Will the real leader of the Liberal Party Please Stand Up?

Where’s Malcolm?

The Liberal Party is in a mess. The media are busy lapping up Liberal backbencher and former Treasurer Peter Costello’s ongoing running commentary of the economic crisis while the ostensible leader of the Liberal Party, Malcolm Turnbull is nowhere to be seen.

This has added fuel to the fire that Malcolm’s days as leader may well be numbered.

In a report in The Australian, Kevin Rudd says it is inevitable that Peter Costello will become leader of the Liberal party.

“It’s inevitable that in this rolling sort of fight over the Liberal Party leadership that the Liberals are going to go back to Mr Costello and to Work Choices and everything which was associated with Work Choices in the past,” said Mr Rudd.

“As part of the rolling civil war within the Liberal Party, you’ve got one group saying, ‘Let’s invest in infrastructure’, and another group saying, ‘Let’s not’. It’s very hard to get a handle on whether this is a real alternative or simply a tool in the internal Liberal Party struggle.”

In more worrying news for Mr Turnbull and Mr Hockey, outspoken Liberal backbencher Mal Washer says that Costello is wasted on the backbench.

He’s wasted, and he would know that, on our backbench,” Dr Washer said of Mr Costello on ABC radio today.

“That’s silly, I mean. And it is destabilising, even if he doesn’t intend that, to the current leadership.

“That just goes without saying. He knows that. Everyone else knows that. That’s the truth.

“If I was Malcolm Turnbull or Joe Hockey, I’d say it would be making life difficult for me. I haven’t asked them, but if I put myself in their shoes I’d think I’d find it difficult.”

Dr Washer hopes to Mr Costello will return to the front bench, but the former treasurer is giving nothing away – even to his colleagues.

“I’ve already asked him one night,” he said, “get out there, give us a hand. Get on that front bench. He gave me a nice smile. He didn’t say anything.”

Costello’s mere presence continues to Haunt Turnbull and Hockey and purely serves to be a destabalising presence in Liberal party ranks.

Over at Echo, Alex Mitchell makes this observation:

Meanwhile Costello continues to keep saying with a straight face that he is staying in parliament to represent the voters in his Melbourne electorate of Higgins. What a joke: he’s taken little interest in them in the past, so why start now?

He has now knocked back three offers to join the front-bench team: once from Brendan Nelson when he was elected leader and twice from Turnbull. If he doesn’t want to join the frontbench team as shadow treasurer because he did the main job for 11 years, what job is he holding out for? The leadership, of course, and then, with hope in his heart, the prime ministership.

But the longer he waits to make a challenge, the lower his standing in the Liberal Party. Liberals expect him to make a contribution and not to be a spoiler. They don’t much like his arrogant attitude to the leadership which is ‘my way or no way’ and think he should step up to the plate, sooner rather than later.

For Kevin Rudd, the re-emergence of Costello is little short of a nightmare. The Coalition would run a torrid election campaign which basically said: ‘Remember how good it was when Costello was Treasurer – look at what Labor has done to the economy. Vote Costello.’

The Liberal Party are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Malcolm Turnbull is faltering as Leader and Joe Hockey is out of his depth in the Shadow Treasury portfolio. Both are dogged by the mere presence of Costello, and his ability to capture more media coverage.

Costello as Leader of the Liberal Party represents their only hope in facing up to Rudd. The clock is ticking but I doubt Hockey or Turnbull will step down without a fight.

56 Responses

  1. I think it is a bit harsh to say that “Costello is wasted on the backbench”.

    Maybe a little tired and emotional after a long lunch, but certainly not “wasted”.

  2. On Q and A last night Smirky was very smug when it came to questions of leadership. There was no categoric denial, he just kept feeding the fuel for the banter that the session became. The panel members were close to exchanging bodily fluids with each other. Tony Jones was completely out of his depth.
    Both Turdball and Hoss have been noticable by their media absence in a week where the December quarter was revised downwards to reflect negative growth. Are they too scared to try to land a blow.
    Thre is somethimg afoot internally here for sure, for two glory hunters to have such a low profile for so long…what’s going on. No wonder why the media are having fun with it.

