Where I Read Mark Latham's Books

14 December 2004
I decided to read one of Mark Latham's books. Look, the guy was almost Prime Minister, so I figure someone outside of his immediate family should read one of them.

I started with From the Suburbs, because it happened to be at Charlestown Library. But really, who colud fail to be intrigued by a book with chapter titles like "Reinventing Collectivism"?

Anyway, reading the book, I was at first slightly engaged but then, well...utterly bewildered. I just could not figure out what the guy was on about. To put it crudely, he seemed to use big words for the sake of using big words. I felt he should have ended every paragraph by writing "SEE WHAT A GREAT INTELLECT I AM?!"

Some quotes:

"(an) abstract lifestyle has prduced an abstract style of politics. Symbolic and ideological campaings are given top priority. This involves a particular methodology: adopting a predetermined position on issues then looking for evidence that supports that position."

"(Labor party reform) is now happening under Simon Crean's leadership. His theme of modernism is music to my ears."
Which is why Latham continually undermined Crean's leadership.

"This approach is set out in my book What Did You Learn Today? (2001). It is a Third Way program for Australia's transition to a learning society."
Yes he plugged his own book in his own book.

And my favourite:
"The Prime Minister's best mate is Donald McDonald, so Howard made him Chairman of the ABC. Peter Costello's best mate is Michael Kroger, so he put him on the Board. If Tony Abbott had any mates they'd be on the Board of the ABC as well."

Well, you've been warned. If you read any of Mark Latham's books, don't come crying to me!


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