Costello Melts

Breaking news:

Peter Costello will retire from politics at the next election.

More from the story:

“I will continue to be involved in public policy – particularly at the international level – through my engagement on the International Advisory Board of the World Bank, I would like to thank my constituents and the electors of Higgins for the privilege of representing them in seven Commonwealth Parliaments. Three of those terms have been in Opposition and four in Government.”

And just when the people of Higgins had become grown accustomed to his face.

176 Responses

  1. Thank f**k that’s over.

  2. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

  3. The link’s busted joni.

    joni: Lancelot Link now fixed.

  4. Ok, so he’s finally found a job somewhere else? Look out the private sector!!!

  5. Never the Bride, Joni?
    Excellent band. Simply wonderful. Their version of Led Zep’s ‘Going To California’ is an absolute classic.
    There’s quite a sad story connected to this band.

    However, back on topic!

    Seems that ex-PM, Paul the pig farmer was indeed correct when Paul stated:

    ‘a souffle does not rise twice’

  6. That’s the second piece of hilarious news I’ve heard today!! First it was the BIS Shrapnel “Property’s about to BOOM” report and now this – “Costello Melts”.


    I think it would be only right and fitting for Costello’s legacy in Government to perhaps be honoured and remembered in the Parliamentary cafeteria in the form of a cheesey dish called “Costello Melts”

    Costello Melts

    Pour a half a litre of artifial dairy custard over a slab of white bread. Add some grated cheese. Grill until you’ve just got a runny yellow mess. Plate and serve with a straw to someone you don’t like.

  7. I’ve a feeling Costello is not the last of Howard’s Gang who will not be standing at the next election.

  8. Will Costello Melts be made by Dollar Sweets?

  9. Sounds yummy…might be even better poured on the new cafeteria dessert, PM-cake to give it some substance!

  10. Will Costello Melts be made by Dollar Sweets?

    Downer, Sweets!

  11. Let me be the first to say it……….I WAS WRONG.

    Seems as though the bloke was telling the truth all along. I wonder if he gets any kudos for serving out his term.

    Further, in my mind there is now no-one at federal level capable of leading this country effectively. Rudd is a disaster and the alternative is no better.

  12. Let me be the second:


    (just kidding)

  13. “Rudd is a disaster”

    Way to early to make that call, James.

  14. Surprising news. Let’s see if Mr Turnbull can go to the next level, now he’s got that ‘monkey’ off his back.

  15. OMG the link has busted joni. I hope that joni is ok.

  16. On the subject of the same but different..

    From this morning’s Sky News, Senator Steve Fielding went to a Climate Change Sceptics conference, and came back spectical.

    (true dinks, wrote it down in shorthand when I heard it, not Pitmans the Australian one that no one writes these days).

  17. I stand corrected, I was certain that Costello would stand again. After all what sort of w*nker would he be to lead everyone along for all these months when his only intention was to stand down?

    How many have received letters from the office of Higgins saying this that and t’other thinking that they were not just talking to their Member (yes..ok, he probably was just talking to..sigh..)..but thought they were talking to a potential PM.

    Just go to the drawer an rip ’em up..all those letters from the office of Nelson and now from the office of Costello.

  18. Tony Abbott is araldited (other thread). No aspirations, but a bum on a seat with nothing much to offer and isn’t going anywhere.

    And no, Turnbull will not be delighted. It means the rats deserting the sinking ship. Some bright spark mention this last week that Costello would not call it until he knew this week’s TTP and other stats.

    It is very very unlikely that the Libs will be able to push the idea that Turnbull is such a you’beaut leader that Costello has decided to stand down in deference to such outstanding leadership.

  19. I just received this as a text:

    Turnbull is quoted as saying that he salutes Costello. Does one finger count as a salute?

    (PS. Miss Shiny-things – just make your own comments here – it’s easy and the blogcrats are (mostly) nice).