  3. Well joni, you have to be on something to start spruiking workchoices again, particularly in the present climate.

    Waysted could be his excuse?

  4. Nice balanced post there Reb (my snark-o-meter didn’t go off once).

    What the Libs need right now is to differentiate themselves from Labor, by supporting conservative policies, and if that means having Costello as leader, then that’s what they should do.

    Mr Turnbull’s strategy of trying to out-green Labor on emissions trading, for example, might keep him sweet with the doctors’ wives on the North Shore, but it certainly won’t win the Liberals the next election.

  5. The scary thing is that Costello does have half a chance.

    As the recession proper starts to bite, resentment will build. People do have short memories, and it is only a matter of time until they turn their frustrations on the government.

    When they do, Costello will be there, reminding them, as reb pointed out, just how good he made it for them (ROFL)

    He is already claiming that he saw this coming. (He fails to acknowledge that he thought it was coming from China, for completely different reasons, and that he claimed America was not in any danger of economic collapse, but he rarely notes these points)

    The next election will be one of the biggest scare campaigns we have ever ever seen. It depends a lot on the extent of our recession, and Labors ability to maintain the front foot. To date, they have done well, but there is a long way to go.

  6. Costello hasn’t the got the personal qualities to lead the Liberal Party, let alone, god forbid, the country.

    He’s lazy, immature, sooky, disloyal, indecisive, cagey, bitchy, self-absorbed, and cowardly.

    Still, I’d pay good money to see the Liberals put him up as “leader”. To watch him come undone, whether quickly and spectacularly or slowly and agonisingly, with no one to blame but his own self, would be a grand thing for opponents of the Liberals, and the Liberals’ worst nightmare.

    Bring it on. Let’s see the dud have a go.

  7. I still want to see Costello as leader and Abbott as deputy for pure comedy reasons.

  8. Well they couldn’t do much worse under Cossie than Tunbull.

    The latest face-to-face Morgan Poll conducted on the weekends of February 21/22 & 28/ March 1, 2009 shows support for the Rudd Government has strengthened in the wake of the Opposition cabinet reshuffle. ALP support is 51.5% (up 2.5%) compared to L-NP support 33% (down 3.5%).

    TPP 61.5-38.5


    Big sample as well – 1845 so MOE probably only around 2%

  9. They are dreadful numbers for the opposition.

  10. Peter Costello is easily the best candidate for the job of Federal Liberal leader. Turnbull has been flip-flopping all over the place and has very little credibility. Costello has been much more consistent and has more economic intelligence than most in the Liberal Party (including Turnbull).

    Whether or not you agree with all his policies, Costello articulates his position well and is capable of showing up the mistakes of the Government. Only one-eyed Labor supporters would want an opposition that didn’t show up the Labor Government’s mistakes.

    I don’t agree with the accusation by some that Costello is cowardly etc. Why would anyone ever challenge for a job knowing that they’d lose? Why would anyone want a poisoned chalice? (Leader of the Opposition straight after the election loss in 2007). Costello has seen his leadership rivals have a crack and fail. Now he is in a good position to lead a re-united Liberal party, potentially into a respectable position. I’d say that’s smart politics on his part. All this of course assumes that he’s going to take up the leadership of the Liberal Party at some stage in the near future. If he doesn’t, then perhaps some of those personal criticisms of Peter Costello have been accurate.

  11. joni

    re Abbott and Costello, I think they seriously considered it in the early-mid 90s until it actually dawned on them.

  12. Alistar

    Why would anyone ever challenge for a job knowing that they’d lose?

    Keating did against Hawke.

