The 'The Latham Diaries' Diaries: 1995

Did Keating know this early that his number was up?:

Wednesday, 8 February
Keating hosts a Caucus BBQ at the Lodge. He is very frank in his remarks, maybe half-tanked at the time: 'I've been here too long, that's the truth of it; 26 years is a long time.' For a moment or two, I thought he was going to pull the pin and resign as PM. Not a bad time to do it, in fact. Twenty-six years is a long time indeed. He's won an unwinnable election for us and become a Labor legend. Why not go out on top? But Paul hates the Tories too much to ever leave them alone. It's the obsession of a lifetime.
- Page 31

Latham nails Graeme Campbell, the then Labor Member for Kalgoolie and a Pauline before there was Pauline, in a way that makes you realise that Latham wasn't the only nutter wandering around Capital Hill:

Wednesday, 10 May
I attend the launch of Graeme Campbell's book by Peter Walsh in one of the committee rooms at Parliament House. It is a sad occasion, with no real purpose, just a small puzzled audience tring to work out why Campbell bothers with his isolationist ideas. His views reflect his own isolated geography within the nation. Knocking around the back blocks of WA would convince anyone that the rest of the world is against us. Campbell is the last remnant of White Australia inside the Federal ALP.
- Page 34

Still, Latham's take on globalisation is right on the money, and it's reassuring to hear it from someone on the left of politics:

Wednesday, 10 May
I see no evidence that internationalism is inconsistent with equity. What is wrong with a world of free trade and investment, a world were people exchnge products, ideas and information on a regular basis? - Page 34

Make of this what you will:

Tuesday, 22 August
Gough once told me the story of an ALP National Executive meeting in the early 1970s when, as they waited for someone to turn up, the conversation at this all-male gathering inevitably turned to dick sizes. As they went around the room, some blokes claimed to be long, others claimed to be thick. Until they got to Hawke, who yelled out 'long and thick'. Whenever Gough was unhappy with the Hawke Government he would say, 'Comrade, neither long nor thick.'
- Page 39

And another Gough story. It sounds like a lively place, the Whitlam household:

Saturday, 11 November
Twenty years since the coup d'etat and a commemorative dinner in the Old Parliament House dining room says it all about the ALP. June and John Kerin arguing that Labor has to lose the next election in order to properly renew itself. Neville Wran going beserk and banging the table in delight at the mention of Lionel Murphy's name. Margaret Whitlam calling out 'This is all crap' as Gough gives an 80-minute speech about everything. That's one of the things everyone likes about her, her honesty about Gough.
- Page 40


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Anonymous said…
You sure you're not in danger of breaching some copyright laws here mate?

Meanwhile Crikey have an interesting account of an interview on ABC radio in Adelaide with Latham about the diaries that didn't go to plan.

Keep up the bits and pieces, its interesting stuff.


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