Monday, September 26, 2005

Wines, Muffins and Latham Diaries III

A quick update from a slow reader...

I've been at beloved's farm, letting her father and stepmother choose our red and white wines from a selection we'd shortlisted.

From three varied Shiraz numbers everyone agreed that the McLaren Vale from SA, a surprisingly cheap wine given its body, depth and rich, pruney nose, would be the red. In the whites we took a WA Riesling, WA Sav Sem and a Marlborough Sav Blanc. I'm in love with kiwi whites (unpatriotic I know, but man- that nose, like eating passionfruits in a bed of long grass), so I was chuffed that they selected the Marlborough, after a close contest with the Sav Sem.

Beloved's grandfather told me tales from the war. He rarely talks about those days- he fought hand-to-hand in Papua and Borneo in WWII- so I listened intently and picked up some gems he's never told beloved.

They went in a parade down a Brisbane street while on rec leave, and women were lifting their skirts up and flashing their dark secrets from second story windows. 1940s, remember! Things you don't hear about in school, eh?

OK... the diaries... we've moved into Latho's free-markets-or-else phase. His frustration at the protectionist suggestions of Beazley and Crean is intense. He's mad that most of his colleagues haven't read his Civilising Global Capital tome.

There are contradictions coming out here. He castigates Beazley for social conservatism, but then seems to suggest that Labor listen to the 'values' being milked by Howard and Hanson (i.e. social conservatism). And he's showing his famed arrogance on the issue of free trade, in his disbelief that Beazley and Crean suggest some protectionist measures to try to save jobs.

So there he is, ranting on for free trade, cocking his head towards the bogans who think that owning two cars in the suburbs is hardship on a scale with being an aboriginal in Hermansburg with a life expectancy of 40, and he notes at one point that he feels like the right player on the wrong field (or some equivalent simile).

Well, if you are sympathising with the rednecks and you believe in free trade, you might from time to time feel like you were kicking towards the wrong goalposts as a Labor shadow minister. No?

Via Minotaur, in my last comment thread, comes a piece in the Australian recognising some choice cuts among the carcasses....
The book exposes the problems with Kim Beazley's leadership - his lack of reforming zeal, his shunning of confrontation, the absence of fire in his belly. It portrays a sick political and media culture and an endemic factionalism that threatens to suck the life out of the Labor Party. It highlights the toll that rumour-mongering can take on people in public life. It presents a case for opening up the debate on the US alliance beyond its present narrow confines.
Exposes... Portrays... Highlights... Presents...


Crystal said...

'McLaren Vale from SA, a surprisingly cheap wine '...oh man, we never say cheap we say INEXPENSIVE!!

Love the Granpa story of the clever lasses giving the troops an appreciative Cheap Thrill.

'n keep reading 'n reportin on The Book. thanxxx

Armagnac Esq. said...

Most welcome.

Indeed, beloved was stunned when I told her what pop was telling me!