Mark Latham is fast building a blue-chip reputation as a political commentator. His column about Craig Thomson delivers new insights into the story that is likely to consume politics in the weeks ahead.
Latham ponders the lengthy interview that Craig Thomson gave to Laurie Oakes on the weekend (see below), concluding that Thomson is delusional. "Delusion can be an incredibly powerful force in public life", he writes, and goes on to shed light on the seductive lifestyle of a successful and ambitious politician in the labour movement.
Thomson is representative of the worst elements of corruption that have, in Latham's eyes, ruined the modern ALP, and yet Latham summons no spite, only genuine concern.
"The difficulty for the political system lies in dealing with Thomson’s delusion. With every telling, his version of events has become more fantastic and inconsistent."
"Tony Windsor's push for a code of conduct for MPs has been opposed by the Coalition and independent senator Nick Xenophon amid the continuing political fallout from the Craig Thomson saga … the opposition said such a code was unnecessary and politicians should be responsible for monitoring their own behaviour."
"If Abbott succeeds in driving Labor from office in a landslide, what story will he tell when half the narrative isn't padded out with how dreadful the Gillard Labor minority government is? … It will be just the story of Tony, and his agenda for the future."
"The Opposition claims on one hand that the mining tax will kill the industry but, on the other, agrees with Forrest that it is not going to make any money. Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Ian Macfarlane have all said the miners have told them they will be paying no mining tax for several years."