Lunch with Arbib at Azuma’s in Sydney. It’s interesting to listen to these machine guys: they live in a world of non-stop political manoeuvres and gossip, no structured thoughts about making society better. Their only points of reference in public life are polling and focus groups. And so it is with Arbib. Some snippets from him.
…The focus groups… show that it’s popular to bash the blacks: ‘You need to find new issues, like attacking land rights, get stuck into all the politically correct Aboriginal stuff–the punters love it’. Maybe he should have had lunch with Pauline Hanson, though not at Azuma’s.
…Arbib reckons that [Laurie] Oakes was consistently against us during the campaign: ‘He was the worst every night, so you must have a problem with Packer. You need to go and see the big media people every now and then and kiss their arses. Carr does it all the time, it works wonders’. Yes, if you don’t mind having shit on your lips.
~ Mark Latham, The Latham Diaries, Melbourne University Press, 2005 (Monday, 1 November, pp.369–370)
Arbib revealed as secret US source
December 9, 2010
FEDERAL minister and right-wing Labor powerbroker Mark Arbib has been revealed as a confidential contact of the United States embassy in Canberra, providing inside information and commentary for Washington on the workings of the Australian government and the Labor Party.
Secret US embassy cables obtained by WikiLeaks and made available exclusively to The Age reveal that Senator Arbib, one of the architects of Kevin Rudd’s removal as prime minister, has been in regular contact with US embassy officers.
His candid comments have been incorporated into reports to Washington with repeated requests that his identity as a ”protected” source be guarded…