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Encyclopedia > Mark Latham
Mark Latham


In office
2003 – 2005
Preceded by Simon Crean
Succeeded by Kim Beazley
Constituency Werriwa

Born 28 February 1961
Ashcroft
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse Janine Lacey

Mark William Latham (born 28 February 1961), a former Australian politician, was leader of the Federal Parliamentary Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition from December 2003 to January 2005. Mark Latham, photo by Adam Carr File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... 1 Note that Gough Whitlam refused to use the title Leader of the Opposition between the dismissal of his government in November 1975 and the first meeting of the new parliament in February 1976. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Simon Findlay Crean (born 26 February 1949) an Australian politician, was leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition at the Federal level, from November 2001 to 2 December 2003. ... For Kim Beazleys father, Kim Beazley senior, see Kim Edward Beazley. ... The Division of Werriwa is a Federal Electoral Division for the Australian House of Representatives. ... February 28 is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Ashcroft is a suburb of Sydney, Australia. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... February 28 is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... The Opposition in Australia fulfils the same function as the official opposition in other Commonwealth of Nations monarchies. ...


Latham captured national attention and, initially, high levels of public approval with his policies and unconventional approach, but also attracted controversy surrounding his past. In the October 2004 federal election, Latham was defeated by the incumbent Prime Minister, John Howard. Deteriorating relations with his party and ill health saw him resign as Leader on 18 January 2005. Legislative elections were held in Australia on 9 October 2004. ... Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian politician and the 25th Prime Minister of Australia. ... is the 18th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In September 2005, Latham released The Latham Diaries in which he attacked many of his former colleagues and members of the media, as well as condemning the general state of political life in Australia. The Latham Diaries is the autobiography of the former Australian Labour Party leader, Mark Latham. ...

Contents

Early career

Latham was born in Ashcroft, a suburb of south-western Sydney in New South Wales. He was educated at the selective Hurlstone Agricultural High School, where he was dux, and at the University of Sydney, where he graduated with a degree in economics. He worked at the Green Valley Hotel for a little over six weeks. He also worked as a research assistant to the former Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam and worked on the latter's book The Whitlam Government. Ashcroft is a suburb of Sydney, Australia. ... The Sydney Opera House on Sydney Harbour Sydney (pronounced ) is the most populous city in Australia, with a metropolitan area population of approximately 4. ... Slogan or Nickname: First State, Premier State Motto(s): Orta Recens Quam Pura Nites (Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine) Other Australian states and territories Capital Sydney Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Professor Marie Bashir Premier Morris Iemma (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 50  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004... Hurlstone Agricultural High School (abbreviated HAHS) is a selective agricultural secondary school for students from Years 7 to 12 in Glenfield, the oldest of its type in New South Wales, Australia. ... The Misspeling of Ducks ... The University of Sydney, established in Sydney in 1850, is the oldest university in Australia. ... Face-to-face trading interactions on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. ... Edward Gough Whitlam, AC, QC (born 11 July 1916), known as Gough Whitlam (, pronounced Goff), is an Australian former politician and 21st Prime Minister of Australia. ...


In 1987 he was elected to the City Council of Liverpool, in Sydney's south-west, and was mayor from 1991 to 1994. Latham played rugby union with the Liverpool Bulls club and had a stint as its president. Year 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar). ... The City of Liverpool is a Local Government Area in southwest of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. ...


Latham's term as mayor saw radical changes introduced to the council, with large spending on public works, to be paid for by a combination of loans and efficiencies achieved from outsourcing many council services. The public works, including libraries, a pedestrian mall and public art, have been highly praised in accounts of the period.


In an article in Quarterly Essay (issue 15), journalist Margaret Simons, who conducted an extensive investigation of the period, concluded that there were real issues in the financial management of the council. These mostly related to the drafting of the outsourcing agreements. Simons also said most of the allegations come from council members who were sacked for incompetence by the state government. Quarterly Essay is a highbrow, relatively small-circulation Australian news magazine that straddles the border between magazines and non-fiction books. ...


On 1 June 2004, Latham told Parliament that during his time as mayor he had reduced Liverpool's debt-servicing ratio from 17 percent to 10 percent, which he said was less than half of western Sydney's average. He also said Liverpool had adopted a debt-retirement strategy that he claimed would have made it debt-free by 2005, but which was not implemented by his successors. Councillor Colin Harrington, whom Latham defeated during the mayoral elections of 1991, later said these figures were not accurate. He said the average debt-servicing ratio for western Sydney was 12.1 percent and he said the council's financial staff could find no significant reference to the debt-retirement strategy. is the 152nd day of the year (153rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In January 1994 Latham was elected to the Australian House of Representatives for the Sydney seat of Werriwa, which had been Gough Whitlam's seat from 1952 to 1978. He was elected to the Opposition front bench after Labor lost the 1996 election, and became shadow minister for education. After the 1998 election he resigned from the front bench following a policy dispute with the opposition leader, Kim Beazley. The two became political enemies following this incident. 1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... Australian House of Representatives chamber Entrance to the House of Representatives The Australian House of Representatives is one of the two houses (chambers) of the Parliament of Australia. ... The Division of Werriwa is a Federal Electoral Division for the Australian House of Representatives. ... Legislative elections were held in Australia on 2 March 1996. ... A Shadow Minister is a member of the opposition party, not in power, who provides a counterpoint to the Minister of the government. ... Legislative elections were held in Australia on 3 October 1998. ... For Kim Beazleys father, Kim Beazley senior, see Kim Edward Beazley. ...


