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(generated from captions) And Paul Kelly can write - "This is an obsession". Paul Kelly can write that at Hunters Hills Well, Paul Kelly sits in his mansion these things, not having to deal with not having to talk to his wife in these contexts and think about his children so it's easy to do that - write your article, in Hunters Hill go home to your mansion personally and not have to deal with it and in a family context -

well, I'm telling you this, Tony: when you have to deal with it, is a different kettle of fish. what happens to you This program is captioned live. Good evening. Welcome to Lateline. I'm Maxine McKew. in a moment, Our Mark Latham interview the continuing fallout but we begin with against one-time colleagues from the broadside launched by the former Labor Leader. Mr Latham's accusations After yesterday describing as "sad and fanciful", today chose to say nothing. the Opposition Leader Kim Beazley In New York, to Mr Beazley's defence, the Prime Minister came Mr Latham's claims saying he doesn't believe of dirt files and smear campaigns. Some former colleagues at Mark Latham's outburst, have expressed anger as a tragedy - while others describe it but for Mr Latham himself. not only for the Labor Party, Narda Gilmore reports. From Canberra, continues, Mark Latham's bitter attack had nothing more to say. but today his prime target but thanks for turning out. No comments this morning, in here. We've got a bit of a job to do As Kim Beazley kept busy of Labor's national executive, at a scheduled meeting he gained some surprise support - over Mark Latham's claims the PM coming to his defence for an ongoing smear campaign. that Mr Beazley was responsible a long time. REPORTER: You've known Kim Beazley of him? Is that your experience No. one rumour late last year Mark Latham says with new MP Kate Ellis that he'd been involved

was a turning point. into the media Inevitably that would have got and, what, I've got to go through - at home, the whole horrible situation that I dearly love and treasure. jeopardising a home life dismissed the rumour. Ms Ellis today

It's certainly an interesting story. and certainly didn't happen. It's completely news to me

don't stop there. But the accusations Kim Beazley Mark Latham has also accused Greg Wilton of failing to help Labor MP in 2000. before he committed suicide Kim didn't talk to Greg, ring him,

in any shape or form. offer him support I just find that unbelievable. He's also accused Stephen Conroy Mr Wilton's pre-selection, of conspiring to remove as fiction. a claim Senator Conroy dismisses of the ALP Mark Latham remains a member to expel him. and there are no moves make him a hero or a martyr? Why would we do that, He's just a grub. the major loser will be Latham In the end, seriously damaged his credibility because he has, I think, really and I think that's very sad. by the Labor Party Mr Latham was chosen of his personality. with a full knowledge in Mark Latham's attack The one senior Labor figure spared is Julia Gillard, who he says should lead the party. for his expression of support in me I thank Mark in the speech that I've given today, but, as I've made very clear Kim Beazley, my support is 100% behind and that's the end of the matter. his views, She says while she doesn't share can't be ignored. Mark Latham's diaries the hurt long enough You need to also be able to ignore in some of the reflections to see if there is truth to act on that truth. and, if there are, to the party, As for any long-term damage everyone will have moved on. Ms Gillard says in a week Narda Gilmore, Lateline. tomorrow New Zealanders go to the polls the tightest elections in decades. in what is likely to be one of is too close to call, Opinion polls indicate the result with the eventual winner to form government. expected to rely on minor parties is aiming for her third victory, Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark from National Leader Don Brash, but is facing a serious challenge who has promised massive tax cuts 'Maori privilege'. and an end to what he calls deported from Australia The American activist in Houston, Texas, tonight. is at his home last weekend Scott Parkin was detained to national security. on the grounds that he was a threat he was considered a security risk, ASIO has not revealed why of the case against him. nor has it released any details a dangerous precedent. Critics say the expulsion sets produced by Suzanne Smith. Norman Hermant has this report, kicked out of Australia, His visa cancelled, is back in the US. activist Scott Parkin Now if only he knew why.

I'm baffled. I'm completely baffled by all He's not the only one.

by all of it. I'm baffled. I'm completely baffled Nearly a week after being detained to national security, as a possible threat his lawyer is also in a fog.

by all of it. He has no idea and we I'm baffled. I'm completely baffled

have no idea. On meeting him, I

it hard to imagine anything that he have no idea. On meeting him, I find

would be inclined to do that would

justify removing him as a risk to

our freedom. what the Government has done. But that is exactly in June on a 6-month visa. Mr Parkin arrived in Australia the global CEO conference in Sydney. He joined the protests of non-violent peace activist The self-described is opposed to the Iraq war of Haliburton, and especially to the role US Vice-President Dick Cheney. the company linked to None of that, says the Government, has anything to with a finding by ASIO that Mr Parkin was a security threat.

There was an adverse assessment. A

visa was cancelled lawfully and the

visa was cancel and the person was

lawfully detain and reremoved from

Australia. That is the natural

outcome of a person with no entitle

to be here.

That is all Mr Parkin and his supporters know and they may not find out much more. Scott Parkin has lodged an appeal of his deportation with the migration review tribunal.

But since last month, the Attorney-General has been given the power to request - on national security grounds -

that details of the case are kept secret. His lawyers won't know the evidence against him. They won't even know what he's accused of doing.

Of course the appeal will fail

because, without knowing why he was

declared to be a security risk, we

can't challenge the finding The Government says these are not ordinary times - declared to be a security risk, we can't challenge the finding itself.

on some occasions, security information has to be kept secret.

There are a lot of reasons why ASIO

assessments need to be protected.

Often it relates to the need to

protect sources of intelligence

information. But without even revealing the specifics of allegations behind closed doors, Julian Burnside says the Government is playing with a stacked deck.

