Monday, July 05, 2004

The Sunday fallout

The revelations have been made, Latham has emotionally responded and the Labor Party has lashed out at what they term is a smear campaign that is taking orders from the very top. And what effect has all this had on the public perception of Latham as leader, and possible PM? To be honest, I don't know if it has made much difference. If any, it may have cemented Latham's position as the antithesis of John Howard, which is what previous leaders of Labor have not been doing. As a woman vox-popped by the SMH said: "It's not the kind of behaviour we're used to from politicians but at least he's got balls." He admitted, when questioned, to John Laws he had an active sex life before marriage. (A rather bizarre question, yes?) There are allegations that he may have enjoyed a buck's night. A far cry from the picture of the current PM, who left home at 30 something. Those who backed Latham in the past will no doubt be only more fervent in their support and those who think he's a violent boofhead will no doubt feel their beliefs have been confirmed.

Will it make a difference at the polls? The election hasn't been called yet so it may be a long time before we get to cast a vote. In that time almost anything could happen (a couple of children could go overboard, a couple of gay people might want to get married). This will blow over. Latham has done himself no damage in showing his human side today. The deeper question is: if these attacks are backed by the Coalition, what kind of position are they in to feel that their only recourse is to attack Latham personally?

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