Nice One NSW, We’ve Managed To Elect Mark Latham

What is wrong with this state?

Mark Latham

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Yesterday’s NSW election had some pretty unexpected results. Gladys and the Liberals pretty decisively won what was supposed to be an incredibly close election, and it now looks like Mark Latham has won a seat in the Senate.

Quite frankly, NSW, we need to talk.

While Senate counting is still underway, it looks like One Nation will end up with at least one, possibly even two seats in the NSW Upper House. Mark Latham was at the top of the One Nation ballot this year, so that first seat will go to him.

Latham, in case you’ve forgotten, is an absolute scumbag. One of his policies going into this election was forcing Indigenous people to take DNA tests in order to prove their Aboriginality — a policy that is both racist and scientifically inaccurate, and has been widely condemned by the Indigenous community. He voted against marriage equality, spouting some extraordinary harmful (and inaccurate) propaganda along the way, and has continued to make hateful comments about trans kids (as recently as last week).

The list goes on. Earlier this year Latham had to pay thousands in damages and costs after settling a high-profile defamation suit brought by Osman Faruqi, who sued Latham in 2017 over a video that Faruqi claimed implied he was an anti-white racist who encouraged terrorists.

Latham is now being sued for defamation over his comments about a 26-year-old university student who has been cleared of terrorism charges.

Normally, we’d stop here, and not bother giving Latham any more of a platform. But overnight, things have changed: the state of NSW has managed to give Latham not just a platform but a seat in Parliament, complete with taxpayer-funded salary, travel allowance, staffers and more.

This comes after fourteen blissful years of Latham-free Parliament — he was last in office as leader of the Labor Party in 2005. A lot has changed since then, none of it good. In his decade or so as a political commentator, Latham has bounced from scandal to scandal. Lowlights include the time he described domestic violence as a “coping mechanism”, and the time he got sacked by Sky News after a few too many offensive comments.

His return to politics has only been a recent move: back in 2017 he briefly joined the Liberal Democrats, and he only joined One Nation four months ago in November 2018.

Now he’s representing them in NSW Parliament, with all the platform and power that entails. And the people of NSW freely decided to put him there. Oh, and did we mention that Upper House terms go for eight years? 

Nice work, NSW. Look closely at what you’ve done.