You would have to spend a lot of time with Mark Latham to know for sure whether his current position as president of the NSW chapter of One Nation is a result of a truly catastrophic shift in values or whether he has just always been an opportunistic grifter. Unfortunately, that would involve spending time with Mark Latham.
Latham’s career since he supposedly quit politics in 2015 has been a long and fartful tumble down to rock bottom. He found a home among the country’s nightmarish gallery of right-wing commentators, adopting a series of increasingly reactionary and decreasingly rational beliefs as he began to realise that being willfully uninformed and perpetually outraged makes night-time Sky News viewers clap like seals. He harassed the people he viewed as his enemies via an ostensibly anonymous Twitter account with the handle @RealMarkLatham. He got fired for calling a child ‘gay’ on television. It’s a lot.
Eventually, that tumble to rock bottom found him in the loving embrace One Nation, after it turned out that even insufferable libertarian gun-smoocher David Leyonhjelm couldn’t put up with his bullshit. Now, the man has re-entered the political sphere after being elected to the NSW Legislative Council.
It’s always disheartening to see someone voted in on a One Nation ticket — especially someone who has so frequently and so totally disgraced themselves in the public eye — but there is a small glimmer of hope: One Nation’s apparently unshakeable incompetence. Between the party’s well-documented propensity for in-fighting and self-owns and Latham’s highly weird and highly volatile personality, it’s only a matter of time before Latham is back out of a job and forced to scrape by on his $70,000-a-year taxpayer-funded pension.
We took some guesses at the circumstances under which Latham will make his second exit from politics.
Quits party after sensational falling out with Pauline Hanson
This is by far the most likely option. Much like how Latham fell out with Leyonhjelm and much like how Hanson fell out with Fraser Anning and Rod Culleton, it is a very real possibility that these two completely unhinged individuals will irreparably fall out over a disagreement regarding the specific ways in which they should be racist.
Forced to resign in disgrace after praising a historical racist European war criminal
It’s only a matter of time before Latham’s personal crusade to defend the purity of western civilisation ends up with him extensively quoting from the manifesto of someone who has been tried at The Hague for taking that idea from theory to practice. This one’s a little unlikely, though, as resigning would require some level of contrition on his part.
Taps out to spend more time with an ongoing legal dispute with his neighbours
Whether it’s a lemon tree which extends slightly over the property barrier or an argument over who should pay for the repairs of the shared fence after someone punched a hole in it in a fit of political correctness–induced anger, Latham definitely seems the type to have the kind of vicious inter-neighbour feud usually only documented on A Current Affair. It’s not infeasibly as well that Latham would step down from the spotlight in order to do more research about ancient Rome for his legal defence.
Disappears after becoming trapped in secret Parliament House wine cellar
Sort of like a Harold Holt situation except if instead of going for a swim and getting swept out to sea, Latham was searching the various catacombs in the parliamentary subterrane for a secret stash of Shiraz when the door closed on him, trapping him in there forever, to be later exhumed by the weird robots at the end of the movie AI.
Jailed for breaking another cab driver’s arm
Who among us hasn’t broken a cab driver’s arm in a fit of rage? Most of us, actually — but Latham sure has though, and I’m willing to believe that he’ll do it again.
Body falls off mid–press conference
I’m not a doctor and I have not studied the relevant medical literature, so I could not tell you whether or not a man’s body sliding entirely off his bones in the middle of a press conference would be a medical first, but it would certainly be a medical first for Latham, whose body is still currently in place. Only barely, though.
As prime minister
Who even fucking knows with this country.