It's Policy Time

Ten years ago, a young mayor from sydney's western suburbs began sending unsolicited articles to the opinion page of the Australian newspaper. They were earnest and written in a plain style, usually about health, education or economic policy. As the then editor of the page, I was struck by the way this fellow threw himself into the policy debate, and impressed by how he would good-naturedly accept rejection. At a time when the paper's editor-in-chief demanded "names," why would anyone care what an obscure 33-year-old Labor operative called Mark Latham had to say?

Latham, then immersed...