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We were warned but chose not to listen

May 17, 2010

When Mark Latham was unceremoniously dumped as Labor leader he went off, licked his wounds and wrote Latham Diaries. At the time the book was widely viewed as an exercise in sour grapes. In light of the recent KRUDD anti-mania, however, his musings on the man are rather illuminating.

In the spirit of full disclosure I have not read the book but thanks to an Andrew Bolt blog reader, who has painstakingly researched the matter, Latham’s views on KRUDD are now available in a condensed form.

My favourite anecdote (particularly in light of the recent Oakes ambush on Tony regarding Andrew Dutton’s BHP share purchases) . . .

Wednesday, 14 April 2004, Page 280

I’ve had a suspicion for some time now that Rudd has been feeding mat­erial to Oakes. Decided to set him up, telling Kevvie about our focus groups on Iraq. No such research exists-Gartrell says he’s doing some quantita­tive polling but not focus groups. Today, right on cue, Jabba has written in the Bulletin: ‘The Labor Party’s polling firm has been busily running focus groups to test the public mood following Latham’s ‘troops -out’ announce­ment. The most significant finding, I understand, is overwhelming support for the alliance with the United States’.

Trapped him. Two weeks ago in New Zealand, I announced our inten­tion to have a Minister for the Pacific Islands. That’s the job I’ll give Rudd if we win. Joel thinks I’m joking, but I’m deadly serious. Rudd is a terrible piece of work: addicted to the media and leaking. A junior minister in Government, at best.

And another . . .

Saturday, 30th December 2003, Page 256

Kevvie wanted his title expanded to the more grandiose Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Security. No worries, but then he rang me last Sunday to say he objected to McClelland also having the word `Security’ in his title. At first I thought it was some kind of joke, but the crazy bastard was serious: he had a long and absurd argument about the alleged overlap between the two jobs. I suggested he talk to McClelland, hoping to never hear from him again.

By the end of the day, Rudd was threatening to go to the backbench, over a question of semantics. I told him I was willing to accept his resigna­tion and he went away to think about it. The ideal contingency plan was McMullan to Foreign Affairs and then I could save face with Coxie in Finance. Rudd called at about 11 p.m. and backed down, allowing the announcement to go ahead the next day.

There are more in the original post – Maybe Latham wasn’t so mad on Rudd, after all.

Sounds like the book may be a read afterall!

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