Posted by: Gregoryno6 | March 29, 2011

A remarkable letter from Mark Latham.

With the comprehensive purging of the ALP from the NSW parliament, finding a suitable leader for those few remaining members poses a serious challenge.

One contender is John Robertson, former union heavyweight. Members of his own party have advised against giving Robertson the drivers seat.

All this is by way of introduction to the letter written to Robertson by Mark Latham nearly ten years ago on the subject of illegal immigration.

This was a sensitive issue in 2002, just a few months after the Tampa affair, and the 2001 election which John Howard won. Howard’s statement at the time was “We decide who comes into this country and the circumstances in which they come.”

The Labor leadership which succeeded him in 2007 said bah to all that, and thereby won the hearts of people smugglers throughout the region. And the queue-jumpers themselves have cottoned on to the idea that this government will buckle when sufficient pressure is applied. Witness the riots on Christmas Island earlier this month:

Set in historical context the letter Mark Latham penned in 2002 becomes a startling document. Clearly and without euphemism he states to John Robertson that the illegal immigration industry is a blight that should be fought and resisted. Which is exactly what John Howard did, in the face of Labor sneering.

They should have listened to Mark.

The letter is available here.


  1. Hi,
    Who would of thought anyone would agree with anything that Mark as said, but I have to agree he made some good points. The immigration policy at the moment is nothing but a laugh, and I suspect a bigger laugh o/seas. The Pacific Solution needs to be put back ASAP I feel.

    • The Circus Of Ineptitude cannot bring itself to use the facilities built on Nauru by the Liberals, but East Timor doesn’t seem interested in allowing a camp on its land and Christmas Is at this rate will be smoking embers by the end of the year. Jooolya will just have to open the Lodge to the next boatload.
      And yes, who would have ever expected anything so coherent out of Latham? I still feel we dodged a bullet when he lost to Howard, but there was the potential there for a Labor leader of quality. Where that potential was lost will remain a mystery for historians to argue for decades.

  2. Latham, a bit of a loose cannon, but his views on illegal immigration were laudable. I too was surprised to read something that made any sense with his name tacked on the end.

    • I too was surprised to read something that made any sense with his name tacked on the end.
      Given that he’s mostly remembered for a) losing to John Howard and b) roughing up a taxi driver, who can blame us for being surprised?

      • …and let’s not forget his time on 60 minutes.

        • Ah, well, I had forgotten that, actually. Fronting Jooolya for national tv would have been a thrill. A thrill with questionable ethics, perhaps, but then they are often the best sort.

  3. Hi,
    I just finished reading a post in another blog, I thought you may like to have a read, it’s a bit OMG and the comments are a bit OMG, however it does give one an insight into what some on the left are thinking, it’s about Andrew.

    • Thanks for the link, mags. Whether or not the court case gives Andrew Bolt’s any more legitimacy among the public is debatable, but I must say it’s obliging of Mike Stuchbery to link directly to those articles. I could almost believe he was playing ketman.
      Be that as it may. I note that neither Stuchbery nor his commenters refute Bolt’s views. One says “bloggers can churn out post after post pointing out where he’s wrong, tweeters can yell and scream, and people refuse to buy the Herald-Sun”. But there is no dissection of Bolt’s argument. They say they want him to be quiet, and that’s all.

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