The Labor Party is run by union sub-factions and puffed-up feminists and the Liberals are packed with feral authoritarians, Mark Latham says in his latest book.
And the Greens and Palmer United Party are simply “fanatical fringe groups”, the former Labor leader says in his ninth book, The Political Bubble.
The book paints a scathing portrait of the Australian political landscape, which he argues is “overgrown” and needs to be downsized to make debate more relevant.
“It’s a dismal picture because people have disengaged so thoroughly with the system,” he told AAP before the book’s publication on Tuesday.
“It’s not just the distrust in politicians, there’s a palpable dislike of the political class.”
The Political Bubble laments the decline in Australian political involvement since the 1970s and ’80s as people became more educated and economically self-reliant.
Mr Latham says Australians’ faith in politics can’t be restored until union-based factions are broken and lobbyists sidelined.
He writes specifically of the attempts to break union-based factional control, which failed at the weekend’s ALP state conference when Senator John Faulkner’s bid to allow rank-and-file members to select candidates for the NSW upper house and Senate was rejected.
He also blames the ALP’s firmly entrenched unions and the Liberal Party’s “feral authoritarian” types for the electorate’s disillusionment.
He says it’s heartening that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has promised a future emissions trading scheme.
But climate change needs to be removed from parliament completely, Mr Latham says. “Take the politics out of it,” he said.
“If there was someone like Malcolm Turnbull leading the Liberal Party, there’d be a cross-party agreement that you could take climate change policy out of the parliament where it’s always going to subject to opportunism and scare campaigns.”