Anthony Albanese (Albo)
During the lead up to the election, Mark Latham said that Kevin Rudd had betrayed his party for personal gain and was a disgrace to the great Labor movement. But yesterday he said that Rudd actually got it right about asylum seekers. In the Financial Review he wrote: On the human tragedy of boat people drownings, Kevin Rudd belatedly got it right. His PNG deal ended Labor's flirtation with woolly-headed leftist thinking. The party should now offer bipartisan support to the new government and get this horrible problem off the agenda.
Some might wonder why anyone would care less what Mark Latham says, a bitter, angry man, who lost the election to John Howard and left politics in a huff. But now the media, who he once passionately hated, love him, and he's in constant demand. Why? Because what he has to say is usually worth listening to.
Kevin Rudd had a brilliant idea, one which he will be remembered for - to take half the power away from Caucus in electing a leader. For the first time ever, Labor members will have a 50 per cent say in who leads the Labor Party and caucus will have the other half. Only two men put their hand up, Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten and the winner will be announced on October 10.
Mark Latham is backing Bill Shorten. I agree with his assessment so far, it's been a mutual admiration farce with no mention of major policies or any drastic changes that should be made.
But that's not all, he called Albo an "intellectual lightweight" and went in for the kill. He writes: He was wrong to support an open-door asylum seeker policy, he was wrong to endorse Doug Cameron's push for protectionism, he was wrong to white-ant Labor leaders and most damaging of all, as a sub-factional warlord, he was wrong to prop up the corrupt NSW minister Ian Macdonald. Then during the election campaign, he was wrong to associate with a union rorter like Craig Thomson.
And then: The caucus and party membership have no choice but to vote ABA: Anyone but Albo.