Wednesday 1 December 2004

Politics as High Farce

From The Australian :
Mark Latham has again clashed with rebel frontbencher Stephen Conroy, less than 24 hours after the deputy Senate leader publicly pledged to stop waging a "jihad" against the leader.

In the second major showdown between the warring pair, Senator Conroy told a meeting of shadow cabinet yesterday he wasn't that sorry after all and claimed he had confessed to nothing.
No doubt he kept his fingers crossed behind his back. A Hudna in his jihad.
As Sunday's orchestrated declaration of loyalty turned to farce, witnesses to the clash said Mr Latham appeared "puzzled".
He really doesn't get it. His calling for a party meeting to "lance the boil" so soon was a high-risk, high-gain strategy, and showed that he knew a bit about political infighting. Senator Conroy's faux-apology appeared to be a distinct win for Mark Latham, who lost no time beating it up for all it was worth (and not-very-quietly preparing Bloody Revenge on his enemies). With Conroy's new "i didn't mean it", it makes Latham look like an Idiot.
Senator Conroy apologised amid claims that he was waging a campaign against Mr Latham's leadership and had described Latham mentor John Faulkner as a "Dr Frankenstein" who controlled the monster. putting 20,000 volts through him, no doubt. To make him go "Voom". Here's what Australian Treasurer, Peter Costello had to say in Parliament:
In parliament, Peter Costello compared the ALP to a Monty Python comedy sketch.

And noting that Mr Latham had described his own Treasury spokesman as a rooster; that member for Lyons Dick Adams had labelled the party's environment spokesman, Anthony Albanese, a mangy dog; and that Kim Beazley's former chief of staff, Michael Costello, had called Mr Latham a dead parrot, the Treasurer declared the ALP an "animal farm".
Finally, there's this about Senator Conroy :
Senior frontbenchers privately described Senator Conroy's behaviour as "erratic". One said his colleague was a "lunatic who had lost his marbles".

Mr Ferguson, Labor's immigration spokesman, yesterday became the first ALP frontbencher to say publicly that Senator Conroy had confessed to destabilisation during a recent confrontation with Mr Latham.

Senator Conroy had a case of sour grapes, he suggested. "Quite frankly, he was shafted for that position by a number of his associates and I don't think he should take out that on the whole party."
Beware the Wrath of a Senator Scorned. He's willing to use every weapon in the political arsenal, regardless of "collateral damage". If only as a dreadful warning to others. Latham, being an easy target for demolition, is just a convenient victim. Oh Dear, How Sad, Never Mind.

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