Larrikins lost to 'toss-bags' LARRIKINISM, once the essence of the Ausrtalian male, is being squeezed out by political correctness and a "revenge of the nerds, John Howard-style", former Labor leader Mark Latham laments in his latest book. Mr Latham says the decline of the Australian male culture is the saddest thing he witnessed during his time in politics, as mates and good blokes were replaced by "nervous wrecks, metrosexual knobs and toss-bags". "Instead of calling a spade a spade, our national conversation is now dominated by weasel words," he says in the introduction of A Conga Line of Suckholes. This loss of larrikin language and values was motivation for the book, a collection of Latham's favourite quotes and anecdotes. The adages include musings from famous politicians, political commentators and historical figures. Prime Minister John Howard barely rates a mention and Mr Latham's replacement Kim Beazley is the target of scorn. Labor elder and acknowledged orator Gough Whitlam, a Latham mentor until the younger man cut ties upon hearing Mr Whitlam thought he should quit politics, is mentioned but not quoted. Mr Latham has included 40 of his own quotes and anecdotes, more than double those attributed to Winston Churchill and US presidents Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt. Never one to mince his words, Mr Latham insists that anyone who objects to the title had better not read the book. Mr Howard today said he had no intention of commenting on the new offering from Mr Latham. "I haven't responded to Mr Latham for some time and I don't intend to break that drought," Mr Howard said.