This is a bit like playing pokier

against someone who tells you he's

won because he has four aces but

won't #140e you his hand. Back in America, Scott Parkin did get something out of all of this - the bill. More than $11,600 to pay for the cost of his expulsion - flights and accommodation for two government escorts and of course, the cost of his detention. Norman Hermant, Lateline. And now to Tony Jones's extended interview with Mark Latham. On the eve of the publication of his diaries, interviewing Mark Latham was always going to be a competitive business for journalists. Months ago, his publishers actually got TV producers to pitch for the right to speak to him. They were asked to bring along audience figures, flow charts and a marketing strategy. In the hands of such people, a public figure had been reduced to a product to be traded on the media market. Well, I'm happy to say Mark Latham is not so easily reducible. He agreed to this interview independently. On the basis that we run it after that other celebrated interview. And so to the point - our interview deals in detail

with the allegations about Kim Beazley and other senior Labor figures. Allegations of rumour-mongering and neglect which echo the Brogden affair in the NSW Liberal Party.

And there are a few surprises - including a glimpse inside this document, Labor's last polling research report before the 2004 election, which was to provide a template for the party's election strategy. There's some surprisingly good news in it for Peter Costello, and even more in the former leader's assessment of the Government's economic performance, set against Labor's strategy, which he describes as, "Sitting around waiting for a recession "to bring them back to power."

So here's our interview. On the eve of the publication of his diaries, Mark Latham, thanks for joining us. Well, it's good to be back on Lateline. Now, Dylan Thomas once wrote: "When one burns one's bridges, what a very nice fire it makes." Do you get what he meant now? Well, I suppose I've moved on past my parliamentary career and these diaries are my perspective on what happened. After the 2004 federal election, there was an avalanche of leaks and off-the-record material from just about everyone in the Labor Party except me. So, um, if there's a burning of the bridge, it's also a correcting of the record, as far as I see it, and that's a healthy thing for the public records. Have you formally left the party in order to do this? I mean, are you still...do you still maintain any connection at all with it? Well, I've got a 2005 membership ticket, so I'm still a member of the Labor Party. I don't think it's too onerous to have a membership ticket. But, as I say, in January, when I resigned from politics... But, yeah, but do you think they'll let you keep that membership ticket after this, because, I mean, for example,

Kevin Rudd on the radio this morning, "I can't recall in our party's history "when someone has turned on the people that supported him

"to the degree that Mark Latham has done." Well, I can't remember getting too much support from Kevin Rudd, so I take that with a grain of salt. And people can read the diaries to see the true Kevin Rudd. Would you be upset if they took your party ticket away? Oh, I wouldn't be surprised what the machine men of the Labor Party do. I wouldn't be surprised at all. Um, but, I'm not concerned about that. I've got bigger things on my plate, which is my home-dad activities, and they occupy me much more than the fact that, you know, in the drawer in my office there's a party political ticket. You were part of this system. So deeply was it ingrained in your life that you were a servant of the party for virtually your entire adult life. A system, you say, based on power and patronage, surviving through a code of silence. You're breaking that code of silence You actually make it sound like breaking the code of silence of a kind of Mafia organisation. Well, obviously, if I was a serving MP, say I'd not retired from the parliament in January, I'd just gone on the back bench, well, obviously, I'd be losing my pre-selection for saying such things, wouldn't I? And I could, again, give you a list of Labor MPs - I think there are some in Victoria now - who are under the pump because they won't tow the factional line. And this is a Mafia-style tactic, where people who speak their mind, try and generate progressive form, build rank-and-file participation, go against the orthodoxy,

they're, ah, they're rubbed out by a handful of union secretaries sitting around the table and a handful of party officials who want them to tow the line And if they don't, they get the boot. Now, you reflect on the idea that all prominent left-wing movements are doomed to fall under the influence of party apparatchik. You cite Robert Michel's comments 50 years ago. Is that what's happened to the Labor Party? Oh, there's no doubt. And my time in the party - you know, I started as a young activist with the romantic ideal

that rank-and-file participation mattered, that you could go to your local electorate council, write out policy submissions, move motions, send them through to the national forums and they'd make a difference. Now such an activist would be laughed out of court. You'd be seen as a fool for even trying to participate in that way. And that's the hollowing out of a party, where the party officials take the status and the power and concentrate it in their hands

and other people get left behind. So, the formalising of Labor factions in the '80s was obviously a huge change in the way in which the party operated and it's led to this whole machine political culture and the concentration of effective power in the hands of, um, a clique of people. And it's backed by the fact that the declining union membership has meant that the union power inside the party is also inside the hands of a small clique that exercise it in a machine political way. So, the Michel's analysis, which is not new in political science, holds true to the Australian Labor Party.

It's happened in a generation? Well, it's happened from the formalisation of those factions, the Richardson/Robert Ray influence in 1983, the formalised factions of the mid-'80s. So, we're talking about a 20-year period. If you take that as a generation then, over 20 years, that's been the substantial change in the way in which the Labor Party operates. And one of these characters - Richardson - was so brazen about his machine politics and his creed of 'whatever it takes',

he didn't call his books 'Diaries' or 'Memoirs',

he called it 'Whatever it Takes'. And that was his attitude. And in my book I talk about some of the things where they took that point of view - whatever it takes - to rub out a Greg Wilton and hurt other people in the party