  20. James, for what it’s worth, you have my respect for coming straight out and admitting that. I don’t agree with your opinion on Rudd, but coming out with an “I’m wrong” post without excuses… damn fine work 🙂

    Personally, I too thought the guy was going to keep going in the seat too. Not because I thought he had the ticker to take on the leadership or Rudd, but because I thought he was going to stay on wasting tax-payers money.

    What I wouldn’t give to know the real reason he decided to leave…

  21. Quick – get over to and cast you vote on which best describes Costello:

    A great federal treasurer
    Would have been a great prime minister
    A destabilising effect on the Liberal Party
    A coward

  22. joni

    Does the title to this post have a Wizard of oz conotation, ie:
    “Ding dong, the witch is dead, which old witch …”

  23. Indeed it does D55 – as well as the Keating comment on Costello that he was “all tip and no iceberg”.

  24. B. Tolputt,

    Not because I thought he had the ticker to take on the leadership or Rudd, but because I thought he was going to stay on wasting tax-payers money.

    I’d be very interested to hear how you think he would have been “wasting tax-payers money.”

  25. and when ordering your Costello melt don’t forget your complementary drink – a Turnbull Fizz

  26. James of North Melbourne, on June 15th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    That’s two bad calls in one post, James, Costello (you yourself said was wrong) and Rudd … track record’s not much good, at this stage …

    … and didn’t you predict a win for John Howard & The Private School Bullies?

    As for Peter Custard – surprise, surprise, surprise …

    Told ya so! Nah Nah Nah nana! 😆

    Can custard melt?

  27. I’d be very interested to hear how you think he would have been “wasting tax-payers money”.

    I outlined in somewhat in my article; but to recap – I think a person elected to parliament has a responsibility to do as much for their constituents as possible. Turning down leadership, refusing to serve in the shadow ministry, whilst also hunting for jobs in the private sector indicate, to me, that he was content to let others do the work whilst still receiving a pay-check paid for by our tax dollars.

  28. He was my local member, and, as far as I know, did an adequate job. As for party-political positions, we tax-payers don’t pay for those. Hunting for other jobs – have you heard of multi-tasking? 😉

  29. Right disappointing, that is.

  30. Will the Liberals now draft the rodent to wrest the chalice from the toff?

  31. And don’t forget writing his bestseller.


  32. As for party-political positions, we tax-payers don’t pay for those

    Never said we did, only that tax dollars go toward into his pay-cheque. I doubt you’d argue sitting on the backbench serves his constituents better than actively working in the position of Opposition Leader or Shadow Treasurer.

    Hunting for other jobs – have you heard of multi-tasking?

    Sure I have. Still it shows a lack of dedication to his current job (the one he was elected for) and I don’t think you’d seriously state he never took time off from his “busy back-benching” to take have an interview/lunch/whatever in search of said job.

  33. I don’t think you’d seriously state he never took time off from his “busy back-benching” to take have an interview/lunch/whatever in search of said job.

    If you want to apply that standard consistently, you will note that one night last sitting-week there were not enough members present in parliament to form a quorum; so you can’t single Costello out on that one.

  34. Were they in committe meetings?

  35. I wasn’t singling Costello out as the only waste of money (I find my own member, Ms Belinda Neal, as much a waste of money). However,just because he is not alone does not make the behaviour any better or the waste of tax dollars any less.

  36. Is there anything for which Google doesn’t have a solution? Google algorithm spots quitters before they resign

  37. If you said they were all a waste of money, I’d be inclined to agree.

  38. If you said they were all a waste of money, I’d be inclined to agree.

    *laugh* And there’d be times I’d agree with you. But when people are actually attempting to do their job, even when I disagree with them, I’d have to say that there are some that deserve their pay cheques.

    For example, I don’t particularly like Joe Hockey, especially since he tried selling WorkChoices as “good for workers”. On the other hand, the fact he puts in effort day after day trying to hold the current government to task makes him a valuable addition to Parliament.

