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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Costello's blues « Previous | |Next »
July 19, 2007

I'm in Hobart at an Allied Health conference, and I'm finding it extremely cold at night. The sun shines during the day but the wind is bitter. There is snow on Mt Wellington, which provides the backdrop to Hobart CBD.

I have had difficulty finding the time to access the internet. The internet option in my hotel room is not working, and I'm working from the public access computer in a side room with no heating. I'm freezing, and I cannot post images nor make comments on the computer. I will add them latter when they solve the technical glitch.


I haven't been following the newspapers or the news. because of the conference. I did see that the underground tensions within the Liberal party are sufacing with Costello saying that Howard was a poor treasurer, is an overspending PM, doesn't tell the truth and will stab you in the back. Apparently that's a rough summary of Costello's view. He speaks as frustrated dudded man in Wayne Errington and Peter van Onselen book, John Winston Howard: The Biography. It's not going to go down well in the Liberal Party is it?

Can we continue to talk in terms of Howard and Peter Costello's prudent management meaning that they are better equipped team to put Australia on the right path than Labor? Will the Canberra Press Gallery now become more critical of the Howard Government, given the ongoing exposed divisions and dislike?

Update: 20 July
Michell Grattan in the Age says:

But it's now clear that if the Howard Government were re-elected, it would be near impossible for that relationship to remain productive (unless there was, heaven forbid, a "deal" for the transition). The first part of the new term would be spent seeing off Howard. So why, Labor will argue, elect a government where the PM will initially be a lame duck, and then gone? It's a fair point, nearly impossible for Howard to answer.

She says that Howard faces an unenviable dilemma. He has always said he would stay as long as his party wanted him and it was for the party's good. Is Howard in the position of Kim Beazley last year, when it became clear the public was no longer listening to him? Howard no longer stands for the future.

Presumably, the Liberal Party will close ranks around Howard and vent its spleen against The Age for publishing such damaging extracts from the Errington and van Onselen book.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:59 AM | | Comments (3)


Michel Costello, Kim Beazley's ex-Chief of Staff, says in The Australian that:

"As doughty a fighter as Howard is, he is obviously wounded: wounded by Labor's 15-month-long ascendancy in the polls, wounded by baring his throat to his cabinet, the latter wound made worse by the fact all and sundry know about it.

These aren't wounds that can be cosmetically disguised before the election. Nor can the Liberal Party credibly disguise the rift between Howard and Costello underlined (rather than revealed) by the material in the new Melbourne University Press biography of Howard released this month."

This is new territory. As Costello says there are three alternative scenarios facing the Coalition.

Scenario one sees Howard stay on as leader with Band-Aids applied to wounds.

Scenario two sees Howard fall on his sword for the good of the party.

Scenario three sees Howard tapped on the shoulder.

Can anybody remember what the numbers were on the last costello vs howard vote? I seem to recall that the vote had howard 10 higher. So if 6 changed their minds he could be rolled. But it is in different cercumstances.

Though I could be getting confused with the Beazley vs Rudd vote as its been a busy week in the Village.

I thought it was much lower. Costello got very few votes. It's the speculation that is hurting them. Another nail in the plan works loose. The ship is leaking. They are manning the pumps.

So how bad are the cracks and holes in the good Coalition ship of state?