The Australian 'bloke' is an endangered species being replaced by 'nervous wrecks and metrosexual knobs', one of the country's most controversial public figures believes. Mark Latham, the former leader of the opposition Labor Party, blames feminism, political correctness and changes in the work world for the demise of the traditional Australian male. 'One of the saddest things I have seen in my lifetime has been the decline in Australian male culture,' Mr Latham writes in a book published today.'Australian mates and good blokes have been replaced by nervous wrecks, metrosexual knobs and toss-bags. I saw many of them in politics, from all states and parties.' The book, A Conga Line of Suckholes, is a collection of quotes and anecdotes collected by Mr Latham before he resigned as Labor leader last year, citing ill health. Infamous for breaking a taxi driver's arm during a late-night dispute over a fare, Mr Latham has become notorious for his acid tongue and savage verbal attacks on his former colleagues. Last year he published a volume of diaries in which he blamed almost everyone but himself for his political demise. The title of the latest book comes from an insult he flung at the government for its support of the US-led war in Iraq. Mr Latham has no qualms about mixing such language with loftier quotes from Plato, Shakespeare and Gandhi, and even compares himself with the famous British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli. 'Larrikinism' - the Australian affection for rebels and rogues - had fallen victim to political correctness and a 'revenge of the nerds, John Howard-style', he asserts. But social researcher Hugh Mackay said the lament for a mythical 'Aussie bloke' of the past was dangerously misplaced. Mr Mackay said old-style chauvinist males were indeed an endangered breed in Australia, and that could only be a good thing.'He's talking about the ocker, larrikin bloke who thought women should be kept in their place,' he said. 'There are still a few relics around, but for the most part they've disappeared and that can only be a good thing. We're now witnessing the emergence of the New Bloke, who is entirely confident with his masculinity but equally comfortable with gender equality,' he said, adding that Mr Latham was 'out of touch'.