    Regardless of who is in power, our current system of government requires the best Opposition team possible. Love him or hate him, Costello would have been a better Shadow Treasurer than Hockey and, had he the best interests of his Constituency &/or Party at heart – he should have filled the role.

  39. Does anyone know how to find out whether a MP had taken leave from parliament? I have looked on but cannot find anything… also trying to find the voting records of MP’s too.

  40. Best of luck Joni. If you can find this, then you might be able to discover how I voted when representing the East Riding of the Shire of Lilydale. I believe that there is a pic in the Melba Museum, somewhere in the dungeon.

  41. Is there anything for which Google doesn’t have a solution?

    Yes, this.

    Does anyone know how to find out whether a MP had taken leave from parliament?

  42. Yes, Joni. Im sure the daily Hansard lists the names of members who voted for and against when there is a division.

  43. Mr Costello had his chances to lead the Liberal Party and, for whatever reasons, did not take them.

    He may well spend the rest of his days wondering what might have been …

  44. B.Tolputt – “Still it shows a lack of dedication to his current job”.

    His currnent job is a backbencher. Could you please provide some evidence as to how he has not shown sufficient dedication?

    How do you assess the “dedication” of a backbencher?

  45. Tom, I’ve sat in the gallery and the guy showed no interest at all. He sat there playing with his laptop.

  46. Now Miglo, you’ll have to allow B.Tolputt to meet his own exacting and relentless standards.

    It’s only fair!!!!

  47. He is not a member of any committees.

  48. Well Joni, that may be the case, but I haven’t quite decided whether Tolputt has stated a fact or an opinion, and I don’t know the basis the assertion.

    Rest assured, I’m not going to screw this thread the way he screwed the one that I’d written, but I may test him, from time to time, on the basis of the standards he applied so rigorously, inconsistently and excruciatingly.

    And I doubt whether you’d feel that this would be unreasonable!!

  49. Oh dear, Tom. Ben used the word “thought” in his comment twice to indicate that it was his opinion.

  50. As I said, you can rest assured that I have no intention of screwing up this thread.

    Nor do I intend to get into a circuitous debate with you. You do a great job on this site, you have transparent ethics and seem to have generosity of spirit.

    I can’t say the same for B.Tolputt from what I’ve seen so far.

    I’ll only present my requirements of the form of words he uses, from time to time, just as he did. Who could possibly object?

    But as I’ve said I won’t be screwing up threads by repetitively, obsessively posting 1/3 of the comments , and it just happens that I keep commitments when I make them.

  51. Good to know Tom. As you can see, and has been pointed out – it was an indication of my opinion. I have no hassles indicating as such.

  52. My standards only require that opinions be noted as such – that is all 🙂

  53. And as I’ve noted, hypocritical standards as both moderator and as commenter.

  54. You’d better not be talking about me Tom, or your role as consultant may become surplus to requirements.

  55. So much for no intention of screwing up the thread eh, Tom?

  56. This is my 5th of 57 posts on this thread, and I’ll not press you further here.

    I’ll simply note that you are unable to explain away the hypocritical standards, as a commenter and as the moderator of the thread, which you sought to apply to me.

    But I’ll get back to you on another thread sometime.

  57. Hypocrisy, thy name is Tom
    And yet he just keeps going…

  58. Question for Tom – what moderating did Ben do?

  59. I can answer that – in my Costello article – I told him to keep on topic. It may have been a little harsh, but he had started his (now consistent) pattern of spreading his disagreement through a variety of threads.

  60. Note, I did nothing to his original text.

  61. OK. Just wondering – because only reb and I perform moderating. Other can ask to bring things back on topic.

    And just an aside, reb and I have to work in two modes, both as commentors and as moderators. And at times the line gets blurred. We do try to not be biased, but if it does occur – then we apologise.

  62. B.Tolputt introduced his dig at me on his Costello thread. It was facetious, just a dig and I chose not to respond at the time.

    Later, I made a similarly facetious and clearly humourous comment in intent (even if the humour failed in fact).

    B.Tolputt, in his moderator mode, told me to “take my whinging..”

