The Latham Diaries in demand at Ballina
By DAWN COHEN
BERT KRET would never have voted for Mark Latham but he was Ballina's first customer for The Latham Diaries book.
"I would not vote Labor but the guy was a breath of fresh air," the former army officer said.
"I am interested in the contradictions between what he said in the diaries and his statements during the election."
Mr Kret, 72, purchased the former ALP leader's controversial diaries from the Book Warehouse in Ballina Fair on Wednesday morning. Distributors Pan Macmillan stocked stores in the cities on Monday ? two days earlier than the original release date.
The Book Warehouse, the first booksellers in Ballina to get their stock, ordered 54 copies of the controversial hard cover, charging $34.95 instead of the recommended retail price of $39.95.
"We have 10 on order and at least 150 phone inquiries," manager Judy Latimer said.
"The last book to do as well was the CSIRO Diet. It's the TV coverage."
Mr Kret, a staff member of the Defence Department when Kim Beazley was Minister for De- fence, said the chronicle of Mr Latham's 11 years in Parliament would be valuable reading.
"His attacks on his colleagues are mean but if they are true, then it is not immoral that he says them," Mr Kret said.
"But I bet he gets sued."
Federal Member for Richmond and Labor Party member Justine Elliot declined to com- ment on the diaries.