    It seems to me that he didn’t challenge because he felt that it wasn’t in the interests of the party, yet he openly states that he thought that he had more of a chance of winning the last election than Howard did. If he believes the latter, then it was in his interests to challenge. Either way, it represents bad judgement and/or the lack of balls to make the hard decisions in the interests of a greater good. If he can’t make the hard decision in the interests of the Liberal Party when it would also have served his interests, how the hell can we expect him to make the hard decisions for the Country, particularly if those hard decisions are unpopular. As much as you may despise Howard for taking us into Iraq, I do believe that he honestly thought it was in our interests. He wasn’t going to take the popular decision. I can’t see Costello having made the decision to go into Iraq even if he did think it was in our national interests (and I don’t mean that as a justification of the actions to go into Iraq – which incidentally I also opposed- but simply an example of a hard but unpopular decision)

  13. much as it pains me, i have to agree with alastair except to say that it is rat cunning not “smart politics”.
    the insufferably smug bastard makes me want to puke but he is their only chance

  14. Alastair,

    Costello’s record of chickening out extends back a lot further in time than the several occasions he lacked the balls (and the numbers) to take on Howard.

    As long ago as 1994 he let Downer (!) walk in stilettos all over him to take the top job.

    Try googling “peter costello leadership speculation”. You might be surprised at the result. I was. 17,000+ hits!!

    This is a guy with a long and serious history in the gutlessness department.

  15. I reckon Costello is just amusing himself, in a bitter and twisted way, while serving out his time.

    Perhaps he can’t get another job to suit his ambitions, and he is bent out of shape that the Liberal party didn’t support him enough to oust Howard?

    If he wanted the job of leader, then he had it on a platter when Howard was voted out. Maybe he just wants to swan into the leadership role when Aussies are thinking of voting Liberal again? Could be a while?

    Costello’s carry-on doesn’t look much like leadership material to me. Since when do real leaders sit coolling their heels on back benches, and playing silly buggers with the press, when there is work to be done?

  16. Elise of Perth, on March 6th, 2009 at 3:18 pm Said:
    I reckon Costello is just amusing himself, in a bitter and twisted way, while serving out his time.

    I have a feeling that you are right Elise, a revenge scenario, especially against Turnbull due to JWH sticking the rude finger up to Costello via promotion of Turnbull.

  17. Caney, on March 6th, 2009 at 2:42 pm Said:

    “Costello hasn’t the got the personal qualities to lead the Liberal Party, let alone, god forbid, the country.

    He’s lazy, immature, sooky, disloyal, indecisive, cagey, bitchy, self-absorbed, and cowardly.”

    Aww, come on Caney, how about listing his bad points?

  18. Yes I suspect so, Min.

    It’s unfortunate really, as he has many good qualities – just not enough of the right ones to be a good leader.

    He has been wasting his life since the election, I reckon, and possibly even losing traction since Howard faced him down for the umteenth time. Should have stuck it to Howard right then. I would have been cheering him on, along with a few other people probably!

  19. Jane,

    I prefer to speak flatteringly about him!

  20. Some may have a point about a lack of conviction or courage by Costello in the past. However, it still doesn’t change my believe that he is the most able of the Federal Liberal Parliamentarians to be an effective Opposition Leader. All he needs is some courage and confidence in himself NOW (the past need not be a barrier).

    Do we want an opposition leader who can intelligently point out the faults of the government and provide some alternative or some bumbling idiot who is all over the place with policy? (i.e. most of the Liberal frontbenchers).

  21. Alastair,

    Indeed – we need and deserve a decent oppostion to hold the government to proper scrutiny. Now more than ever.

  22. Caney, on March 6th, 2009 at 3:39 pm Said:


    I prefer to speak flatteringly about him!”

    Polite to a fault, Caney. lol

    Alastair, on March 6th, 2009 at 3:46 pm Said:

    “Some may have a point about a lack of conviction or courage by Costello in the past. However, it still doesn’t change my believe that he is the most able of the Federal Liberal Parliamentarians to be an effective Opposition Leader.”

    Well the Libtards are definitely in deep, deep doodoo if that’s the case.

  23. Elise of Perth, on March 6th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I agree Elise, yes Costello has many good qualities..from a good family (brother Tim) and I also agree with Alistair re: All he needs is some courage and confidence in himself NOW (the past need not be a barrier).

    I think that relevant word is NOW.

    Costello was on the verge of becoming a joke, some would consider that he had already become one. However, he still has some credibility and he certainly knows how to work the media, but it can’t last for ever. Either he challenges Turnbull within the next week or so or else he resigns. Turnbull is obviously not going to give up the leadership easily.

  24. I can be curtain that no original member of the Howard team will lead the government when it holds power(but im sure they will be in the backround).