    So, I have the view that he introduced the dig at me on that very thread, and then, as moderator, provided a whinging moderator comment when I provided a similar style comment.

    To me this represents a very clear example of double standards and hypocrisy, and I’m uncertain whether that is proved as a fact or it is just my opinion.

    Please also note that I am only providing this explanation in response to the question form Joni, not to continue the discussion here.

  63. No problems, Tom. I fully expected you to give your side & opinion on the issue.

    For the record – it was not “take you whinging…” (implying worse than I believe was said) but “Leave you whining for the other thread, Tom. Remain on topic.”. As I said, perhaps harsh – but given you were finding every thread I had been participating in to spread your “attempts at humour” – I thought it warranted.

  64. Let’s stop and move on shall we (as joni channels Tim).

  65. What have Costello and a Connex train got in common?

    They’re both experts at making people wait.

  66. Look, that is just untrue, and I can’t allow it to be left.

    All I did was provide my usual, possibly annoying, commentary, but prefaced with something like:


    I made no reference to you.

    Among the people I deal with, this is known as “failed, attempted humour”. No reference to you, other than on the Costello thread where you had introduced the reference to me.

    I now understand why you are at least willing to own up that you are a “computer nerd” (or was it jerk or geek?)

  67. Tom and Ben- stop! No more.

  68. I’d already finished joni 🙂

    For the record, I have no idea what a Connex train is 😛

  69. Something in Melb I believe.

  70. Moving along, I find it interesting that Costello is now about the same age as Bob Hawke, when Hawke first entered parliament.

    Hawke was elected in 1980, at 50 or 51. Costello is now 52.

    Most would say that Hawke’s achievements as Pm were more significant than those as ACTU president (even though for most of his period union density was about 3 times that of today).

    Early 50s seems young to suggest that his best years are behind him.

  71. Tom

    Absolutely – I think that Costello should have stayed around. For all his faults, he was/is a decent MP.

  72. Ah, well I thought you were a Sydney boy… in which case CityRail makes a good substitute.

  73. Joni’s comment from yesterday may have gone over the top to some..but I think that’s important to reiterate the Costello as a backbencher did not even bother to become a member of any committees. Surely there was something where he felt that he could have contributed?

  74. Joni

    Absolutely – I think that Costello should have stayed around. For all his faults, he was/is a decent MP.

    You seem to have moved your position slightly from the generally accepted leftoid™ (©Neil of Sydney) position around here of: all-tip-no-iceberg gutless custard smirk non-committee-member waste-of-money golf-playing lunch-a-lot.

  75. Oops, forgot: book-writing laptop-playing.

  76. Tony
    No – I still think that, just that he is too young to quit. We need more “Mr Speaker” interjections – hehe

  77. As I’ve indicated, I think Costello could have (& should have) served in the Shadow Cabinet in order to bolster the Coalition’s substandard attempts at holding the Federal Government to task.

    Let’s face it, the Budget had & has many holes in it that could have been better capitalised on. Even assuming Costello was a terrible Treasurer – he would have had the best insight into attacking the Labour Government or at least showing others where to do so.

    That he chose not to do so shows his usefulness as a member of parliament has ended.

  78. job-seeking non-leadership-challenging

  79. Min (and Joni), Costello has probably underperformed against his capacity. A V8 running on 3 cylinders.

    This is obviously an indication of motivation, rather than capacity, and he has now resolved the question regarding his motivation.

    A comment was made regarding his “dedication” as a backbencher, this depends on how any individual sees the primary role and function of a backbencher is.

    Some would legitimately say a dedicated backbencher should devote their time to their constituency, leave the committees to the less tested and ambitious. Those that are seeking to establish a political or ministerial career.

    After all, membership and leadership of parliamentary committees are generally seen as a way for the ambitious to establish their credentials.

    I’m not sure that it can be established that Costello, as a backbencher, lacked dedication to his electorate, and I doubt whether membership of a committee is a particularly good indicator of dedication to an electorate.

