Mark Latham is a king rat with a bite that could cause serious harm

Mark Latham is a king rat with a bite that could cause serious harm, Grace Collier.

Those sledging Mark Latham are foolish. The last person on earth that anyone should ever get in a fight with is someone who has absolutely nothing to lose.

When Latham is called a “rat” or a “king rat” by his former Labor colleagues, it doesn’t hurt him in the least. The public don’t see why the term Labor rat is a pejorative one. …

The sordid reality is that a rat was a term originally coined by criminals. A rat was someone who put observance of the law over blind allegiance to their fellow crims and subsequently informed on them to the police.

In the labour movement, a rat is someone who gives away dirty secrets and reveals damaging information about dodgy conduct. In the labour context, people who see and know things are expected to keep their heads down and their mouths shut, and in the end the rewards will come to those who wait. …

This week a spectacular ding-dong unfolded on Paul Murray Live on Sky News between Latham and our commentator Graham Richardson. In my opinion, the person who looked rattled was Richo, but you are encouraged to Google the clip and form your own conclusion.

In the heat of the argument, Latham reeled off a long list of names and details, including a mention of a Swiss bank account. Richo’s mouth opened and closed like a gasping goldfish. It was spectacular television if nothing else. In the aftermath, on Twitter, journalists circulated titbits about Richo’s past, using pages from published books and detailing allegiances with known criminals, historical activities and financial transactions. …

Google on “offset alpine Richardson fire insurance” and see what you find.

Latham’s faults are well-documented, out in public, and he is the first to admit to them. He has nothing to hide. Unlike those he criticises, he isn’t regarded as shady, shifty, dodgy or untrustworthy. To the contrary, he appears honest, so honest that the main complaint about him is that his brutal honesty is just too brutal. …

The new landscape, brought on by the new politics of the left (leaving the working class behind — yuck!) and excessive government growth:

In Australia, the traditional Left-Right paradigm is increasingly irrelevant. Instead, the divide is between insiders and outsiders, and those for or against government control, and those with or without skin in the game.

Insiders are those with power but no skin in the game. Their living is secure, derived from government funding or government control of human behaviour or markets. Their tendency is to prefer the control of government, or institutions, over the population.

Outsiders are those with skin in the game and no power. Their living is derived from the free market or subject to the market. If they fail, they will suffer the consequences. They resist government control and take the view that any government we have should work for them, particularly since they create the wealth to fund it.

hat-tip Stephen Neil