On the backbench, Latham published Civilising Global Capital: New Thinking for Australian Labor (Allen and Unwin, 1998), in which he argued that Labor needed to abandon many of its traditional policies and embrace the aspirational values (home ownership, higher education) of the upwardly-mobile skilled working class and small business class. His policies as the leader of the Labor Party were largely derived from the stance taken in this book, which ideologically is described as 'the third way'.


These views alienated him from many Labor traditionalists, but his aggressive parliamentary style won him many admirers. He once referred to Prime Minister John Howard as an "arselicker" and to the Liberal Party front bench as a "conga line of suckholes" [1]. John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian politician and the 25th Prime Minister of Australia. ...


He also characterised the U.S. President George W. Bush, as "the most incompetent and dangerous president in living memory" [2]. For other uses, see President of the United States (disambiguation). ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States, inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ...


Latham gave a hint of his approach to politics in a 2002 interview: "I'm a hater. Part of the tribalness of politics is to really dislike the other side with intensity. And the more I see of them the more I hate them. I hate their negativity. I hate their narrowness. I hate the way, for instance, John Howard tries to appeal to suburban values when I know that he hasn't got any real answers to the problems and challenges we face. I hate the phoniness of that" [3].


Party leader

Latham was a strong supporter of Beazley's successor Simon Crean, defending the beleaguered leader against his critics within the party. He called Crean's principal frontbench detractors, Stephen Smith, Stephen Conroy and Wayne Swan "the three roosters". When Crean's position finally became untenable and he resigned, Latham contested the ballot for leader against Beazley. On 2 December 2003, less than 10 years after entering Parliament, Latham won the vote for the leadership by 47 votes to 45 (Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard were early contenders for the leadership, but both withdrew in favour of Beazley and Latham respectively). At the age of 42, Latham became the youngest leader of the federal parliamentary Labor Party since its first leader Chris Watson, who became leader in 1901, aged 33. In his first press conference as leader Latham championed his belief in a Ladder of opportunity that would bring prosperity to all Australians. Simon Findlay Crean (born 26 February 1949) an Australian politician, was leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition at the Federal level, from November 2001 to 2 December 2003. ... Stephen Francis Smith (born 12 December 1955), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1993, representing the Division of Perth, Western Australia. ... Stephen Conroy Stephen Michael Conroy (born 18 January 1963), has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate since September 1997, representing the state of Victoria. ... Wayne Swan Wayne Maxwell Swan (born 30 June 1954), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives from March 1993 to March 1996 and again since October 1998, representing the Division of Lilley, Queensland. ... is the 336th day of the year (337th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Kevin Michael Rudd (born 21 September 1957), is the leader of the federal Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition in the Australian Parliament. ... This article has been selected as the current Australian Collaboration of the Fortnight! Please help improve it to featured article standard. ... Hon Chris Watson John Christian Watson (April 9, 1867 (exact date uncertain) - November 18, 1941), Australian Labor politician and third Prime Minister of Australia, usually known as Chris Watson, was born in Valparaiso, Chile, probably on April 9, 1867. ... The ladder of opportunity is a catchphase coined by Mark Latham, former Australian House of Representatives Member for Werriwa, to describe the process of social advancement or the elevation to higher social classes of Australian citizens. ...


The Howard government believed Latham's brash personality and his colourful past made him a broad target. Howard characterised him as "Mr Flip-Flop", referring to a character in a children's book. Peter Costello attempted to damage Latham's economic credentials by referring to the experimental economic ideas that he had put forward as shadow treasurer, such as abolishing negative gearing and replacing the GST with a PET (Progressive Expenditure Tax). Frequent references were made to Latham's temper; he was alleged to have broken a taxi-driver's arm in a scuffle arising from a fare dispute[citation needed]. However, Latham was uncharacteristically calm in the face of these attacks, surprising many members of the media. This article has been selected as the current Australian Collaboration of the Fortnight! Please help improve it to featured article standard. ... The GST (Goods and Services Tax) is a value added tax of 10% on most goods and services sold in Australia. ...


On winning the leadership, Latham moved swiftly to heal the rifts in the Labor Party and to moderate his abrasive image. He appointed his predecessor, Crean, as shadow treasurer, while also retaining a number of Beazley's supporters in senior positions. In July 2004 Beazley himself was re-elected to the ALP front bench as Shadow Minister for Defence. Simon Findlay Crean (born 26 February 1949) an Australian politician, was leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition at the Federal level, from November 2001 to 2 December 2003. ...