and all of that can have very tragic and personal consequences. I'll come to, specifically, to the Greg Wilton case because it has a lot of contemporary relevance with the Brogden matter. Indeed, indeed. Let's move, let's keep going down the path we're going. One of those factional union leaders is considered a potential future leader of the party - Bill Shorten. an instance in your book Now, you actually cite if what you are saying is correct, where it appears, that he's representing. he has contempt for the people Absolutely. That's a good example represent their membership, of someone who doesn't really United States free trade debate but it was at the time of the to supporting the agreement and whether Labor would be party through the parliament. And Shorten of the AWU he was opposed to the FTA, was taking a public stance that gala ball in Melbourne one night but privately with me at their AWU that publicly he said, "Well, we're saying about their job, "because the workers are worried got to pass this FTA through. "but privately I'm telling you we've important to dilly-dally around. "The American alliance is much too as a political necessary." "You'll have to get this through point of that's absurd. So, you know, I mean, that's at the the union movement - People talk about consultation with a union leader like Shorten, how do you consult with exactly the opposite privately? who's saying one thing publicly and And, quite frankly, was much the same, Greg Combet through that period

we had to pass it through. saying, privately, as a matter of political necessity, push to oppose the FTA. but, publicly, part of the ACTU of the union involvement So it does make this whole idea a bit of a fiasco. That's certainly how I found it part of publics. Isn't that always, though, believe something to be right, I mean, you may actually but you know there isn't the support do anything about it. from your grassroots to actually

as it seems to indicate in the book, I mean, does that really indicate, for the workers? contempt - Shorten has contempt - it sounds less like it. But the way you put it now, for his members, Oh, no, Shorten spoke with contempt there's no doubt about that. these conundrums do arise, And you're right in saying sometimes easy option - but, Tony, there's a very don't say anything publicly.

Don't say anything publicly. Shorten's a media junkie You're not obliged, but, you know, at any opportunity and gets out there

take a public stance. and they don't have to their views private They can just keep of view at the ACTU Executive. or be known as a dissenting point both sides of the street But, instead, he tried to walk mark against Bill Shorten's name. and I think it's a, you know, black the sort of internal corruption Now, if you're right about that produces the party that drives the entire system that end up in Canberra, and the politicians it's an incredibly grim assessment a viable political opposition for a country that desperately needs

to function properly. for a two-party system the Labor Party. Oh, This is not just earlier on. You mentioned the Brogden incident of personal destruction It's clear that the politics is alive and well and sexual innuendo and smear Liberal Party. democracy, I think the problem's in our where are obsessed with private lives a significant number of journalists and sexual innuendo, public and private. blurring the distinction between sickness in Australian politics, So I think there's sickness, this cuts both ways. raised the question Paul Kelly says the diaries within the party of whether the sickness lies or whether it lies within yourself. as all that reliable. Oh, I don't really regard Kelly I mean... an exclusive interview. Well, you gave him

were bidders for it. Well, News Limited News Limit bid some money, Fairfax didn't put anything in, the publishers took the money, to promote a book and if News Limited want of News Limited, that exposes some of the true nature as far as I'm concerned. well, that's their business is their... But, Kelly, you know, Did you think twice about that - just on that subject - by the way, taking money from News Limited? did you think twice about Of course, yeah, of course. Does it affect your case?

if it affects my case. Oh, I don't know as comfortably with me It probably doesn't sit as other parts of my life. But, you know, in Kelly's instance, to get the troops out of Iraq, telling me that it was a good move put the pressure on Howard, and shortly thereafter - a Murdoch company man, a company man, he's very much the Murdoch-American stance - he's towing the company line, for that policy position to be bagging me he supported. that in his private moments He writes of you that you are... in terms of sickness So, I think, you know, someone who says one thing you might want to think about and then writes another, his own effectiveness as a reporter how dual that is in his own mind and and his reliability. to lecture me about sickness. You know, I don't think he's one He writes one thing - this criticism and explain it - and you're going to have to shoulder of others, he says you're so unforgiving very forgiving of your self. but in the end Now, let me ask you this. of introspection, After a long period weaknesses in yourself do you see there may have been which may have contributed - physical weaknesses, and I'm not talking here about but weaknesses in your character - contributed to your demise? in any way that may have and I made mistakes Oh, well, obviously, I'm not perfect mistakes in the book and I detail a lot of those my children to the media. It was a mistake to introduce It was a mistake to, advertising campaign in the election um, not get more involved in our

rate ads, to takes a hands-on role, with the rebuttal of the interest to Gartrell and co. instead of leaving it different mistakes that I made So the book chronicles of course, in my time of politics, and if they're seen as weaknesses - errors of judgment - they're certainly that, you know, go into history. document a sustained obsession, Kelly also notes the diaries as he puts it, with sexual rumours pedalled about you. Now, there's a point to that, isn't there? Couldn't you have just laughed off these rumours? With no bases to them, they couldn't damage you in the end. They're nothing but rumours that go around any large organisation about individuals. I don't know about rumours in the ABC that end up in the newspapers and I don't know of any ABC figure that's had major newspapers and media organisations speculating

for days on end about a bucks' night video, where you're supposed to be sitting with a naked stripper in your lap, rubbing your face in her breasts, I don't know of organisations that go through that. But that's the sort of thing that gets into the media, just as the sexual harassment smear from Ray and Beazley ultimately got into the media. In politics it's different because, while a workplace gossip and rumour can be laughed off, 'cause it remains in workplace, the political workplace is the nation, courtesy of the public forum of the media. And when these things get into the media, well, Tony, believe it or not, they get discussed in the home. And, I tell you what,

it's not much fun explaining some of these smears and disgusting things that are said about you to your wife, to understanding that she had to stand there one day with the little boys around her feet watching Steve Price, this galoot, on the Seven Network saying, "Here's the bucks' night video, I've got it behind me, "I'll pull it out, what do you think of that?" I mean, this is just disgusting and horrible for a young family

and we didn't want to be part of it anymore, we didn't want to go through it anymore. Another turning point was a disgusting rumour where colleagues were spreading - so-called 'colleagues' were spreading - in late November of 2004 that I'm supposed to have done something to Kate Ellis, the new member for Adelaide, spreading that around the hot-bed of rumours in Canberra. Well, inevitably, that would have got into the media and, what, I've got to go through the whole horrible situation at home jeopardising a home life that I dearly love and treasure for the sake of politics? Well, they can go jam that.

