Latham on Labor’s problems

The Australian

Mark Latham would like a non-liar for Prime Minister of Australia.

THE high levels of public distrust and cynicism with politicians leave no margin for lying to the electorate, former Labor leader Mark Latham has warned, saying the ALP’s only hope for survival is to “bring in a non-liar as prime minister”.

Mr Latham, who has become one of Julia Gillard’s fiercest critics, told Sky News Australian Agenda that the lessons from the Queensland state election trouncing were clear.

He said Labor’s structural problem, where its party base had been replaced by aspirational and upwardly-mobile voters with no economic or emotional attachment to a trade union base party, was exacerbated by they way it conducted itself in government.

“When you start lying about stuff you risk this scale of avalanche of votes against you,” he said.

Former Queensland premier Anna Bligh paid the price at the ballot box over her breach of faith on Queensland’s asset sales, he said.

“If there is one lesson out of it for democracy – and I think this is important for the Prime Minister – if you make a promise, you’ve just got to keep it these days,” he said.

“The public distrust and cynicism about public life is so severe there is no room, absolutely no margin for lying to the electorate and Bligh paid the penalty.”

Mr Latham said this meant the only option for federal Labor was to “bring in a non-liar as prime minister”.

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