Latham gave a promise not to use the kind of "crude" language he had employed in the past. He and the party's foreign affairs spokesperson, Kevin Rudd, met the United States ambassador, Tom Schieffer, to stress Labor's continuing support for the Australian-American alliance. Kevin Michael Rudd (born 21 September 1957), is the leader of the federal Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition in the Australian Parliament. ... John Thomas Tom Schieffer (born October 4, 1947) is the current United States Ambassador to Japan, and served as U.S. Ambassador to Australia from 2001 to 2005. ...

Mark Latham with former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, unveiling a plaque to commemorate the centenary of the first Australian federal Labor government, Melbourne, April 2004

In January 2004 the Labor Party national conference was held in Sydney. During the conference Latham received very positive media coverage and introduced his plans for early childhood literacy. He introduced an unusual campaign style, choosing to focus on "values" issues, such as reading to children and economic relief focused on middle-class Australia, nicknamed ease the squeeze, a media-friendly political slogan. Photo by Adam Carr I am happy for anyone to use it anyway they like it --Adam File links The following pages link to this file: Bob Hawke Mark Latham Categories: Free use images ... Photo by Adam Carr I am happy for anyone to use it anyway they like it --Adam File links The following pages link to this file: Bob Hawke Mark Latham Categories: Free use images ... Robert James Lee (Bob) Hawke, AC (born 9 December 1929) is a former Australian trade union leader turned politician who became the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia. ... Ease the squeeze was a political slogan created by Mark Latham, former Australian House of Representatives Member for Werriwa, leader of the Australian Labor Party and leader of the opposition. ... A political slogan is a slogan used in a political context. ...


He also put forward plans to reform the education and medical systems. In contrast to the intense stagecrafting of Latham's image at the conference, he boosted his profile by means of loosely organised "town hall"-style direct meetings around the country. By March, Labor had taken the lead over the Coalition in the opinion polls, and Latham had a higher personal approval rating than any opposition leader since Bob Hawke in 1983. Commentators began to discuss the serious possibility that Latham could be prime minister by the end of the year. Robert James Lee (Bob) Hawke, AC (born 9 December 1929) is a former Australian trade union leader turned politician who became the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia. ...


In March, following the Spanish elections at which the pro-American People's Party government was defeated, Latham sparked a new controversy by committing a Labor government to withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq by Christmas. Legislative elections were held in Spain on March 14, 2004. ... The Peoples Party (Spanish: Partido Popular, PP) is the largest right-wing political party in Spain. ... Christmas is an annual holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. ...


At that time, Australia had about 850 troops in Iraq, mostly involved in patrol work and in training members of the new Iraqi defence forces. Howard accused Latham of a "cut and run" approach and said "it’s not the Australian way not to stay the distance".


2004 election

Latham with his then mentor, former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam (right), at an election fundraising event in Melbourne, September 2004
Latham with his then mentor, former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam (right), at an election fundraising event in Melbourne, September 2004

Until March 2004 Labor under Latham's leadership held a strong lead in national opinion polls. Latham's commitment to withdraw from Iraq caused a sharp drop in Labor's lead, but following the revelations of prisoner abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison, Labor's lead increased again, suggesting that support for involvement in Iraq had declined, undermining Howard's position. Download high resolution version (1289x1039, 209 KB)This photo was taken by Alex Kats who has agreed that I should upload it here and releases it for general use. ... Download high resolution version (1289x1039, 209 KB)This photo was taken by Alex Kats who has agreed that I should upload it here and releases it for general use. ... Edward Gough Whitlam, AC, QC (born 11 July 1916), known as Gough Whitlam (, pronounced Goff), is an Australian former politician and 21st Prime Minister of Australia. ... See Abu Ghraib prison and Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse. ...


In June 2004, Labor's "troops home by Christmas" policy came under fire from U.S. President George W. Bush who, at a White House press conference during Howard's visit to Washington, described it as "disastrous". Bush's comments raised controversy in Australia over whether Bush was interfering in Australia's domestic political affairs, whether the election of a Latham government would endanger the U.S. alliance, and whether the comments were made with Howard's prior knowledge. George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States, inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ... For other uses, see White House (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ...


Shortly after, Latham announced the recruitment of Peter Garrett, president of the Australian Conservation Foundation and former lead singer with the rock band Midnight Oil, as a Labor candidate in Kingsford Smith, a safe Sydney electorate being vacated by the retiring former minister Laurie Brereton. Garrett revealed that he had been approached by senior ALP figures including John Faulkner and Kim Beazley months before, and had taken this long to make up his mind. Peter Garrett campaigning in Melbourne for the 9 October 2004 Australian election Peter Garrett AM MP (born 16 April 1953), is an Australian musician and politician. ... The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) is an Australian non-profit, community-based environmental group focused on advocacy, policy research and community education for environmental reform and ecologically sustainable development. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Division of Kingsford Smith is an Australian Electoral Division in the state of New South Wales. ... Hon Laurie Brereton Laurence John Laurie Brereton (born 29 May 1946), Australian politician, was an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives from March 1990 to October 2004, representing the Division of Kingsford Smith, New South Wales. ... John Philip Faulkner (born 12 April 1954), has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate since April 1989, representing the state of New South Wales. ...


