Mark Latham is back in typical form with a new podcast on Sydney radio station Triple M, with the first episode devoting several minutes to laying into domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty, and claiming men use domestic violence as a "coping mechanism".
Latham also asserted the words "negro" and "Muzzie" are "harmless", claimed he would "happily boo Adam Goodes", and pined for the days when "if someone was fat, you could call them fat".
UPDATE 11:50am: The backlash to Latham's comments has been swift. Domestic violence organisation White Ribbon and Senator Larissa Waters have both already condemned his comments.
EARLIER: Latham, the one-time Labor leader, will launch his 'Lathamland' podcast on Friday. It will be broadcast on Triple M today at midday, but was previewed on the station's website. The show was announced on Thursday, with promises that Latham would "take on the elitist left and political correctness gone mad".
In the first episode, Latham decries the "demonisation of men" by the "left feminist movement", which he said was helmed by Rosie Batty. Batty, whose son Luke was killed by his father in 2014, has since become a leading voice as Australia looks to tackle the scourge of domestic violence, and was last year named 2015 Australian of the Year.
"A survey showed Australian women are safer than ever before," Latham claimed, without citing any details whatsoever about the supposed survey.
"It is no worse than 20 or 30 years ago."
Ironically, the opening introduction to the podcast features a dramatic voiceover -- "is Mark Latham the wild nutbag of Australian politics, or could he be just what this country needs?" -- over the tune of British band Royal Blood's song 'You Can Be So Cruel'.
Latham, you might remember, was outed last year as being behind a Twitter account that trolled prominent Australian women including Rosie Batty, which contributed to his resignation as a columnist for the Australian Financial Review.
In this podcast, he goes on to call Luke Batty's father "a lunatic, drugged-out father" and asked "how does that morph into a generalised campaign against all Australian men?".
"That's the thing that worries me about the domestic violence campaign. It's being run for political reasons," Latham claimed.
He alleged Batty was "causing more harm than good" by criticising men.
"Blokes who have lost self esteem, their job, welfare dependant, other troubles, drugs, alcohol in their life... they use domestic violence as a coping mechanism to get over all the other crap they have in their lives," Latham said.
"Demonising men and making them feel worse about themselves isn't going to help the problem."
Mark Latham at the Melbourne Writers Festival in 2015
We won't go through the rest of the podcast line-by-line, but here's a few other highlights:
- "You used to have freedom of speech in Australia, where you could talk about people, say things that are obvious; if someone was fat you could call them fat, if someone was stupid you could call them stupid"
- [in complaining about the word 'negro'] "For average suburban Australians, these are just descriptors that are harmless, they have no malice in them"
- "I’d happily boo Adam Goodes [Sydney Swans AFL footballer, who retired after a tirade of booing] if he ever played again, not because of the colour of his skin, I just don't like several aspects of him as a footballer and as a quasi-politician"
- [on using the word "Muzzie" to refer to Muslims] "I’d argue part of our Australian larrikin style is to abbreviate names. We call a man named Thompson 'Tommo,' we call Richard 'dick,' we abbreviate everything… so in calling ourselves Aussies, is it that offensive to call Muslims 'Muzzies'? Not really. To a lot of people it's a term of endearment"
If you feel you need to hear the whole thing for yourself, check it out here.