Thursday, September 22, 2005

Latham Diaries II

On style...

This isn't half as bad as I expected. QM feels the same way. I'm in the mid-90s, post Keating's loss.

The style of the diaries proper is: page or so of reflective comment that is obviously written recently, in italics. Then the short, punchy diary entries.

His writing is excellent. If as some are suggesting the whole thing is a Helen Demidenko style fake, and he wrote it in a burst this year, there are a couple of things that don't match up. He writes calmly, thoughtfully, and with no detectable hatred at this point.

And he writes too tightly for an auto-biographer. There is no excess fluff at all. It is very enjoyable reading and anyone who loves politics and doesn't read it is cutting off their nose to spite their face.

His big obsession in his early days is the difference between fixers and policy-makers, and the paucity of the latter. There's a sense of optimism draining as he realises how few people around him are trying to lead change.

Keating, he says, is one of the exceptions, and Keating gets a doting eulogy. Keating will be fondly remembered by true believers. Amen.

The difference between the media take and the book itself is starting to disturb me, anger me, bring out my inner Latham.

7 comments:

Crystal said...

Re more fixers than policy makers: I have worked where General Managers complained their days are spent 'putting out fires' instead of progressing the business.
Re: too few leading change - most people are afraid of change and pollies no exception unfortunately.
re your warm and fuzzy review: I hope that 'nice peppery shiraz' did not soften your assessment.

Armagnac Esq. said...

Not at all- sharpens the critical faculties.

In my old age I think I do have a weakness for things that are actually written well. That may be swaying me a little...

leftvegdrunk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
leftvegdrunk said...

Enjoying the review so far - thanks! And if there are temptations toward bias then I'll simply keep those in mind. Keep it up.

Another Outspoken Female said...

Thanks for the drip feeds, while i wait in the queue for a copy from the city of yarra (7 copies, number 25!) Am curious to see where and why it all goes sour. On telly he is coming across like a spurned lover. Someone who belongs in the family court. To hurt this much, he must have genuinely cared about the party and the people.

Eagerly await next update :)

Minotaur said...

About the only article with any sort of balance the mainstream media have published has been this one - http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,16678471%255E7583,00.html (in The Australian, oh the irony!)

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