Most commentators regarded his recruitment as a high-risk tactic, seeing the potential advantage to Labor of Garrett's popularity among young people as being offset by the possibility that his record of radical and anti-American statements in the past would offend moderate voters.


The second coup scored by Latham was the announcement that he would abolish the generous superannuation schemes available to members of parliament; his plan was quickly adopted by the Howard government in the face of a rising wave of public support. A pension (also known as superannuation) is a retirement plan intended to provide a person with a secure income for life. ...


Other announced policies and initiatives included: the introduction of federal government parenting classes for those parents deemed to be failing to adequately discipline their children; a ban on food and drink advertising during children's television viewing hours; the introduction of a national youth mentoring program; the government distribution of free story books to the families of newborn children; a federal ban on plastic shopping bags; and the introduction of legislation to prohibit vilification on the basis of religious beliefs or sexual orientation, similar to laws adopted in the state of Victoria that some critics say led to a restriction of free speech. Some of these initiatives prompted Howard to criticise Latham as a "behavioural policeman". “VIC” redirects here. ...


In July 2004 Latham again became the centre of controversy when it was alleged on a commercial television network that he had punched a political rival during his time on Liverpool Council. Latham strongly denied the accusation. On July 6, 2004, he called a press conference and denounced the government for maintaining what he called a "dirt unit," which he said was gathering personal material about him, including details of his first marriage. The government denied that any such unit existed, but some observers speculated that Liberal Party researchers had accumulated more potentially embarrassing material about Latham, which would be used during the election campaign (a threat which never eventuated), in addition to claims that Latham was an inexperienced economic manager. is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Between March and August Latham's position in the opinion polls gradually declined, leading to renewed speculation that Howard would call an early election. During August, Labor claimed a tactical victory over the government on the issue of the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement and there were allegations in a Senate inquiry that Howard had lied about the "children overboard" affair during the 2001 election campaign. By mid-August, Labor was again ahead in all three national opinion polls. On 18 August, however, Latham was admitted to a Sydney hospital, where he was diagnosed with pancreatitis. The US-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is a preferential trade agreement between the United States of America and Australia on the model of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). ... Legislative elections were held in Australia on 10 November 2001. ... is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. ...


The elections were held on October 9, 2004. Although opinion polls showed the ALP leading the government at various stages of the six-week campaign, the government was re-elected with an increased majority. This was despite Latham being generally credited with a strong performance and a victory in the sole campaign debate. In the days after the election Latham was criticised for releasing many key policies too late, a case in point being Labor's policy regarding conservation of Tasmanian old growth forests. is the 282nd day of the year (283rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Slogan or Nickname: The Apple Isle; Holiday Isle Motto(s): Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Constitutional monarchy Governor William Cox Premier Paul Lennon (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 5  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $16,114... Old growth forest, sometimes called late seral forest or ancient forest is an area of forest that has attained great age and exhibits unique biological features. ...

The Liberal-National coalition focused heavily on Latham's inexperience during the campaign (in Australia, yellow "L-plates" are attached to cars driven by learner drivers).
The Liberal-National coalition focused heavily on Latham's inexperience during the campaign (in Australia, yellow "L-plates" are attached to cars driven by learner drivers).

Among those critical of Latham were journalists Tom Allard and Mark Metherell, who said "the flurry of releases meant Mr Latham went off message from Labor's core strengths of health and education." Labor's party president, Carmen Lawrence, blamed the unexpected severity of the defeat on an effective Coalition "scare campaign" focused on Latham's limited economic management experience, and the alleged threat of a rise in interest rates under Labor, which was not effectively countered, reportedly in an attempt by Tim Gartrell to conserve funds for later in the campaign (where, in previous years, Labor had been outspent by the Liberals). (Cropped version of an image created by Adam Carr) File links The following pages link to this file: Mark Latham Categories: User-created public domain images ... An L-plate is a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a car in many countries if its driver is a learner under instruction. ... The Hon. ... An interest rate is the price a borrower pays for the use of money he does not own, and the return a lender receives for deferring his consumption, by lending to the borrower. ...


Gartrell also apparently failed to anticipate the interest rates scare campaign (Latham Diaries, pp. 336-41, 372). The inability of his campaign to counter the Liberal campaign would later be cited by Latham himself, in the Latham Diaries, as a key reason for the election loss (Latham Diaries, pp. 336-41). Latham wrote that he had told his wife Janine that "I've tried to carry the whole show on my shoulders: my family, my community, my party. But now I'm stuffed. I have collapsed under the weight of those fucking ads." (Latham Diaries, p. 339) Michael Costello, a former chief of staff to Kim Beazley, said: "This is a complete train wreck. We now face at least two terms before we can win government again. We face at least three years with John Howard pretty much in control of the Senate."