    Its going to take a new face with new crap to sell, just as Rudd did.

    Its not that Costello wont make the good leader the liberals need during the good times its just that he so bad under pressure he looks lost and seems to magnify the problem by talking.
    Min my email was an offload of crap from family matters, no need to reply. just feels good talking to someone at times.

  25. Aqua, re family matters..have already replied.

  26. aqua

    I can be curtain

    Was that a freudian slip aqua – ie, it’s curtains for the former Lib Ministers?

    Re costello’s ability – he is definately good at talking but you don’t need to scratch the surface all than much to reveal that he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about. His Tsunami comment is a case in point. He now uses it as evidence that he foretold the GFC – he didn’t. What he forecast was the destabilisation of the World economy when the Chinese got fed up with supporting the US dollar. Anyone with an ounce of economic understanding knows that will be difficult to deal with but it still hasn’t happened. The only thing keeping the US alive at the moment is the chinese support for their currency! Costello’s tsunami is yet to hit (but he won’t tell you that).

    On top of that is the fact that the tsunami comment can be comparred to Rudd’s comments about a cyclone etc. Turnbull is probably right that Rudd has used poor language at times but Costello is just as bad. Any criticisms that Turnbull made about Rudd are equally applicable to Costello.

    I’m yet to see anything really solid from Costello that supports his high opinion of himself. On the plus side, he’s probably quite a good bloke to talk to over a beer.

  27. Was that a freudian slip aqua –

    i guess all it takes is for labor to stubble big time and everything i said would be meaningless. If labor dont mass up the librals have little to nothing to work with.
    I can see Costello psyching himself up,

    just wait till i make my move, the world will be so impressed(pats himself on the back) .

  28. Im drinking, so you probably notice less spelling mistakes.

    Having a beer with anybody can be a pleasure. but a politican would never be my first choice. being sucked to death by leeches seems more relaxing.

  29. Please Mr Custard, take the job, take the job…any job on the front bench will do – can’t wait…

    10:1 he doesn’t – weak as water…although I do agree he is the best the Libs have (hehe)…I doubt JWH would allow it…

    …you didn’t think he’d stopped running the show did you…

    Until the “old guard” goes the Libs are – well – the “old guard”…

  30. I’m with Joni:

    “I still want to see Costello as leader and Abbott as deputy for pure comedy reasons.”

  31. even if he doesn’t intend that

    Your effin kidding right?

  32. just wait till i make my move, the world will be so impressed(pats himself on the back

    Now who does that remind me of?

  33. “Kevin Rudd says it is inevitable that Peter Costello will become leader of the Liberal party.”

    Umm, Rudd wouldn’t be winding this up a bit, would he? You know, poking a stick in the hornets nest and stirring it around for good measure?

  34. Umm, Rudd wouldn’t be winding this up a bit, would he?

    Of course he is Elise. More focus on the opposition = less focus on the government.

  35. Once upon a time …

    … In late 2009, Turnbull eventually succumbs to internal party pressure and calls a leadership spill. He loses to Costello by 10 votes.

    Costello spends the next six months resting as much as possible, girding his loins, accumulating energy for the labours he fears lie ahead.

    Mid 2010 Rudd calls election.

    Under Costello’s expert guidance, the Liberal Party does what it has always done best at elections – a dirty fear campaign. Money is no object. Liberal Party coffers are overflowing with donations from businesses demanding the return of WorkChoices.

    After the mightiest, best-funded, most dirty scare campaign in Australia’s history, Costello storms home and into government with a 10-seat majority.

    To recuperate from the rigours thus far, Costello begins his PM career by taking one month’s holiday, settling back in the most luxurious and expensive hammock that public money can buy.

    After his recuperatory period, Costello gives his first media conference. The first question, asked by an Age journalist, is: “Mr Costello, as Prime Minister, do you intend to reintroduce WorkChoices?”

    Costello smirks a sleazy smirk. With that familiar old Costello cagey enigmatic demeanour again to the fore, says to the journalist, “I’m not saying yes and I’m not saying no.”