I tell you what, Tony, they can go jam that. If they think that's what people have got to do in this country to make an impact in the political system, think again. Good, decent family men - and I regard myself that way these days - they won't do it. And I didn't. That then goes to the heart of what hurt you most, does it? behind the scenes? What was happening The things that people never saw? It doesn't help, it doesn't help. smear was around for six years. The fact that the sexual harassment come up, you know. Inevitably, I knew it was going to and Faulkner gives me this lecture I got the job of Labor leader for the Liberal Party about you've got to watch out planting women in bars to try and get a hold of you and they'll do anything against you. and run a sexual scandal In the end, generated inside the Labor Party it was the stuff that had been that inevitably got into the media, and more salacious stuff of the bucks' night video. with the absurdity round of it at the end of 2004, And when they were going for another

and Gillard being sent down there this business with Kate Ellis to haul me off Kate Ellis, about that? well, I mean, what am I going to say can write...Paul Kelly can write And Paul Kelly that this is an obsession.

at Hunters Hill Well, Paul Kelly sits in his mansion with these things, not having to deal and think about his children not having to talk about his wife in this context. It's easy to do that - write your article in Hunters Hill and go home to your mansion personally in a family context. and not have to deal with it and when you have to deal with it, Well, I'm telling you this, Tony, when it happens to you, it's a different kettle of fish. it all began, Let's go back to where you reckon in Kim Beazley's office. back in 1998 some of the detail here. Now, can we just go through Someone was suggesting at that time a young Liberal staffer. that you had sexually harassed Is that the core of the allegation? Ah, yes. after the attempted suicide The geniuses down there by Nick Sherry committee of so-called elders. decide they'd convene a cross-party thought they would achieve, I don't know what they really it sounded impractical to me.

on our side, But your Robert Rays and Gary Grey Howard's office on the Liberal side, your Nick Minchins' and Tony Nutt in coming up on the horizon if they saw another Sherry

the idea was they would lay off. was so traumatising for Nick Sherry Because one of the things that put him under in the parliament was the humiliation that Costello over his travel allowance business. if we see another Sherry, So, it was, "Oh, well, "who's obviously under pressure, behind the scenes, "we know this to be happening "we'll lay off politically." that was feasible. Now, I just don't think a good idea at the time I think it might have been ever administer that? but how could you be thinking, The other side would always we shouldn't lay off him, "Oh, the bloke's not too bad, to be scored." "there's political points of our democracy, In the robust nature your own. I think you've got to look after the skids, off the rails I think if a Liberal MP has gone off and is hitting the skids, should go and grab hold of him then the Liberals and try and look after him. they should look after their own. If it happens to a Labor person committee was pretty silly. So this idea of a cross-party it was said at the time, And out of it, that I've done something wrong

through the system and, of course, the rumour races 2003 leadership contest, where... and re-emerges at the

I'll come to that. Anyway, that's the... We'll go through it in some detail. ..that's the origin of it. who the person was. We know, for example, Yeah, sure. daughter Penny Fischer At the heart of it was Pru Goward's for Warren Ensch at the time. who, I think, was working Ah, for Warwick Perra. of relationship with her? Did you have any kind or romance with her at all. No, I didn't have any sexual contact So how could this have happened? down where this rumour got going, I mean, have you managed to track of cause being taken up why it sort of became a kind on both sides of politics? concern about it - Well, in my, you know, sort of I was putting forward in 'Diaries' there's different theories and people can read those. members of that political committee I had a conversation with all of the

an inquiry into it, to get sort of a postmortem, with Gary Grey and David Epstein, but I did have a conversation who was working for Kim Beazley and they gave me this information - cross-party committee, there was this had come from the Libs. Robert Ray said that the compliant It's now plausible, started with Ray himself, um, what I believe is that it wasn't actually involved, that the committee and this is the nature of the smear Gary Grey, and it was read through to talk to me about it... who then asked Gough Whitlam He did.

..in 1998. which was very awkward Whitlam spoke with me about it because Gough is an old man talk about with a man that old and it's not the sort of thing you and Gary Grey's my age - why doesn't Gary Grey I said, "There's nothing in this and Penny Fisher or any other person." talk to me directly if I've harassed the smear had started. It was a worry to me It had never happened. The smear was false. complaint to you that you know of? Penny Fisher never made any

quite a good friend Penny Fisher is of my former personal assistant relationship with her and I've always had a cordial wrong to her is just absurd. and the idea I've done something of talking to me directly again - And the fact that Grey, instead Labor looking after its own - he's gone to Whitlam. to Whitlam And the fact that he's gone in these terms, and Whitlam spoke to me get out in the media I thought, "One day that will of credibility." and will give it some sort

Labor figurehead and God It went to this sort of who had to talk to me this way, and plain wrong - which is grossly embarrassing that if this got into the media, and a worry for the future some people think, "If they got Gough Whitlam involved there must be an element of truth." You know how people go on about it. For those five or six years in my political career it was hanging around like a bad smell.