The Handshake
The Handshake

On the morning of 8 October, the day before the election, a television crew filmed Latham and Howard shaking hands as they crossed paths outside an Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio studio in Sydney. The footage showed Latham appearing to draw Howard towards him and tower over his shorter opponent. The incident received wide media coverage and, while Latham claimed to have been attempting to get revenge for Howard squeezing his wife's hand too hard at a press function, it was variously reported as being "aggressive", "bullying" and "intimidating" on the part of Latham. The Liberal Party campaign director, Brian Loughnane, later said this incident generated more feedback to Liberal headquarters than anything else during the six-week campaign, and that it "brought together all the doubts and hesitations that people had about Mark Latham". Latham disputes the impact of this incident, however, having described it as a "Tory gee-up: we got close to each other, sure, but otherwise it was a regulation man's handshake. It's silly to say it cost us votes - my numbers spiked in the last night of our polling." (Latham Diaries, p. 369) According to Latham's account of events, Latham came in close to Howard for the handshake to prevent Howard shaking with his arm rather than his wrist. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (624x767, 64 KB) This image is a faithful digitalization of a unique historic photograph, and the copyright for it is most likely held by the photographer who took the photograph or the agency employing the photographer. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (624x767, 64 KB) This image is a faithful digitalization of a unique historic photograph, and the copyright for it is most likely held by the photographer who took the photograph or the agency employing the photographer. ... is the 281st day of the year (282nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Australian Broadcasting Corporation or ABC is Australias national non-profit public broadcaster. ... For other uses, see Tory (disambiguation). ...


Departure from politics

Latham became the first Labor opposition leader since Frank Tudor in 1917 to fail to make a net gain in seats from the government at his first election. Some commentators, including Kim Beazley, said Latham's leadership had rescued Labor from a much heavier defeat. [4] Beazley said polling a year before the election indicated the ALP would lose "25-30 seats" in the House of Representatives. Instead the party lost a net four seats in the lower house, a swing of 0.21% and there was a 1.1% swing to the ALP in the Senate (see Australian legislative election, 2004). Hon Frank Tudor Frank Gwynne Tudor (27 January 1866 - 10 January 1922), Australian Labor politician, was born in Melbourne, Victoria, the son of working-class immigrants from Wales. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... Legislative elections were held in Australia on 9 October 2004. ...


Nevertheless, Labor's defeat led to a spate of criticism of Latham's personal style and policy priorities in the media, and also to a crisis in confidence in his leadership within the Labor caucus. Several prominent members of the front-bench, notably John Faulkner, Lindsay Tanner and Bob McMullan, chose not to recontest front-bench positions. McMullan made it clear he was unhappy with Latham's leadership style and gave an interview suggesting there would be a leadership challenge early in 2005. The national secretary of the Australian Workers' Union, Bill Shorten, was also highly critical of Latham. Lindsay Tanner Lindsay James Tanner (born 24 April 1956), Australian politician, has been a Labor member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1993, representing the Division of Melbourne, Victoria. ... Robert Francis Bob McMullan (born 10 December 1947), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1996, representing the Division of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 1996-98 and the Division of Fraser, Australian Capital Territory, since 1998. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Australian Workers Union (AWU) is one of Australias largest and oldest trade unions. ... Bill Shorten William Richard Shorten (born 1967), Australian trade union official, is National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union (AWU), one of Australias oldest and largest unions. ...


In December, after Latham was (incorrectly) reported to have blamed Labor's state premiers for the defeat, an unnamed Labor frontbencher predicted a leadership challenge within the next few months, saying Latham's supporters had lost confidence in him. Latham also had a heated public confrontation with the Labor deputy leader in the Senate, Stephen Conroy, renewing speculation there would be a challenge to Latham's leadership in the new year. Stephen Conroy Stephen Michael Conroy (born 18 January 1963), has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate since September 1997, representing the state of Victoria. ...


Latham was helped by the fact that there was no obvious successor to the leadership. The most likely candidates, Kevin Rudd, Wayne Swan and Stephen Smith, known to see themselves as future leaders, accepted senior positions on Latham's frontbench and pledged loyalty to him. The leaders of the Socialist Left faction, and the centre-left under Martin Ferguson and Julia Gillard, also maintained their support for him. There was little support for a return to Beazley, and neither Tanner nor McMullan were seen as viable leadership candidates. In the longer run, however, many commentators doubted Latham would survive until the 2007 election after such a heavy defeat. Kevin Michael Rudd (born 21 September 1957), is the leader of the federal Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition in the Australian Parliament. ... Wayne Swan Wayne Maxwell Swan (born 30 June 1954), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives from March 1993 to March 1996 and again since October 1998, representing the Division of Lilley, Queensland. ... Stephen Francis Smith (born 12 December 1955), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1993, representing the Division of Perth, Western Australia. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Ferguson Left is a political faction within the Australian Labor Party. ... Martin Ferguson Martin John Ferguson, AM (born 12 December 1953), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1996, representing the Division of Batman, Victoria. ... This article has been selected as the current Australian Collaboration of the Fortnight! Please help improve it to featured article standard. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ...