    When pressed on the matter, another old trait comes to the fore. He becomes impatient and snarky. “Listen, are you deaf, Michelle? You need a stronger prescription for your hearing aid! I told you: I’m not saying yes and I’m not saying no!”.

    The media run with that line, and so it becomes the constant tagline of derision of the new PM. The quote enters the vernacular in the same way that Howard’s “You’ve never been better off”, Keating’s “the recession we had to have”, and Fraser’s “life wasn’t meant to be easy” followed them to their graves.

    Weeks go by,while behind the scenes, pressure from the Liberal business donors begins to build. They want a return for their donation-investments. They want their WorkChoices and they want it now.

    Costello, Minchin and Hockey have already had the proposal written and, after a good night’s rest, Costello presents it at the first sitting of Federal Parliament.

    The proposals include abolishing the minimum wage, paid holidays reduced to one week per year (no loading), abolition of every form of unfair dismissal protection, relaxation of workplace safety standards (them being a “hindrance” to business), and lowering the legal age for leaving school and fulltime employment to 12 years.

    Some debate follows, from the government’s perspective, mostly perfunctory. Labor is of course outraged but they are essentially powerless, the Coalition need the support of just two independents in the Senate to get the legislation passed.

    One Fascism First and two “independent” Senators from North Queensland vote in support, and so the new bill, WorkNoChoices, becomes law.

    A massive advertising campaign is immediately rolled out. TV, radio, press, billboards, mailouts, costing taxpayers 200 million dollars in the first 12 months alone.

    Business practically falls over themselves in its rush to take advantage of their new “Choices”. The wage cutting and lay-offs begin within days. Decent people across the country are steadily driven to penury as wages decline at the rate of an average of one dollar per hour per month across the country.

    Greedy business and Liberal Party supporters and government members rub their hands together with avaricious pleasure.

    Meanwhile the summer of 2011 is the hottest and longest ever. Record heatwaves drag on into the month of April.

    People start making loud noises about the urgency of combating Climate Change. The media put the question to Costello, to be met with his now-trademark line, “I’m not saying yes and I’m not saying no.”

    Privately he concedes that he isn’t game to introduce measures to curb Climate Change, fearing the disapproval of Liberal Party business backers.

    Out there in worker land, things are getting grim. Through steadily declining wages, people all over start losing their homes. Families break up. Desperate parents take advantage of the lowered WorkNoChoices school-leaving age to send their 12-year olds off to work to “bolster” the family income.

    As the toll of misery among working families mounts, the normally-complacent and bovine Australian people become agitated. Demonstrations break out in capital cities, rallies, even riots.

    The Prime Minister is confronted by an excited press who want to know “what he is going to do about it”. Costello, who hasn’t been sleeping well lately (he has been feeling overworked and finds it difficult to drop off) gets angry with reporters. He snaps at them, telling them to “grow up” and telling workers in threatening tones that they “should get back to work”, “stop bludging”, and “refrain from being a drain on their employers”.

    These unhelpful and arrogant comments arouse even greater anger in the public. Demonstrating workers (the new working poor) are joined by angry and impatient Climate Change activists, demanding to know when Costello is “going to get out of his hammock and do something.”

    The social unrest is like manna from heaven for a press starved during the Rudd years of drama and novelty. The topics of “The Working Poor” and climate change inaction become regular front-page media talking points. The Labor opposition joins in, feeling again the renewal of relevance.

    Meanwhile, in the Costello Cabinet, the strains are beginning to tell. Several Coalition Ministers want the PM to actively squash the demonstrating workers. They pressure the PM to add a new provision to WorkNoChoices making it a crime to “Break the Industrial Peace”.

    The number of heavy-handed Ministers is balanced in the party room by the remaining Ministers, disparagingly referred to in the Liberal Party as “wets”, who want Costello to leave well enough alone and wait for the community turmoil to “die down in its own natural time”.

    In the economy, things are getting ugly. Millions of workers have now copped paycuts, and they know full well there are more cuts on the way. People stop spending, as people must do when their income is being reduced.

    Businesses that rely on consumer spending start to lose profits. Retailers, coffee shops, theatres, tradesmen, importers, truckies, magazine publishers find their bottom lines falling away as working families stop spending and economic cancer grips the nation.

