October 03, 2004 | Unknown

Launching a New Government

After failing to convince security staff I was a serious journalist and/or a Liberal, I spent last Sunday at the anti-Howard rally outside the party’s campaign launch.
Let me tell you, it is not easy covering a demonstration hostile to conservatives when dressed in a frock Princess Di would have worn before her divorce, while carrying a bag with the Prime Minister’s face on it and a cardigan inside in case it got cold.
Unsurprisingly, Labor was not fussy about who it let in to its launch on Wednesday, so in I went with my notebook, biro, homemade media pass and membership card.
As a member, I was spared from sitting next to dodgy press types and instead found myself surrounded by representatives of the esteemed political class, including former leader Paul Keating, former leader Kim Beazley and current Senator Bob McMullan, who seemed impressed with my modest claim of being “just an ordinary branch member”.
I am glad nobody told him I write for a blog or he undoubtedly would have been less impressed.
In between playing spot the pollie, I paid a bit of attention to what was happening on stage, particularly when lovely Ms Lacy featured in what might have been a world first; an Australian wife recommending her husband.
Janine uttered words like “admirable” and “genuine” to describe her partner and the audience fell in love, albeit with her and not necessarily with her old man.
If I was one of those nutty feminists, I might have wondered why male politicians need to have their humanity confirmed by spouses, but instead I was enthralled, and hoped one day to have a Mark Latham of my own.
Mind you, mine better be from a better part of town, because I do not want to have to go to the western suburbs of Sydney to visit my mother-in-law.
Although deeply hurt by the Liberals’ rejection a few days earlier and even if I have been an ALP hack since 1998, I resolved to adhere to my usual impartiality.
I can thus advise that Labor’s intention to index pensions four times a year and introduce income splitting are the best initiatives ever introduced in the history of humankind.
Like most political commentators I consider myself neutral, but I have to say that totally radical (in a good way) were plans to create 20 000 more places respectively at universities and TAFE colleges, to redirect funding away from schools that do not need it and to protect Medicare.
“Mr Howard is waging war on Medicare. I want to build a fortress around it”, said Latham and as somebody without private health insurance I could only agree.
Peter Garrett, who was sitting one person away and is twice my height and half my weight, clapped enthusiastically when the ALP’s proposals to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and protect the Daintree were announced.
“That is so cool”, I would have remarked to him if I was not too shy to talk to a rock-and-roll star.
By the time Latham informed us that “Janine and the boys…have made me a better man”, I was glad I never got in to the Liberal launch to hear the Prime Minister go on about giving tools a kit or something or rather.
Even though I am not keen to be seen to be giving support to one party or another, I feel compelled to give the nearly last word to the upcoming Prime Minister:
“My fellow Australians, Australia needs, and needs now, a new government”.
Right on, Mark.

Posted by Unknown at 4:23 pm | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Nice review and i’m hoping the majority of Australians are starting to feel the same way.

    Comment by alphacoward — October 4, 2004 @ 2:46 pm

  2. Ha ha suck it.

    Comment by Foo — October 10, 2004 @ 3:29 am

  3. Thanks, “Alpha”.
    As for Foo, it is important to be gracious in victory.

    Comment by Darlene — October 10, 2004 @ 7:31 am

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