|Maddog goes out with a whimper|
A statesman, as everyone knows, is a politician who has been dead for 15 years.
No such luck with Mark (Maddog) Latham, who seems to have gotten out while the
going was good - or at least until it got too stinky. How long does an ailing
washed up 43 year-old politician have to wait for his promotion? Maybe not that
normally sing the praises of any powerful player in the opposite camp who
retires. It's their reward for eliminating the competition. Politics is much like the
classic torturer: 'I'll
keep doing these horrible things to you until you tell me what I want - but
then you have anything you like, and I'll be your best mate for life'.
The carping, belittling, harassment and ridicule normally stops immediately
upon retirement and is replaced by praise. The incentive for leaving politics
is that the sooner you retire, the sooner people will start saying good things
So far though, the only accolades for Maddog have come from his own party.
The Coalition must be too busy resetting their sites on Kim (Fatboy) Beasley
to pay much attention to the pancreatitic departee.
So it falls to the blogsphere to try to find good things to say about Maddog. Here are three:
- If the Daily Telegraph is to be believed, Mark could have stayed on for a
few more days and gotten a much higher payout (at the taxpayer's expense) . He
could have sat in sick and sullen silence until he reached his 11th anniversary
in federal politics and leached an extra few grand per year from the
tax-payer. He didn't. He believed in parliamentary superannuation reform, and
he has lived it.
- Secondly, he was always willing to throw ideas into the ring. Most of them
were stupid, unworkable or were actually motherhood statements in policy's
clothing, but they were still ideas.
- Thirdly, he got the ALP to try to sell the notion of lowering tax, and effective marginal tax
rates. They would never have done this in practice of course, but the True Believers were at
least introduced to the notion that lowering tax might be a good thing.
So with Fatboy's return to the leadership, it'll be back to the wall-to-wall
special interest groups, and trying to be everyone's best mate, as the old
farts on the back bench try to oust all those 'progressive WIMMIN!' who Mark
appointed to the front.
Who would have thought that the ALP would have two generational
changes in 14 months?