He is unrepentant about losing elections, bad-mouthing his colleagues, swearing or throwing punches at the public. Failed Labor leader Mark Latham is more upset by the furore he caused by smoking marijuana in Australia's parliament house. Among the stream of venomous recriminations contained in the former opposition leader's memoirs, he describes the incident as 'pretty dumb'. Mr Latham writes in his diaries, published yesterday, that he was 'puffing on a joint' at a corridor party in parliament's ministerial wing soon after he became an MP for the western Sydney seat of Werriwa in 1994. It went on to become a major outrage in July last year and was one of a series of failures, including a promise to bring Australian troops home from Iraq by last Christmas, that ultimately led to electoral disaster. Mr Latham's diaries lash out at almost everyone he came into contact with during his political career, from mentors and colleagues to unionists and government ministers. In the book, which is expected to be a bestseller, Mr Latham describes the prime minister, John Howard, as a 'smelly little bastard' for allegedly not taking a shower after a celebrity cricket match. He slams the former Labor prime minister Paul Keating as a 'maddie', and colleagues as 'sewer rats'. The current Labor leader, Kim Beazley, is accused of directing a smear campaign of sexual innuendo against Mr Latham. 'I wouldn't make him the toilet cleaner at parliament house, let alone the leader of the opposition,' Mr Latham, 44, told the ABC ahead of the book's publication. He reserves particular bile for the media, describing journalists as detestable 'animals' and government stooges. Although his 440-page book, The Latham Diaries, only went on sale yesterday, Mr Latham has ensured maximum damage to his former party by releasing small excerpts over the past few days. In resorting to personal insults and bitter recrimination, Mr Latham, who resigned citing ill-health in January, has outdone even his own reputation for bad language and ill grace. While in politics he described Mr Howard as an 'a*** licker', labelled a female journalist 'a skanky 'ho'' and vilified government ministers as 'a conga line of suckholes' for their support for the war in Iraq. The book's toxic mud-slinging has surprised even the press, with The Australian describing it as 'a berserk onslaught', and The Sydney Morning Herald decrying Mr Latham's 'suicide mission'.