    Said affected businesses seize their new WorkNoChoices powers to cut back on costs, slashing wages further, laying off workers left right and centre.

    And so the Liberal Party’s destruction of the domestic economy continues apace. Consumer spending drop-off, leading to business profit drop-off, leading to ever deeper WorkNoChoices paycuts and layoffs.

    As community anger intensifie, tensions in the Coalition Party room deepen. Costello feels unloved and unwanted. He finds himself having recurring nighmares – flashbacks of how he felt during The Howard Years – unappreciated, misunderstood by disloyal ungrateful colleagues.

    Before long he loses his cool with his parliamentary team, yealling at them, “Fuckyas! you’re either with me or against me”. He goes home and sulks for a few days, trembling with dread, before his wife convinces him to call a snap election.

    The media, who are being hurt badly by declining profits in the great consumer kill-off, turn on the government. Businesses that are going broke in the great consumer kill-off (GeCKO) turn to the ALP opposition, demanding that it’s “their turn to help them now”.

    Lurid headlines define through the election campaign. It’s the stuff of newspaper editor wet dreams. “One million bankruptcies per month” … “Children of 12 on $16 per day” … “Do you care, Mr Costello – Yes or No?” being representative of the press orgy during this, the most critical Australian election in more than a century.

    Predictably the Coalition are handed the heaviest defeat of any government since Federation. They are reduced to just 12 seats in the Federal Parliament.

    The Coalition remain unelectable for the next generation. Every time voters mention the Liberal Party, they are shouted at by angry friends and family: “Those bastards! They ripped off my 13-year old, AND they screwed the economy!”

    In 2046, after suffering defeat upon defeat, a crushed and humiliated Liberal Party disbands through “lack of interest”. The Australian Greens become the new federal Opposition, causing a radical leftward realignment of the political landscape.

    … and so citizens in the new Social Democracy live happily ever after. Everyone is prosperous and at peace. Except for one Peter Costello, who has gone down in ignominy as the worst ever, biggest failure of a PM ever to darken the doorstep of parliament.

  36. Love it Caney!

    When can we buy the book?

  37. Alex Mitchell says:

    “For Kevin Rudd, the re-emergence of Costello is little short of a nightmare. The Coalition would run a torrid election campaign which basically said: ‘Remember how good it was when Costello was Treasurer – look at what Labor has done to the economy….”

    Aw, C’mon.

    Blaming Rudd for the Global Financial Crisis makes about as much sense as blaming him for the weather.

    People may be gullible, but they’re not brain-dead.

    That sort of nonsense just won’t wash, not these days. And if the Libs are stupid enough to run a campaign on those lines, they’d be massacred.

    I reckon Mitchell’s take is in itself a bit of Labor agitprop.

    Costello leadership a Labor nightmare? More like a wet-dream.

    Imagine the mileage Lbor could make pounding the little gutless turkey into the ground over Workchoices, his lack of “ticker” in failing to challenge Howard (to use a Howardism), his frittering-away of the immense amounts of dosh flowing to the Government during the resources boom. The list just goes on and on.

    If I were Rudd, I’d be getting-down on my knees of a night, praying God that the Libs are stupid enough to try and resurrect the dead and make Old Yella their leader.

  38. Great, “story” Caney, (you must type fast or have a lot of spare time, mate!) but I’m with Evan.

    Bring it on Tip Custard – only the die-hard pollies (and Niel of course – or is that just The Rodent?) think he is the saviour…

    …the man(?) has so many chinks in his armour – you could hit him from 100m…with a wet chook…he wouldn’t see it coming…like everything else in his miserable life…

  39. TB Queensland,

    I’m not all that fond of custard with my chook, TB.

    Is it possible to have custard on the side?

    Actually, being that it is rather old custard, couldn’t we just pass on the custard altogether?

  40. Thanks for that Caney,
    i had to turn the lights on reading your story. you had me in a fetal position afterwards staring at a blank wall, its been a long time since anyone scared me that bad. Im going to start building my underwater city just incase your predictions come true.
    i would loose track of what i was saying if i wrote a post that long and with the little sence it would make you would all be forced to have me commited.

