The Age website also published the full text in a Word document on its website, obviously straight from the source, given that one "Janine Lacy" is listed as the author (head to File, then Properties, the Summary). Even more intriguingly, the title listed in this section is "27 December 2004", suggesting that it has been a while in the making.
As has been his want over the past fortnight, Latham was throwing plenty of punches during the speech. Whilst the stated theme of the lecture was a discourse on organised politics, Latham savaged the media for its treatment of him, and seemed to have as much contempt for the press as he has for his former Labor colleagues.
A few snippets of interest that haven't had a run in the mainstream media:
- Latham descibing his successor as Member for Werriwa, Chris Hayes, as "handpicked by the Sussex Street machine", SS being the headquarters of the NSW Labor Party.
- Latham said he had received numerous letters of support from various MPs (presumably they weren't all from Julia Gillard, perhaps with a different coloured pen?). One Labor frontbencher apparently wrote to Latham saying 'Congratulations on the book. It's mold compared to what really goes on.'
- Marky Mark described SMH journo Brad Norrington as a "Sussex Street Press Secretary" and insinuated a relationship between journalists Matt Price (The Oz) and Annabel Crabb (The Age), explaining that "No two friends are closer in Canberra".
- Latham was surrounded by security guards, and left before signing my copy of his book. Bastard.
For what it's worth, my take on the speech itself: Latham seems to miss the point the change can be achieved through both top-down and bottom-up methods, and that there is no need to disregard one in order to achieve the other. He frequently encourages young people to get involved in community and local programs rather than looking to organised politics as a means of achieving change. He does make the point effectively, though, that politics as it is currently practiced is a disfunctional process, and that there is a need for structural changes. His passionate dislike for both the media and the Labor machine is well-founded, though his 'bat, ball, go home' solution is a disappointment. Fundamentally, the problem with Latham's case is that it is so obviously fuelled by his own personal resentment at the rejection he suffered rather than a dispassionate analysis. Whilst there were plenty there to listen, most found Latham registering highly on their bullshit-meter.
Latham: too much hot air