A Big Hooray For The New Arthur Calwell!
Frank Devine shares his happiness at Mark Latham's victory in The Oz:
More important than winning next year's election is the restoration of the ALP as a leadership force in politics. It's not a matter of needing a strong Opposition, as more unctuous Coalition supporters proclaim (the Right can do that job just as well as the Left).
It's having Labor back on the rails, not some new conglomeration of progressives - probably tinged a hideous green. It's the ALP we want, our version of a Grand Old Party, nobly conceived as defender of workingmen's rights, daring and crackpot in turn, corrupt and shameless but good at renewal, suffering the indignities of factionalism to save itself from collectivism rampant. At the moment, though, it is a GOP distinctly tottery.
How did it get that way? Kim Beazley Sr, a more than plausible candidate for the leadership in his day, offered a well-considered diagnosis when he described Labor as being once composed of "the cream of the working class" but then in the hands of "the dregs of the middle class".
Every time I see that line from Kim Beazley Senior quoted, I start to wonder where the Coalition has been getting its dregs from.
Update: Over at The Melbourne Hun, colostomy lugs has come up with the best catalogue yet, of reasons why ALP supporters should get behind Latham. It surpasses his recent "Bob Brown is really a Brown Shirt" in green splutterings (not safe for those who drink coffee in front of their PCs).