Fisking Craig McGregor

At least one positive thing can be said about supporters of the Democrats in the wake of the 2004 US Election - they didn't come out en masse and say John Kerry was an amazing candidate. Even they could recognise they picked a mediocre candidate out of a mediocre bunch. Unfortunately in Australia, we still have glowing, unadulterated adulation for the soundly defeated Mark Latham. And unsurprisingly, it comes via The Age - where Latham's own biographer, Craig McGregor (who has long used Fairfax pages to textually fellate Latham) cannot contain himself:
But Latham's tragedy is not just a personal one. It was a tragedy for the Labor Party, which needed the ideas and innovation Latham provided;
He had ideas and was innovative? Must've missed that part. My apologies. I mean, yes, when you compare him with the comparatively brain-dead Simon Crean.
and it was a tragedy for Australian society, which needed the imagination and radical energy a Labor leader might have provided to move forward from the moral and political despond of the past decade.
The what? We've slashed unemployment, slashed interest rates, stemmed the flow of illegal immigrants, taken the major issues seriously, increased revenue, decreased debt, increased income, cut taxes, won four elections, etc etc etc... that's a real "despond" there.
It shouldn't have happened.
Would you like a violin, so you can play yourself a song while you cry me a freakin' river?
Latham was undoubtedly the best Labor leader Australia had produced in years.
How many years? Better than Crean? Almost certainly. Better than Kim Beazley? Unlikely. The election results speak volumes.
He was an intellectual. He had a philosophy. He created policies.
He was a what? Intellectuals don't normally describe conservatives as a "conga line of suckholes", or their Prime Minister as an "arselicker" repeatedly. And isn't it a sad indictment on the Labor party when creating policies is seen as a favourable attribute?
He had a vernacular sense of humour that delighted people.
And of course, it didn't alienate any swinging voters. Oh no. Not at all. A grown man running for the leadership of this country couldn't possibly have turned off anyone with his crude, low-brow, unfunny humour.
And he had passion, which gave new heart to a party that not only faced an unprecedented electoral loss under Simon Crean's leadership - far worse than its eventual loss under Latham - but had suffered a virtual total loss of direction and nerve.
According to Roy Morgan polling, Latham inherited an 8 point two-party preferred lead in December 2003 and ended up losing by 5½ points. According to Newspoll, he inherited a two point deficit. I wouldn't call that giving heart to a party. And I wouldn't call those polling results "far worse" than Simon Crean's record - Latham inherited better polling than he finished with under every major polling company.
Until a week or so before the election, some public opinion polls had him actually winning.
And that counted for so much in the long run. Ladies and gentlemen, this qualifies as journalism at The Age. I'm almost sickened by the deliberate distortion of facts and deliberate attempts to rewrite Mark Latham's place in Australian political history.

(Cross-posted to The House Of Wheels.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments containing Chinese characters will not be published as I do not understand them