  80. Don’t stop, Tony! You’ve almost nailed it… on three or four more to add 😛

  81. Fair enough, Tom. I think the point on motivation is the most telling point. As my Dad says: You cannot motivate someone, you can only provide an environment in which they are motivated.

  82. I would think that ambitious people establish their credentials in committees (as leaders or otherwise) is a political side-effect from their actual purpose… that of assessing, shaping, and otherwise affecting the direction & implementation of government policy.

    I personally think that a back-bencher that refuses to be involved in the most direct methods of holding the government to task &/or affecting/assessing government policy is not doing their job.

  83. I don’t know that he refused. Maybe, as Tom says, he was just not motivated.

  84. It was my impression he was offered the leadership of the Liberal Party & offered the position of Shadow Treasurer. Given that he is/was neither of these things – I’d take that as proof he refused them. I may be wrong on the initial premise they were offered though…

    That said, motivation was obviously lacking.

  85. “I would think that ambitious people establish their credentials in committees (as leaders or otherwise) is a political side-effect from their actual purpose”

    I think this is a particularly narrow and short term focus on politics and the parliament.

    Parliamentary leaders allocate committee membership.

    Committee membership is widely held as the training ground. Parliamentarians develop and test their skills as well as provide a contribution. From a longer term perspective (difficult I know), it is entirely legitimate to suggest that committees are used to develop the next generation of ministers (shadows inc) and political leaders.

    It is equally legitimate to suggest that those wish to represent their electorate do so effectively, and provide maximum opportunity to their political successors to develop.

  86. Tom, I would disagree re being a member of a committee is solely a way to establish one’s credentials..being a committee member is the way that a backbencher contributes not only to his/her electorate but to his/her area of interest in spite of not having a portfolio. Surely as an ‘elder’ Costello could have found the time to contribute as a mentor in a committee.

  87. Well, we think differently then, Tom. Which is not particularly surprising. 🙂

    Regardless of the focus on committees, that Costello has quit indicates to me that his intention of serving his constituents whilst in Opposition was lacking, if not completely, at least significantly. How bad that makes him as a representative of his constituents is quite likely to depend more on our political predisposition than anything either of us will be able to convince the other of.

  88. “that Costello has quit indicates to me that his intention of serving his constituents whilst in Opposition was lacking”

    Please explain how he has lacked intention to serve his constitutents, who live in Higgins.

  89. Min, I think Costello would dominate and lecture any committee he was a member of. That’s just a characteristic of him, one he shares with others.

    Whether this makes for good and effective work in a committee is a matter of judgement. I think any role as a mentor , which by necessity would be political, would be most effective outside the function of a committee.

    I don’t think a mentoring role to his political opponents on a committee would be desirable or appropriate.

  90. In my opinion, by refusing to take on roles that would give him better control over government policy. Unless, of course, the people of Higgins are happy with the government’s performance to date, in which case – I suppose they are better served by him getting out of Labor’s way. *shrug*

  91. You’re probably right Tom about Costello dominating, but in my experience, this just makes the committee all that stronger as it challenges the new less experienced members to keep up with research and input.

  92. I think that the day that you send out the “numbers people” is the day that you challenge. The very question indicates a motivation to lead. I still cannot see an upside in a public demonstration of what had already been “privately” determined. He never had the numbers. To suggest this defines a man’s character (or lack of it) is really pretty stupid especially from a bunch of mostly anonymous bloggers commenting on a man who had the guts to hold his career out to public scrutiny for 20 odd years.

    It’s well known that Costello played a mentoring role to Hockey, and still holds a key posts with the World Bank. He has continued to serve his electorate well in the last couple of years. Surely those who were critical of Downer when he left cannot be critical of Costello for staying out his term.

    I am enormously disappointed that Costello is not staying on and will not lead the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party is now utterly controlled by a NSW Right that, in much the same way as the ALP left, has a “token moderate” as its front. I find the “born to rule” mentality of this faction of politics as offensive as I find the “socially conscious equality for some” that exists on the other side. Neither Turnbull nor Rudd are leaders. They are “electable” but this is a different thing entirely.