What evidence did you have that Kim Beazley himself was involved in any way

in spreading this rumour about you or allowing it to be spread about you or that he kept a dirt file using this issue politically against you? Well, there are three things I hold against Kim. When I spoke to him and raised with him these slurs - because I got off the front bench after the '98 election. The public reason was that my education policy

had been rewritten - that was true enough and I wasn't tickled pink about that

but the bigger reason was these smears and I raised them and Beazley and said he knew nothing about it, which, to me, just sounded incredible. The national secretary is briefing Whitlam, Robert Ray, Beazley's best mate in the parliament, is on to it,

Epstein in his office, he's chief of staff at that time, senior adviser is in on it and the leader doesn't know about it? That's absolute rubbish. So anyway, he tried to give me the Sergeant Schultz treatment - he knew nothing about it. I subsequently found out from Gary Grey that he did know about it at the time so Beazley lied to me in '98 as to his knowledge of this matter. It next came up in the context of Simon Crean's fading leadership at the end of 2003. John Murphy, the Christian Labor member in NSW,

is down with Robert Ray and Ray says you can't vote for Latham because Beazley has a dirt file on him and he has all these allegations against him and this will all come out if he becomes leader after Crean falls over.

So they targeted Murphy as a good Christian, trying to scare him away for voting for me in a leadership contest in the future. That was in October 2003, just five or six weeks before the leadership ballot so... And five years after the original And five years after the original allegation. There's nothing proven against me. Beazley's campaign manager, of course, Beazley would know Robert Ray was trying to get Murphy's vote that way. Everyone talks - I talk with Laurie Brereton about how we're tying to win support and so forth in the ballot. That's standard political practice and the fact Beazley's campaign manager is saying that Beazley himself holds the dirt file is evidence that Beazley is part of that operation. Then after I got out of politics in April,

with a well-respected businesswoman. I had a discussion with Beazley She said she had a conversation just prior to the 2004 election private matters. where he was on about If he told -

it would end my political career. he said if he told my biographers

on the assumption You can safely work he just goes on and on about, it's the same matter that not because he's got any proof, not because it is true indecent smear against me. but because it is as an Did you ever confront him? in '98 you confronted him. I know you did in '98 - nothing about it. In '98 and he said he knew You confronted him and you said, ministry "Well, I'm leaving your shadow "because of this." the smears and rumours "I'm just jack of all of particularly this one," "that are being pedalled,

telling me about at that time but other stuff people were that were coming out of his office. A senior journalist, Whitlam told me a few things out of Beazley's office. that were coming and there was other scuttlebutt. I knew the one definite smear

I was a single guy, My first marriage had broken up, I said, you know...

doing what single guys do, but not doing anything wrong

that way and if he wants to carry on on the front bench and I never did. I wouldn't serve under him again

And I never did. your front bench. But you did bring him back on to before you did that Did you have to swallow hard on the radio Kevin Rudd is saying because, for example, Kim Beazley, for political reasons, you virtually pleaded with to come back on to the front bench. Didn't you have second thoughts, believed about him? given what you currently

Well, I did. I did, indeed. This makes the point trying to be forgiving of people. that from time to time I was This smear had been put around. that Beazley wanted to come back It was put to me by John Faulkner to the front bench. I didn't initiate this. he and Ray had spoken to Beazley. This was put to me by Faulkner that Beazley was keen to come back.

to help Labor win? You know? Would I entertain this for the good of the party I put aside the personal issues to bring him back. personal issues? Did you talk to him about those

They must have been fairly... No, no. ..deeply ingrained in your mind from his shadow ministry? if you resigned I talked to him in '98 nothing about it. and he told me he knew

raising it again, So I worked on the assumption, good old Sergeant Schultz would say he sees nothing. he knows nothing, in the leadership issue This came up again which was some time earlier. You didn't know about that?

I did know about that. You didn't raise it with him then? with him in '98. Well, I'd raised it to raise it again. I didn't see the need I possibly could as Labor leader I was doing everything

in government in Canberra. to beat Howard and put Labor for the party to put that behind us. I thought it was the right thing

of the meeting. We shook hands at the end I took that to be a sign - discussion of course well, we would have had a general the front bench about the trauma of '98, let's leave the past behind. not the specific matter It would have been a general - rewrite, but the whole education policy my role as a backbencher, his reservations about me. about leaving the past behind. It was a general discussion talking about this matter, We would have sat there for hours leave the past behind, shake on it, but the productive thing was to and we work together. he comes back to the front bench some six or seven weeks later I find out about personal matters he's talking to this businesswoman that will destroy my career. wasn't worth a cracker. So his handshake That's the truth of it. raise The other serious allegation you about Kim Beazley's propriety is his behaviour as leader during the Greg Wilton affair Wilton's suicide. in the period leading up to

Kim Beazley did wrong What exactly do you believe during that period? terrible shape Well, Greg was in from the Sherry experience and if we'd learnt anything of one of our own it should have been to grab hold to keep him alive. and give him every possible support And Kim's attitude was in the parliament. it was my job to go keep him Kim didn't talk to Greg, in any shape or form. ring him, offer him support I just find that unbelievable. As a parliamentary leader, we had sick colleagues. time to time

my best mates, They might not have been and give them support but you had to ring them and offer them encouragement and we're all thinking about them, that in Greg's circumstances and I just find it unbelievable

and actually said to me, he never helped him out in the parliament. "We've got to keep him "If there's a by-election in Isaacs the character question," "we could lose it on had had with his children. the incident that Greg political attitude that he took It was a pretty cold-hearted the human life of a colleague and ultimately we lost and in my case, a mate.

in a sense, It's an allegation of neglect then,

didn't do enough that he, as party leader, greatest need. at the time of Greg Wilton's Is that what you are saying? I wish he had. Greg and give him support, I think it was wrong not to call a newspaper article particularly when there was in 'The Herald Sun' were moving against Greg - saying that factional bosses in Isaacs. he was going to lose his selection

Greg had left. That was the only thing he wasn't able to see his kids He'd lost his wife he'd had this terrible incident the police had their report to make. he was in trouble - you know, The only thing Greg had left was his parliamentary career and that article effectively triggered his suicide.

