|.. like a festering sore|
Mark (Maddog) Latham was feeling too sorry for himself over the Christmas
break to offer words of comfort and sympathy for Asian tsunami victims, and
left it up to his senior colleagues to whine about the Howard Government not
spending enough tax money. He was even giving his senior colleagues the silent
treatment forcing them to face the media pack without the encouraging words of
support from their Dear Leader.
Apparently he wasn't feeling too sorry for himself to go to his luxury
resort, paddle in the pool with the kids, and buy junk food from the local fish
and chip shop, but hey - it's all part of the recovery treatment.
After his disastrous election result, many ALP supporters were hoping he
was going to use his illness as a dignified escape to the obscurity to the back
bench, and let that pinnacle of health and fitness, Kim (Fatboy) Beasley, have
another go at bringing down Johnny (stickin' like mud) Howard.
But, showing a tenacity worthy of Little Johnny himself, the absentee
leader has decided to stay on in his role as party leader and return to work
later in the month. His possibly-stress-related pancreatitis isn't going to
stop him from applying for (arguably) the most stressful job in the country.
Before the last election, Maddog demanded a guarantee from Little Johnny
that he could guarantee to stay the entire electoral term. With his poor
health, he can hardly make that claim himself, it seems unreasonable to expect
it of others. So it will be interesting to see what demands he will make in
the next election campaign.
Can Australia afford to have leader who can't handle stress, and who runs
for the sick-bed whenever a 'hard' decision has to be made. If the historical
success of government interference is any indication, maybe so. Australia may
be better off re-electing Harold Holt as Prime Minister.
Regardless, every socialite knows that you have to be there or be bitched
about, and there's no shortage of bitching in the ALP over the break. Between
poor health, and the long knives of the ALP star chamber, Maddog's next severe
pain might be sticking out of his back. And lying flat on his back will only
make that pain worse.