    In the ALP I can see a leader in Julia Gillard, although I’m not sure I want to be led in the direction that she would like to go. In the Coalition, I can’t see a leader at all, at least not one that is electable. And at the end of the day, that was probably Costello’s problem. A great leader he would have made, but for whatever reason, he was never really electable, and elected not to make himself so after November 2007. Possibly he simply valued his family more than his leadership ambitions. If so, good on him.

  93. minerals-boom-coasting ‘Mr Speaker-addressing back-bench-warming Howard-non-challenger

  94. James, I’m inclined to agree about the numbers. He never had them.

    The parallel is that Keating did challenge Hawke and lost the first time. The danger at that time was that this would have been seen as typical Keating petulance, and damaged the party.

    Keating did continue to undermine Hawke from the back bench and was ultimately successful in terms of his personal ambition; he also won the subsequent “unwinnable” election.

    The option was for Costello to behave in a similar manner, he seems to get plenty of criticism for lacking the ruthlessness of Keating.

    I’m not persuaded that this level of single minded ambition is a political trait that ought to be seen as particularly positive.

  95. ToM, it would be interesting to see how history would judge that episode without an ineptly written, ineptly sold tax policy from an unproven and ultimately inept leader.

    In other words, had the Coalition won that election, as they should have, would the “courage” of Keating be cited as such a blueprint?

  96. What do the blogos think? It’s been all over the newspapers that Costello standing down is an A+ rating for Turnbull. I’m not so sure about this.

    That is, Costello was always a fallback..but now who is Turnbull’s fallback? Does he need one? Well of course..same as the Labor Party who have a capable Deputy and many up and comers, but I don’t see Hockey or Pyne or Abbott or Bishop as someone ready to take over the helm.

    Maybe (just a thought) one legacy of the Howard years with Costello always the challenger has been the Liberal Party’s reluctance to bring forward their up and comers. That is, anyone with talent to Howard was always perceived as a threat.

  97. Interesting James.

    Hewson was inept. Keating had his measure in spades.

    Remember, I was an ALP member in those days and even then I always found Keating’s dissection of the GST interesting. Keating persuaded me of the necessity of a consumption tax when he advocated it at the first summit.

    That he then became such a dedicated opponent of it is a testimony to his absolute suitability for a career as a politician.

  98. Apologies, that reads as if I attended the first summit, I didn’t.

  99. For Turnbull perhaps, the fact Costello is quitting could be a bonus. It could not be a good thing for his leadership that every time there was a slow news day – the papers would dig out the “will he, wont he” Costello story again.

    For the Liberal Party, this is a mixed blessing. It will not be as easy to tar the Coalition with WorkChoices again with the most public figureheads of it’s passage having quit politics. That said, they no longer can just claim the mantle of better economic managers given their experienced economic team is no longer with them.

  100. Generally accepted leftoid™ (©Neil of Sydney) Blogocrats description of the soon-to-be-ex-Member for Higgins (revised):

    Smirking, gutless, non-committee-sitting, golf-playing, long-lunching, book-writing, laptop-playing, job-seeking, non-leadership-challenging, minerals-boom-coasting, ‘Mr Speaker’-addressing, back-bench-warming, waste-of-money all-tip-no-iceberg custard.

    Is that about right?

  101. *laugh* Looks good to me 🙂

  102. “economic management” comes down to individuals, rather than philosophy according to you it seems.

    Low level thinking.

  103. But surely, ToM, if Keating believed in a broad based consumption tax, what with all his courage and everything, he would have taken the idea to the electorate?

  104. Ben..quite right being a mixed blessing. No longer will Turnbull be able to avoid scrutiny. And better economic managers..who? Shrek? The mega wealthy Turnbull who entered the Rich List during a recession?..well someone was making money from Rudd’s stimulus package…[just a couple of lines which could be used].

