Gerard obviously knows a lot more than me about politics, but when he says that “In Australia, politics gravitates towards the centre”, I have to chuckle. If the current Howard government is centrist, than I’m a communist. That’s obviously not what he’s saying directly, but it’s certainly implied in his comments.
With relation to his comment that Latham comes behind both Kevin Rudd and Kim Beazley – he states that “It certainly does not explain the fact that Rudd (who is not well known) is more popular than Latham.” Umm, I saw Rudd on more news bulletins than I saw Crean over the last year. I think he is more well known than a lot of commentators think.
In my circle of peers Latham is pretty well known, admittedly partly because of what Henderson describes as “hyperbolic bad language”. But regardless of this, or perhaps because, a lot of the people I talk to are happy to have Latham as the new opposition leader, even if they preferred Rudd previously.
UPDATE: Just saw a news bulletin. Now the press is saying that Latham is catching up to Howard in opinion polls.