On the eve of accepting Bob Brown's invitation for a walk through the Tasmanian wilderness, Mark Latham has virtually ruled out changes to forest and logging policies to appease Green and conservation groups.

I don't understand it, but it must be political sex-appeal.

Those greenies in their muddy boots might like a bit of rough trade. Uncle, who has had more experience in the political wilderness than the rainforest, has always believed in the old Scout's motto: keep your toggle on unless they show you the money.