Tim Blair


New Criterion



Wednesday, October 13, 2004
There's a lot of good news on Labor's post-mortem on its first Latham disaster. At least, it's good news from my point of view.

Leading Labor front-bencher Lindsay Tanner thinks
"Are we a party of Hawke and Keating and the open international economy or we a party that seeks to look after particular producer interests?" he said.

"Are we a party that supports loggers or environmentalists?
Tanner hasn't noticed that his leader made those choices in the run-up to this election. He undermined the US-Australian Free Trade Agreement, and he backed the tree-lovers against the loggers.

What Latham didn't know was that a governing party has to seem to be all things to most people, most of the time.

The second item of good news. Barry Jones will soon rotate into the Presidency of the ALP, and he believes his party needs to be a crusade for moral causes. He hasn't noticed that Labor has already captured the 'moral middle-class', since John Howard has refused to take moral postures on the symbolic issues of refugees and indigenous affairs, and it won them not one seat. (Jones gave the good news to our Gastropod on Late Night Live, but you won't find a transcript).

Barry Jones has a very good memory but he is a fool, and ABCwatch welcomes him to a leading role in the re-construction of the Labor Party.

It is relevant to note the news that the dinosaurs weren't wiped out by that asteroid. They were on the way out already.

And Labor's moment of truth came well before last Saturday's election.