The final crisis for Latham's leadership erupted in the aftermath of the December tsunami. With both Latham and his deputy leader, Jenny Macklin, on leave, the acting opposition leader, Senator Chris Evans, issued statements in the aftermath of the tsunami. Latham was criticised for not issuing a statement as leader personally, particularly at a time when John Howard expressed national sympathy over the disaster, pledged $1 billion in aid to Indonesia and declared a national day of mourning. Latham rejected the criticism of his non-appearance after the tragedy, saying "none of my verbiage could make any practical difference - bring back the dead, reverse the waves, organise the relief effort". Macklin issued a statement on the disaster on 30 December before also choosing to take leave. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake,[1] was a great undersea earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC (07:58:53 local time) December 26, 2004 with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. ... Jennifer Louise Macklin (born 29 December 1953), is an Australian politician. ... Christopher Vaughan Evans (born 14 May 1958), Australian politician, is a member of the Australian Senate for the state of Western Australia, representing the Australian Labor Party. ... is the 364th day of the year (365th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Several days later, Latham said he had been ordered to rest as a result of a recurrence of his pancreatitis. It was subsequently alleged that during the period of his illness he had been seen in a resort resting with his family. Latham's colleagues in turn became increasingly angry over his failure to communicate with them or to release a full statement about his health. Opinion polls in January showed a sharp decline in Latham's support and a preference for the return of Beazley as Labor leader. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. ...


On 18 January, citing both his illness – which he described as "life-threatening" – and family concerns, Latham announced his resignation both from the leadership of the Labor Party and from the House of Representatives. He strongly criticised the media for invading his family's privacy during his illness. is the 18th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Latham was ALP leader for 13 months, the shortest tenure of any of the party's federal leaders since Billy Hughes was expelled from the party in 1916. He was only the second federal Labor leader, after Mathew Charlton in 1928, to leave politics without ever having held ministerial office. William Morris Billy Hughes, (September 25, 1862–October 28, 1952), Australian politician, was the seventh Prime Minister of Australia, the longest-serving member of the Australian Parliament, and one of the most colourful figures in Australian political history. ... 1916 (MCMXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... Mathew Charlton (15 March 1866 - 8 December 1948), Australian Labor politician, was born in rural Victoria, but moved to Newcastle, New South Wales as a child. ... Year 1928 (MCMXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Political journalist Mungo MacCallum wrote: Mungo Wentworth MacCallum (born 1941), Australian journalist, is a political journalist and commentator. ...

[Latham] became leader too early in his career, he lacked the skills needed to deal with the webs of intrigue within his own party, he refused to massage the media and the advisers he did listen to were out of their depth against Howard's praetorian guard. The Praetorian Guard of Augustus - 1st century. ...

But he had many qualities that were not only desirable and attractive but are in short supply in today's ALP. In other circumstances he could have developed into a formidable leader, even prime minister. As it is, he remains one of the great what-ifs.

Biography

Loner: Inside a Labor Tragedy

Latham's biography Loner: Inside a Labor Tragedy, by Bernard Lagan, was launched on 29 June 2005 by Senator John Faulkner, published by Allen & Unwin. Image File history File links Lathams biography Loner: Inside a Labor Tragedy File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... is the 180th day of the year (181st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... John Philip Faulkner (born 12 April 1954), has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate since April 1989, representing the state of New South Wales. ...


The book caused furore within Labor ranks. Most of this was due to material contained within a single email written by Latham in the last page of the book.


Of Kim Beazley's return to the leadership, Latham said: For Kim Beazleys father, Kim Beazley senior, see Kim Edward Beazley. ...

Labor got the leader it truly deserves - it is well suited to a conservative stand-for-nothing type of leader.

Latham criticised state Labor premiers Bob Carr, Peter Beattie and Geoff Gallop, calling them "A-grade arseholes" (see [5]). Robert John Carr (born 28 September 1947), Australian politician, was Premier of New South Wales from 25 March 1995 to 3 August 2005. ... Peter Douglas Beattie (born, New South Wales 18 November 1952), Australian politician, is the Premier of the Australian state of Queensland and leader of the Australian Labor Party in that state. ... Professor Geoffrey Ian Gallop (born 27 September 1951), Australian academic and former politician, was the Premier of Western Australia from 2001 to 2006. ...


And of his election loss Latham wrote:

I had my shot at being prime minister. It didn't work out on several fronts. But life goes on, potentially in a splendid way, spending so much time with my family. After suffering testicular cancer, the greatest gift in my life has been the ability to have children with Janine. I would be a fool to waste it. Testicular cancer is cancer that develops in the testicles, a part of the male reproductive system. ...

Union leader Bill Shorten epitomised the anger felt towards Latham within the party when he remarked that Latham displayed "all the attributes of a dog except loyalty" (see [6]). Bill Shorten William Richard Shorten (born 1967), Australian trade union official, is National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union (AWU), one of Australias oldest and largest unions. ...


