Latham calls Swan “insipid”: a good tactic?

So former Labor leader Mark Latham reckons Treasurer Wayne Swan is insipid, insecure and a try-hard

In a column in the Financial Review, Mr Latham says Mr Swan has had more than a decade to develop his speaking style, but he is still struggling.

He says his body language is cramped, his delivery too rapid — and all up, he tries too hard.

Claiming that Rudd won’t wait any longer for Swan to improve, Latham reckons Rudd’s likely to name Julia Gillard as Treasurer.

I was alerted to this story by Noel Kelly, who said “With friend[s] like Mark Latham… Should we make him the federal opposition leader?” But I actually think it’s a tactic which works in Chairman Rudd’s favour.

Latham floats the idea of tipping Swan to see how the numbers lie — both in the party room and in the commentariat. Rudd can then choose to agree with him and sack Swan, or just say that Latham’s a crank and support Swan, as the situation demands.