  41. Mr Turnbull finally realised his destiny when he was handed the baton and he saw himself as the only one who could stop the drift away from the Libs. I think he’s watching his legacy slowly slipping away as the figures show that he is about as popular as a pigskin wallet in a synagogue.

    It looks like a case of “Next Please”.

  42. I look at Mitchell’s logic this way: It makes an identical case for the Libs to call The Rodent himself out of his forced retirement and back to the helm of the party.

    Now, the Australian people just got rid of the turd. Why the f…k would they want him back?

    As for the old “things were better under us” line, it certainly blew-up in Howard’s face last time they tried it.

    Does anyone else recall the absolute hiding Howard received during the 2007 campaign over the dodgy “interest rates will always be higher under a Labor Government” claim he made during the 2004 election?

    He was cut to pieces over it, given the 7 or 8 interest rate rises that had occurred on his watch between 2004 and 2007. Remember mortgage stress headlines in papers like the Tele, SMH, Age?

    2004 was the last time the Libs played the “Aah..memories” card and it came back to bite their arses-off in 2007 big-time.

    They won’t be making that mistake again anytime soon and that’s basically why I think all this Costello leadership talk is just Labor having a bit of fun at the Libs’ expense.

  43. Howard’s error in 2004 was the oldest mistake in the book: Never claim credit for stuff you didn’t do and can’t control.

    It’s pretty simple, really: Once you claim credit for such things, people develop an expectation you’ll be able to deliver. And when you fail (because whatever you’vre promised to do is simply beyond your control) they’ll gut you for it.

    You said you could do it,. You lied. You’re screwed.


  44. @ joni and reb

    If Peter Costello truly is the Liberals best hope, its going to be a long decade for the Liberals.

  45. Evan:

    Blaming Rudd for the Global Financial Crisis makes about as much sense as blaming him for the weather.

    People may be gullible, but they’re not brain-dead.

    You obviously haven’t been to Queensland.

    But seriously. Joe Hockey is taking every opportunity to blame the Rudd government for the impact of the GFC in Australia.

    I agree that only a fool would believe this nonsense. But there are plenty of people out there that would.

  46. And the representative here is that Libtard torch carrier, Neil.

  47. “2004 was the last time the Libs played the “Aah..memories” card and it came back to bite their arses-off in 2007 big-time.” (Evan).

    Very true Evan, but it is just another example to show that Howard never, ever looked past the next election.

    For a man who displayed just short-term vision, it astounds me that he was such a long-term PM. The politics of fear, perhaps, is the best tool a politician can have in his/her weaponry.

  48. Miglo,

    That’s not completely true. Howard had long-term vision for the destruction of unions and the Labor Party.

  49. Fair point Alastair, and I have no doubt that’s true, but I often felt that his election campaigns were on short-term issues.

  50. Libtard torch carrier

    Wow girlfriend, what did he do to deserve that?

  51. Miglo, I essentially agree.

  52. Alastair, the old rodent is now free to make as many long-term plans as he likes. They just won’t involve us anymore.

  53. reb, on March 7th, 2009 at 10:22 am Said:
    You obviously haven’t been to Queensland.

    I just saw this you cheeky bastard!

    At least we don’t have two heads with half a brain each!

    😡 😡

  54. Lighten up TB…

    I’m in a good mood. Just refilled the pumps….

    Now where did I put the TV guide….


  55. He volunteered, The Only Ones. Hard to believe, but true, I’m afraid.

  56. More bad news for Talculm.

    The Latest Newspoll results put Tip as the preferred Leader of the Libs by two to one:

    the elephant in the Coalition partyroom will be former treasurer Peter Costello, who is increasingly seen as an alternative Liberal leader, after today’s Newspoll revealed he has a two-to-one advantage over Mr Turnbull as preferred prime minister.

    When asked to choose between the three MPs as preferred prime minister, Mr Rudd polled 54 per cent, Mr Costello 24 per cent and Mr Turnbull 13 per cent.

    Mr Costello has been arguing the Coalition should take a tough line on industrial relations, putting more pressure on Mr Turnbull to take a strong stand.

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