Publication of Latham's Diaries and public appearances

Soon after his retirement, Latham announced his decision to publish a selection of diary entries spanning almost a decade. Following a bidding war, it was announced that Melbourne University Press (MUP) would publish the Diaries in late September. MUP later awarded the exclusivity rights for extracts to News Ltd and the exclusivity for the first (see [7]) interview to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation television program Enough Rope, which was due to be broadcast at 9.30pm on Monday 19 September 2005. Image File history File links Lathamdiaries. ... The Latham Diaries is the autobiography of the former Australian Labour Party leader, Mark Latham. ... “Diary” redirects here. ... Melbourne University Publishing (MUP) is the book publishing arm of the University of Melbourne (Australia). ... News Corporation (NYSE: NWS) is a media conglomerate that operates world-wide. ... Look up ABC in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Enough Rope with Andrew Denton (or simply Enough Rope) is a television talk show broadcast on the ABC network in Australia. ... is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Meanwhile, excerpts of the Diaries were published by The Australian from 15 September ahead of their publication in book form on Monday 19 September. The excerpts published include attacks by Latham on the ALP, his successor Beazley, frontbencher Rudd and former Labor prime ministers Paul Keating and Gough Whitlam (see [8]). The Australian is a national daily broadsheet newspaper published by Rupert Murdochs News Corporation. ... is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Due to the publicity the Diaries were now generating, the extensive amount of published extracts, and concerns that Latham had recorded other interviews, in particular with another ABC program, Lateline, Enough Rope pushed to have the interview broadcast four days early on Thursday 15 September at 8.30pm with a simultaneous broadcast on some ABC radio stations. However, when the time came to broadcast, the ABC announced that the interview would not be shown due to a legal injunction sought by News Limited (owner of The Australian), which had the rights to publish extracts from the Diaries. Reports on the night said any broadcast by the ABC was a breach of confidentiality between News and the book's publisher, MUP, the newspaper publisher having signed to an A$80,000 deal to publish excerpts of the book in the weekend newspapers. However, at 10.30pm, the ABC aired the Denton interview after the Supreme Court of New South Wales lifted the injunction. Justice Harry Palmer said the publication of large parts of the book in News Limited newspapers largely destroyed the value of the material. Due to the last-minute changes, the edition of ABC's Lateline program scheduled for 10.30pm featuring another interview with Latham (also subject to the short-lived injunction) was now aired the following night (see [9]). Lateline (news) is a current affairs television program in Australia. ... Enough Rope with Andrew Denton (or simply Enough Rope) is a television talk show broadcast on the ABC network in Australia. ... is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Simulcast is a contraction of simultaneous broadcast, and refers to programs or events broadcast across more than one medium at the same time. ... ABC Local Radio is a network of publicly-owned radio stations in Australia, operated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ... Look up Injunction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... News Limited was the principal holding for the business interests of Rupert Murdoch until the formation of News Corporation in 1979. ... The Australian is a national daily broadsheet newspaper published by Rupert Murdochs News Corporation. ... The Supreme Court of New South Wales is the highest state court for the Australian State of New South Wales. ... Lateline (news) is a current affairs television program in Australia. ...


The Diaries represent a remarkable and unprecedented statement by a former leader of a major political party. In them Latham is scathing about Australia's political system:

It takes committed people ... and turns them into one-dimensional robots ... The only good news is that the public is on to them. The electorate has worked out the artificiality of it all. They can see through the spin doctors, the publicity stunts, the polling and the tricks of marginal-seat campaigning. This is why people now talk about politics with a cool anger. They have a clear feeling that the system is far from genuine. That the robots, in fact, are tin men. (The Latham Diaries, Melbourne University Press, 2005, pp 92-93.)

After resignation from parliament

Jeff Kennett, a former Liberal premier of Victoria who is now a national depression awareness advocate for beyondblue, weighed into the debate. Kennett said Latham's erratic behaviour, which contributed to his political downfall, was symptomatic of a bipolar disorder – extreme mood swings caused by depression. Latham contacted Kennett, saying the statement offended and hurt him and his family, and demanded an apology, which Kennett quickly gave through The Age newspaper in Melbourne (see [10]). Jeffrey Gibb Kennett AC (born 25 July 1948), Australian politician, was one of the most influential and controversial men to hold the office of Premier of Victoria (6th October, 1992 to 20th October, 1999). ... Clinical depression (also called major depressive disorder, or unipolar depression when compared to bipolar disorder) is a state of intense sadness, melancholia or despair that has advanced to the point of being disruptive to an individuals social functioning and/or activities of daily living. ... beyondblue is an Australian non-profit organisation which aims to increase awareness and improve the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and related illnesses. ... For other uses, see Bipolar. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


On 27 September 2005, Latham gave his first public lecture since the release of the Diaries, titled "Ten Reasons Why Young Idealistic People Should Forget About Organised Politics" at Melbourne University. The reserved-seating lecture was filled to capacity, an extraordinary occurrence. During the lecture he argued that organised politics is ineffective at achieving real social change, due to public apathy, the rise of conservatism and the inward-focused structure of the major parties, and instead encouraged youth to focus on more grassroots, community-based programs. He also claimed politics has a detrimental impact on health, happiness and family life, largely blaming the "arrogant" and "incompetent" media, as well as internal party struggles. (see [11]). is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The University of Melbourne, located in Melbourne, in Victoria, is the second oldest university in Australia (the University of Sydney is the oldest). ...


