Friday, January 21, 2005

Marked man

In what can safely be described as a copout, former opposition leader Mark Latham took a swipe at the media as he exited the top ALP job:

"When I was hospitalised in August, for instance, the media frenzy was over the top, with photographers shooting through my hospital window. Accordingly, I have done everything I could to keep subsequent episodes as private as possible.

Unfortunately ever since the recent bout became known, and even though I was on annual leave, the media has been harassing people in our street, forcing our neighbours to call the police on several occasions."
Bad behaviour by individuals in the media is inexcusable, but Latham was the alternative Prime Minister. What did he expect?

Max Suich unravels some of the Latham angst:

"Latham was seriously ill and tried to hide it. When his illness was reluctantly revealed (after a suggestion from the Government that his absence deserved inquiry) he offered no intelligent explanation for the secrecy and the true seriousness of the illness was not revealed.

He appears to have had no members of his office who were competent - or, more likely, perhaps, trusted - enough for him to rely on to manage the essential affairs of a leader while ill.

Once a crisis blew up, largely because of this inept and secretive management of the news of his illness, almost the entire party leaked the desire for him to go. "
And the MEAA reported today:
"On Tuesday NSW police threatened to arrest journalists waiting for comment after Mark Latham's resignation announcement. Police attempted to use Section 28F(b) of the Summary Offences Act to restrict the movement of journalists covering the major political event. The Alliance wrote to the NSW Police Minister demanding that police immediately stop threatening journalists with a law generally used for harassment or to disperse gangs."

Photo: Penny Bradfield /

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