It's getting close to silly season, and the best evidence yet is the petulence and self-indulgence shown by some anonymous Labor heavyweights in trying to undermine Mark Latham. It is a political no-brainer that the party must defend its leader and respect his (or occassionally her) authority, otherwise the nasty political assertion that division is death will again prove itself as one of the more enduring and accurate cliches.
A few quick facts to remember:
- Latham was re-elected leader unopposed a fortnight after the election defeat. If he was okay then, then he's okay now.
- There is no clear alternative. Smith is boring, Macklin aint up to it, Rudd is still warming up, Beazley has health problems and Swan is quite happy as Shadow Treasurer.
- The last election was almost unwinnable, regardless of who was leader. None of the alternatives would have got them into government, and Beazley said as much on election night.
- There is 2 years and 10 months to the next election. There is no point in rushing toward a leadership change now. If Latham really is on the nose, then give it 12 months to test out that hunch. Fools rush in... and so does the Labor caucus, apparently.