On 19 January 2006, Latham was eating with his two sons at a Hungry Jack's restaurant in Campbelltown, New South Wales when he was photographed by Ross Schultz, a photographer from The Daily Telegraph. Schultz alleged he snatched the camera and smashed it (without destroying the electronic media that contained the photographs). It was reported that Latham called Schultz a paedophile, presumably because he thought Schultz took photos of his sons. The Daily Telegraph subsequently announced plans for upcoming publication of the photographic images in the following Saturday's edition (and that it would be seeking $12,000 from Latham to replace the equipment (see [12]). January 19 is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Burger King (BK for short) is a large international food corporation that sells fast food in chain stores. ... Queen Street in Campbelltown Campbelltown is a suburb and the CBD (central business district) of the City of Campbelltown, in south-western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia, located about 44 km south west of the Sydney central business district. ... The Daily Telegraph is a tabloid newspaper published in Sydney, New South Wales, by Nationwide News, part of News Corporation. ... Pedophilia (American English) or paedophilia / pædophilia (British English), from the Greek &#960;&#945;&#953;&#948;&#959;&#966;&#953;&#955;&#953;&#945; (paidophilia) < &#960;&#945;&#953;&#962; (pais) boy, child and &#966;&#953;&#955;&#953;&#945; (philia) friendship, (ICD-10 F65. ... The Daily Telegraph is a tabloid newspaper published in Sydney, New South Wales, by Nationwide News, part of News Corporation. ...


On 6 February 2006 it was announced Latham was to be charged with assault, malicious damage and theft in relation to the incident (see [13]). is the 37th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


On 20 January 2006, Latham appeared to drive towards a Channel 7 television cameraman at his Sydney home. The photographer was unhurt but Seven's head of news in Sydney, Chris Willis, said the footage clearly showed Latham's car veer toward the cameraman as he stood on the side of the road (see [14]). January 20 is the 20th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Seven Network is an Australian television network, owned by the Seven Media Group. ...


On 22 March 2006, Latham did not appear in Campbelltown Local Court to face the charges, instead giving a lecture to political science students at the Australian National University. When asked by a student how he could blame everyone else but himself, Latham replied: "I'm sorry, I didn't come in here and expose myself as a miserable arsewipe" (see [15]). is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Australian National University, or ANU, is a public university located in Canberra, Australia. ...


On 26 April 2006, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Latham again chose not to appear in Campbelltown Local Court in relation to the January 19 incident. The case was adjourned to 24 May (see [16]). is the 116th day of the year (117th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... is the 144th day of the year (145th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


On 6 June 2006, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Latham escaped having a criminal conviction for malicious damage recorded against him, but has been placed on a good behaviour bond for two years. After pleading guilty to maliciously damaging News Ltd photographer Ross Schultz's camera on 19 January, he had the charges of assault and theft dropped (see[17]). He was also required to pay $6763.70 in compensation for the damaged camera (see [18]). is the 157th day of the year (158th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... January 19 is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Furthering Latham's isolation from public life, on 13 August 2006, The Sun Herald reported that the family were moving from their Glen Alpine home to a property at Mount Hunter, near Camden (see [19]) is the 225th day of the year (226th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Sydney Morning Herald is one of the most prestigious and important newspapers in Australia, published daily in Sydney, the largest city in Australia. ... Glen Alpine is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. ... Camden in New South Wales, Australia,is an outlying suburb of Sydney, 65 km southwest of the Sydney CBD and near the city of Campbelltown. ...


Latham's seventh book, a collection of quotations titled A Conga Line of Suckholes, was released in late September 2006. [20]


See also

The ladder of opportunity is a catchphase coined by Mark Latham, former Australian House of Representatives Member for Werriwa, to describe the process of social advancement or the elevation to higher social classes of Australian citizens. ...

References

  • Abraham, Matt (July 9, 2004). Howard's toughest interview of the year. Crikey.com.au
  • Allard, Tom; & Metherell, Mark (October 11, 2004). Late release of policy cost Latham the Lodge. The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • A fair dinkum Labor hero (December 4, 2003). The Economist.
  • Ill health ends Latham's career. NEWS.com.au.
  • Latham quits (January 18, 2005). ABC News Online.

The Economist is a weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd and edited in London, UK. It has been in continuous publication since September 1843. ...

External links

  • Political Correctness speech by Mark Latham to House of Representatives 26 August 2002 (Transcript)
  • First part of two part expose of Latham's personal life in Sydney Morning Herald
  • Second part of two part expose of Latham's personal life in Sydney Morning Herald
  • Labor's rebranded leader (BBC)
  • Latham diaries have 'fantastic bile'
  • "Ease the Squeeze". A song based on Mark Latham's election speech.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
John Kerin
Member for Werriwa
1994–2005
Succeeded by
Chris Hayes
Preceded by
Simon Crean
Leader of the Australian Labor Party
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Kim Beazley

  Results from FactBites:
 
Mark Latham - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4054 words)
Mark William Latham (born 28 February 1961), an Australian politician, was Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition from December 2003 to January 2005.
Latham was born in Ashcroft, a suburb of southwestern Sydney in New South Wales.
Latham also had a heated public confrontation with the Labor Deputy Leader in the Senate, Stephen Conroy, renewing speculation that there would be a challenge to Latham's leadership in the new year.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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