We will probably never know why Latham chose not to issue a tsunami statement. Clearly the guy is gravely ill and perhaps that effected his judgement. Deputy Opposition Leader Jenny Macklin does not have the pancreatitis defence. US Vice-president Charles Dawes said his job was 'to look at newspapers every morning to see how the president's health is.'
A competent deputy would have been banging on Latham's door 24 hours or so after Latham looked like staying silent on the tsunami. Macklin didn't and the ALP should find a new deputy leader who will. The Beazley unity ticket looks inevitable. That does not mean Labor cannot or should not find a more energetic deputy. It would also be a fine chance to signal that the faction system is on the way out.
Andrew Bartlett's comments are worth reading.
PS Somehow I resisted the temptation to call this 'For the congaline is over...'