So, you know, Greg had major worries about his politic future and a reassuring call from his parliamentary leader

obviously would have made a very positive difference. Do you know for sure that Kim Beazley never picked up the phone never spoke to him because it could have been something that happened privately. You can't be the all-seeing eye here. I had that conversation with Beazley where he wasn't going to speak to him and left it to me. So I know that. I know from members of Greg's family where Greg was living at the time when he suicided, that what I'm saying here is accurate. Can you see this at all from the perspective that Kim Beazley must have had at that time as leader - I mean there was a potential for everyone to get swallowed up in a scandal surrounding one of his MPs. As you say, the police were involved. He may well have been advised to stay hands off, stay away from this situation. He might have been using you because he knew you were close to Wilton to express the party's feeling about him? I've been leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party and I've just got to say that my standard was

if a colleague's in need, even if you're not close to them personally or on the other side of the fence in the factional tussle, you've got to put out the helping hand. Now you say the particular article, written in the Melbourne 'Sun-Herald' I think it was, tipped Greg Wilton over the edge into suicide.

You believe that behind that article senior party figures were moving in the way that you've described in other occasions? Certainly large members - a significant number of Caucus members were blaming Conroy, and to this day, the orthodoxy inside the party would be that Conroy was the instigator of that. I had a conversation with him at the end of 2004 about this

and he put his head down and changed the subject. So there's no rebuttal there from Conroy in my experience and he's always copped the blame for it and it was a terrible thing to be involved in. You know, it's got an echo with the Brogden tragedy in NSW on the other side of the political fence and I think it's a sign of one of the big problem we've got in the political system. Everyone wrings their hands together, the 48 hours is terrible, there's a colleague in need, than spreading smears about them. we should help them rather after the 2001 election Conroy ended up being promoted in the Senate. to be the deputy leader I wouldn't have... are pretty clear My views about him based on the personal matter. The two people you blame most within the party context? are Stephen Conroy and Kim Beazley themselves. The diaries speak for say that Conroy cops the blame I think it's definitely true to inside the party. in a direct sense. Beazley's not blamed omission or neglect His sin was more one of than an actual act of bastardry that triggered someone's suicide. like planning a newspaper story a fair bit Given - we've been talking about Kim Beazley. you believe he held, We've talked about the dirt file or was held on his behalf. incident. We've talked about this other Do you believe as a result of this

high office? that he's unfit to hold should be the leader I think Julia Gillard Labor Party. of the federal parliamentary are well known. My views about Beazley's politics about him as a man, The diaries set out my views as an Australian male. as a human being, But do you think... in that regard. And I don't think very well of him unfit to hold high office? Are you arguing that it makes him of course. Yeah, I believe that, in Parliament House I wouldn't make him a toilet cleaner let alone leader of the Opposition. Who would, after this? in smears of sexual harassment The sort of guy involved against a colleague, in the Wilton matter. or what I know to be the case for such an individual? Who would have such a regard with this image, And how he's got away over the years this facade that he's Mr Decency, everyone knows for a fact, I mean, what we do know, elements of machine politics is that he's surrounded by the worst in the Labor Party. Your Leo McClay's, the Robert Rays - men in the party - the worst of the machine are all around him. your Swans and the like. His very inner circle - of the party. I mean, the worst elements his method of operation, So, you know that about to work out you don't have to be Einstein like a rat up a drainpipe. that he gets into this stuff Alright.

that were spread about you - Staying with the sexual rumours this some degree, and you've already mentioned in some detail but let me go over it how this happened. because I'm interested to know after the campaign, At the end of 2004, after you'd lost the election, involving Kate Ellis another round of rumours emerged

from the back bench. and they come up, apparently, Tell us what happened? I think it was a Tuesday night, Yeah, late in November, in the parliamentary office I'd been up with Julia Gillard, going through some of the numbers had to run for the leadership looking at her numbers if she ever because, you know, post the election loss, I was obviously on shaky ground and my mate Joel Fitzgibbons in Green Square, Kingston. said "Come down to the pub there "Have a beer." there's no-one around. "It's Tuesday night, "Come for a chat."

for a mineral water and have one I thought, "I'll go to my mate "and head home and say hello "and see who else was around." sitting at the table, And Kate Ellis was on the table, Member for Adelaide the newly elected and I had my drink. of a separate function, Gillard was coming out got in my car and came home. said a few words to her, that was on the Tuesday - A few days later - on the Thursday, for the week parliament was winding down and someone came up and said, this rumour, mate, "Well, you should know about the back bench, "that's circulating through to Green Square the other night "that Gillard had to been sent down

