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Mark Latham’s Public Lecture On Modern Politics

In one of his first public appearances since resigning the ALP leadership last January, Mark Latham has advised young people not to get involved in politics.

Delivering a public lecture at the University of Melbourne, Latham offered a deeply pessimistic view of the possibilities for change within the existing political system.

The recording below was made with a hand-held device. It is generally clear but may be indistinct in places.

  • Listen to Latham (62m)


Latham Interview With Denton Airs After Court Challenge

The first television interview with Mark Latham since he resigned as ALP leader in January has been broadcast on the ABC.

Mark Latham, ALP PariahThe interview on Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope program was scheduled for telecast next Monday but was brought forward to 8.30pm tonight following publication of leaks from Latham’s book, The Latham Diaries, in News Limited newspapers. The Lateline program also announced that it was intending to broadcast a separate interview with Latham on tonight’s program.

As political officianados sat down to watch the Denton interview they were greeted with this announcement that legal action had prevented the telecast. No details were given. [Read more…]

John Faulkner Launches “Loner”, New Book On Mark Latham

This is the text of a speech by Senator John Faulkner at the launch of Bernard Lagan’s book, “Loner”.

LonerThe book deals with Mark Latham’s leadership of the ALP, the 2004 federal election campaign and Latham’s departure from the leadership in January this year.

Faulkner has been a senator since 1989. He was a minister in the Keating government and a shadow minister until he stood down after last year’s election.

Faulkner argues that the ALP must learn the lessons of the 2004 election defeat but “it would be a very great shame if the only lesson Labor learned was to always play it safe”.

Faulkner says Lagan’s book “shows that Mark’s fatal flaw was not recklessness, not the risks that he took – in a way, it was the risks he refused to take.”

Of Latham, Faulkner says: “He was a loner, as the title of the book suggests. He would not take the chance of trusting those around him, and that hurt him, and Labor, badly. Mark played his cards close to his chest. He wouldn’t take even those staff and colleagues who should have been close to him into his confidence. To do so was a risk worth taking, and it should have been taken.” [Read more…]

Beazley Acknowledges Long Road Ahead

Kim Beazley has conceded he has “got a bit of work to do” to re-establish his leadership credentials and the fortunes of the ALP.

In his first major television interview since regaining the leadership last Friday, Beazley said he would aim to “sharpen the differences” with the government and to hold it accountable.

Beazley criticised the government over its relationship with the United States, arguing that Australia needed to be the ally America needed, not the ally it wanted.

The reborn Opposition Leader – Beazley held the position between 1996-2001 – appeared comfortable and confident. It has been announced that he will live in Sydney for much of the time, reducing the need for long and frequent travel from Western Australia. [Read more…]

As Kim Beazley Seeks To Reclaim ALP Leadership, Kevin Rudd Keeps His Options Open

Following Mark Latham’s resignation as leader of the ALP earlier in the day, former leader Kim Beazley announced his intention to contest the caucus ballot for the position.

Beazley said there was a desire for unity, stability and experience in the ALP. Whilst he didn’t think these circumstances would arise, he said he was “absolutely fired with ambition for the nation”. He said he had learned anew “the value of my colleagues” and he would be a different leader from before. Beazley served as ALP between 1996 and 2001, taking the ALP to defeats in the 1998 and 2001 federal elections.

Beazley said he was deeply saddened by Latham’s resignation statement. He described Latham as a man of “considerable ability and great talent”.

Speaking from overseas, Foreign Affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said: “In the period ahead I’ll be consulting with my colleagues on the future.” He also paid tribute to Latham, saying it had been a difficult day for him. [Read more…]

Mark Latham’s Resignation Statement

The Leader of the Opposition, Mark Latham, has resigned as Labor leader and as the member for Werriwa.

The announcement was delivered to the media in a park at Ingleburn. Latham drove himself to the conference and left alone. He refused to take questions.

  • Listen to Latham’s statement (3m)

This is the transcript of Mark Latham’s resignation statement.

Mark Latham, former Leader of the OppositionA number of colleagues have asked me to address the uncertainty concerning the Labor leadership. While I had planned to reassess things at the end of my leave period on 26 January, the ongoing speculation is damaging the Party and needs to be dealt with now.

Obviously I am disappointed with the press coverage over the last fortnight. Despite being on annual leave and recovering from illness, the media have been constantly camped outside our home. [Read more…]

Gough Whitlam Pays Tribute To Mark Latham

Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam has paid tribute to Mark Latham.

Latham worked for Whitlam in the 1980s. He undertook much of the research for Whitlam’s book, The Whitlam Government.

Statement by Gough Whitlam

Since his last days at school I have known Mark Latham as a person of outstanding character and capacity with a zest for public service.

As the Leader of the Australian Labor Party from February 1967 to December 1977 and the Member for Werriwa from November 1952 to July 1978 I am proud of Mark’s achievements in both positions I held.

It is tragic that his agonising ailment has prematurely ended his public career. Margaret and I shall always regard Mark and Janine and their children with great affection and admiration.