"to haul you off Kate Ellis." And Joel had heard this,

of a Chinese whisper of people you know, it becomes sort from the back bench,

to coming from Maria Vamvakinou, and I tracked it down the Member for Calwell, from a staff member. who I was told said it had come Well, my standard would be is spreading rumours that if a staff member Parliamentary Labor Party, about the leader of the Federal what he's talking about, you'd tell him to make sure he knows a bit more respect. shut his mouth and have it was absolute rubbish, In this case, Vamvakinou to Kelly Hore, but it had passed through

to Joel Fitzgibbon onto me - to Harry Quick to Bob Serkum this is the Chinese whisper. since then I've spoken to colleagues at the time, who say that they were aware of it that it came from the staff. is you tell two people The nature of Parliament House a rumour, a slur on someone a salacious sexy thing, will know about it and the whole building two or three months later. That's how the place works. And then the press? They're in the building. Well, of course. themselves, And everyone trying to big note I know something about Latham." that (whispers) "Oh, you know, with Kate Ellis?" "Guess what happened with the small talk Trying to big note themselves

of the Canberra culture. and tomfoolery I've got to say the bucks' night video, that having been through the sexual harassment slur, the 'Sydney Morning Herald' article of my sex life, trying to write a profile the first wife the whole business with her spin-out exercise, and her, you know, to hear in late 2004, this is the last thing I wanted was starting up. that another rumour Inevitably, I'm this time leader of the Labor Party, it will get into the media at some stage - a Glenn Milne will feed it into the system somewhere,

all of these perverted voyeuristic types will feed it in at some point and I'll have to go through the same thing. And face it at home again. I took this one on. I told Janine, "You should be aware this latest round of crap started. "I don't want you to read it in the paper one day." I took it on myself to talk to her directly about it and say it was all crap. I mean, you are trying to do a job for the party, you're trying to do a job for the nation, is this what the job means in your own home

in having to talk to your wife in such terms? Well, as I said earlier on, that's the job they want people to do, it's a job they can go jam and I've moved on to something that I regard

as a much better job in my life and that's home dad.

Your saying, or you appear to be saying, repeating, I should say... This is not an obsession, these are facts that happen to you and I'm one person. You know, we've been through the Wilton thing and the Brogden thing and seen the tragic consequences.

I've sort of stood up under these things quite well, but others haven't.

I'm saying it.

I'm saying it so that the culture of the system might wake up to itself and they don't do this to the next young bloke who leads a political party with a couple of young kids and a beautiful wife

and a good set-up. I came through the trauma of a pretty ordinary first marriage and break-up

and everyone knows that old palaver with the first wife and that. If you find a bit of happiness in life you want to grab hold of it and keep it and not let external threats do their worst. I think the system should learn that and should all wake up to themselves on this sort of front. Could it have damaged your marriage? I mean, objectively... Well, it's no help, is it? It's no help. Our marriage is very, very strong, you know.

Beautiful, loving relationship. I'm an exceptionally lucky person to be married to Janine. Exceptionally lucky person. Well, I wouldn't want to jeopardise that good fortune for a nanosecond,

for a nanosecond. And having been what we had, what we experienced in 2004, this is the last thing I wanted. I needed this like a hole in the head. I dealt with it and we're strong and resilient and happy as Larry, but, I tell you what, the system is a sick, sick puppy. The system that can do that to people is a sick, sick puppy. a final straw? And this for you was effectively

Well, one of the last much for me to walk away from that in that it wasn't going to take and protect my family and lead the life we've now got and I was out of there in a flash. and another bout of pancreatic I mean, what... I've got this pancreatitis.

these rumours running again. These creeps have got here between health and family, I've got a choice of a work environment. and a rotten, rotten cesspit an absolute total fool You'd have to be

ahead of my home. to choose the cesspit That's the choice you made. One of your options would have been to stay as leader, to change the whole system to separate the trade unions from the Labor Party, or die doing it and fix up all of these problems, to stay in there to really commit yourself to it and one criticism of you will be that you did turn your back on it the party needed you more than ever. when, if you're right, I thought about these things.

in the diary I've detailed my thoughts their own judgment. and people can make on the Federal Labor Party. It is true, I turned my back on the Labor Party. I turned my back I turned my front to my family. and feel so much better for it I turned my front to my family it was the right thing to do. and I'm convinced out of politics You know you've made the right step would you ever want to go back. when not for a single moment moment have I wanted to go back For eight months, not for a single into the cesspit. I thank my lucky stars, so, you know. I thank my lucky stars I got out that decision, I can assure you, I live easily and sleep easily with I turned my back, and critics who say in a sense they're correct, and get the full context but I hope they can read this book in which that occurred. let's look at some pure politics. For the historical record for the failures in the campaign, Who do you hold chiefly responsible and there were failures. leader of the party. Well, me. myself, in that I was the was the campaign director The two I see better job on the advertising front. and I certainly wish he had done a that's where the buck must stop. Ultimately, the person at the top, But it doesn't stop me from making observations about the other people involved

because, believe it or not, there was more than one person involved in the Labor campaign. There was a campaign director and assistant campaign director and advertising team. Some of whom I wouldn't have had a conversation with through the course of the campaign. So, you know... One of the things that has been suggested is you threw your weight around, you were headstrong and didn't listen to them, all of those kind of arguments have been made about the campaign. Tony, you've seen the document, the last polling research report, that was made available to me prior to the campaign. Tim Gartrell and I rubber-stamped it as the template for how we'd handle the campaign. It makes no mention of the interest rate scare, the need to rebut. Then Gartrell claims about knowing these things in advance and me stopping them from doing anything is just bogus. Not only that, that research document set out in terms of advertising strategy don't target Peter Costello as an individual. It said to Gartrell don't run ads that target Costello as an individual. If you're going to talk about Costello... Explain why because this was private party polling and although you are right, I have seen it,

explain to us what was in it about Costello. What it said is that there's an issue here - the transition from Howard to Costello. But the issue for us to target is Howard's lack of frankness, Howard's deceit if you like, But the issue for us to target is Howard's lack of frankness, Howard's deceit if you like, with the Australian people, in explaining to them his transition plan for Liberal leadership the succession plan in handing over to Costello. So it should have been a question of Howard's honesty or lack of frankness that we target if we're going to use this particular issue, the Howard-Costello issue. But the advice was don't make Costello himself the issue because large slabs of Labor polling show that while people don't like the fact that he's smug and arrogant they think he's run a good economy and they think he's been a good economic manager and people in Labor-funded focus groups will say, "I don't like that Costello, "but, gees, he's done well with economic management "and economic management is the reason I vote Liberal." So when Gartrell runs these ads: "Don't risk it - Peter Costello Prime Minister",

the public - and this should have been known

because Gartrell got the advice from our pollster - the public are thinking, "Costello, smug fellow, "but good reason to vote Liberal because the economy is strong." Counterproductive and counter the advice of the pollsters. I don't feel bad that Gartrell didn't take some advice I gave him on the advertising because he rejected the advice of the pollster as well. You once told me a story about a furniture removalist, I think it was, who came to your house

and a man with a, you would have to think, not a particularly high income, told you that he had an investment property. Yeah, here in Campbelltown. You get those stories. I remember another time - I think I might have told this publicly in the past - on the train from Campbelltown into the city a lady jumps on at East Hills and sees me reading the 'Fin Review' and says, "Can I have the market wrap, please "to look at the investments?" She was jumping on at East Hills, old working-class East Hills, and the dear old love wants to get the market wrap out of the 'Fin Review'. This is the section with investment stocks and bonds and share prices and so forth. I gave it to her. I wasn't reading the market wrap. I don't have investments, as such. It is anecdotal but it is everywhere. From the furniture removalist who has the investment property

to the old dear at East Hills who has the investments and reads the market advice in the 'Financial Review'. It's everywhere in this new economy. The money that's gone into people's pockets is just enormous. I used to talk about climbing the ladder of opportunity. So many people have climbed the ladder of materialism

and done so much better for themselves financially and of course... Under a Howard Government. Well, I mean, our great Labor Party problem was we started these reforms. The economy-building reforms of '83 to '96 under Hawke and Keating set the whole platform for this unprecedented period of growth but then what did Beazley do post-'96? He disowned that economic legacy - the famous magazine headline 'Keating Is Dead' - in terms of economic policy - and handed the legacy to Howard and Costello.

Keating always uses the expression "I got hit up the backside by a rainbow when that happened." The Australian people thought "Beazley doesn't want the Labor economic legacy.

"All this growth and prosperity "must be the work of Howard and Costello." Our research showed they did think that in spades and when they thought about the Keating era they raised 17% interest rates. So you were fighting... It's a a catch 22, isn't it? If we raised... Eight years later this guy Latham tries to reclaim the economic legacy. People would say, "What are you on about? "You gave that away eight years ago. "Howard and Costello have produced the growth economy.

"You want to talk about Keating? 17% interest rates." That's true. There were 17% interest rates, there was the recession Under Howard and Costello no recession the country had to have. Continual growth prosperity, people in removalist vans with investment properties. You were up against something you could never have beaten. People who discard media comment and vote on real-life circumstances - jumping on and off the back of removalist trucks and you have an investment property - you're probably not that inclined to change the government on economic grounds. which is the Labor - You'd have to wait for a recession,

given away the economic legacy, modern Labor tragedy that having no real way of getting it back,

is waiting for recession in practice, the Labor Party economic credentials to weaken the Government's that way. and get a change of government you try and deal with. They are just political realities I outlined different strategies. that I've tried. People know the things strategy, to wait for a recession? Do you believe that's the current into power? There's no other way to get back if he talks about the economy enough Beazley has the idea people will think he can run one.

about the economy, But the more you talk to Howard and Costello. the more people give credit if you want to impress people. Labor's agenda, do better than the Government, is to talk about the things we can the fairness of our society, which are health, education, community building, are big, big problems, the things where people know there that need to be addressed, huge social problems in this country that Labor's got the solutions and try to convince people to those social problems. and convince people But if you are going to try for 10 years at 3% or 4% that the economy has been growing and you're reading the market wrap, you've got investment properties financially you've never had it so good

in that environment and you try to convince people ruined here, we are all stuffed, that we're actually all going to be like you've got three heads. they will look at you They aren't going to believe you. It's not credible. of a succession of Labor treasurers That's been the tactics including now. I used to have that job. I had a famous interview with you. I'm afraid. It's a bit of Barry bulldust, is a situation So what you are outlining here might conclude where an unbiased observer that self-belief wasn't there that you even think in the party, that you and others would think actually doing a better job. that the Government is people think that I think the Australian

and that's the way they voted. The Australian people think that. and Leader of the Opposition - Of course, Shadow Treasurer I put forward economic reform plans, six or seven big ideas a good difference, that would have made and the election campaign, but those ideas presented on TV or through the course of 2004, in people's minds are they are going to overwhelm they've got, the real-life experience in changing the government their natural reservation in those circumstances? in that environment. Obviously you're up against it You can have John Maynard Keynes economic policies, putting forward magnificent but the bloke on and off the removalist truck and the woman with the market wrap will think, "That's all good theory and rhetoric but this real-life circumstance here, it's green, it's thick and good to have and I'm not shifting."

Mark Latham, I know it's a difficult time for you. It's an interesting time for the party. It's going to be interesting to see what happens as a result of your book, but we thank you very much indeed

for taking the time to come and talk to us. Thanks for taking an interest in it, having a read of it and running through the hoops one last time. Thank you. To the markets now.

Now to the weather.

And that's all for this evening. If you'd like to look back at tonight's interview or review any of Lateline's stories or transcripts, you can visit our website at: www.abc.net.au/lateline I'll be back tomorrow night, so please join me then. Goodnight. Captions by Captioning and Subtitling International.