    I think that it is what Turnbull does next. It has been explained away that Turnbull has done little re policy because he has always had the right looking over his shoulder. I expect him to now come forth with Substantial statements re his previous: Taxation reform, The Republic… He now has no one looking over his shoulder, and so there should be nothing stopping him.

  105. “economic management” comes down to individuals, rather than philosophy according to you it seems.

    Not at all. Never said that, never would.

    I’m talking about what the Liberals can sell to the public come election time. Whether we like it or not, it is easier to sell a “proven team” than an ideology, in politics as much as in the workplace.

    Without Costello, the proven team component is gone and the Liberal’s must now sell an ideology – one that has failed to gain traction to any great degree since the last election. Given the latest polls show most people think Rudd is doing his job well, I think the Liberals would need to do more than rely on their ieology to change the tide of opinion their way.

    Low level thinking.


  106. Well James, you might remember that Hawke originally also a proponent of the GST.

    But unions exercised their right to “influence” (opinion), and vetoed the proposal.

    It is a significant level of influence that allows veto of government policy; Keating also had to put up with the inevitability of this “influence”. Thus he didn’t get to introduce a GST.

    I think if he had he would have regarded this reform as one of his most significant.

  107. Exactly Ben..there is now no longer any economics A Team unless you count Turnbull’s experience as a merchant banker.

    And Turnbull’s back up team is who????

    If I was Turnbull, I would be offloading Hockey, Bishop and Pyne. I would probably keep the Mad Monk. Of the aforementioned trio, only Pyne is going forward. I think that Hockey has reached his peak and the only way is back out the door.

  108. Why are you dirty on Hockey, Min?

    And by the way, in the interests of balance, if you’re going to call him Shrek, then I expect to read Mr Sheen, Frankenstein, Sharon Strezlecki, Goofy, amongst others as apt character descriptions of members of the current government.

    A copy of Reb’s Nana Miskouri’s Greatest Hits for whoever can correctly match up the names I just created.

  109. Tom

    Surely you mean Keatings “effluence”…. hehe

    (BTW everyone – good debate on this thread)

  110. James..probably the only reason that I’m dirty on Hockey is that he followed Howard’s orders and did not attend his mate Rudd daughter’s wedding.

    To me this indicated a lack of intestinal fortitude plus very very importantly, knowing where one’s priorities lie. Prior to this I thought that Hockey had more depth than this and would have stood up for himself and said to Howard, No mate, sorry..some things are more important than politics.

    But he didn’t. And since then Hockey’s attempt to transform himself into a rotweiller has been less than successful. I call Hockey Shrek because he did make a very good Shrek and he should have stuck with the nice-guy persona, it suited him and it was something that he could have built on. Now nobody knows who he is.

  111. Ruud didn’t attend John Button’s funeral.

    Do you feel the same way about Rudd?

  112. Geez, Min, a story about a lone goat springs to mind….. Is that it?

  113. With apologies James, I don’t know what ‘lone goat’ means.

  114. Great move by both Rudd and Costello (IMHO):

    PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd hasn’t ruled out offering former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello a Government appointment.

    Mr Costello, meanwhile, has indicated he’s prepared to consider a job that assists the national interest.

  115. It is a matter for individual judgments to whether failing to attend the wedding of and acquaintance’s daughter is a more serious personal failure than neglecting to attend the funeral of one of the most political significant figures in a generation.

    Personally, I consider the failure of Rudd to attend Button’s funeral to be an insult to the man and his family.

  116. Well, Min, if you go down to the Brunswick Club you’ll see a little old Italian man called Luigi and he tells this story……..

    “My namea isa Luigi. Thata housea ina Melville Road. I builda thata house. But, when I walka downa the street, doesa anybody pointa ata me and say “There goesa Luigi, he builda the house ina Melville Road.” No.

    My Namea isa Luigi, I builda the Brunsewicka Towna Hall. But, when I walka downa the street does anybody pointa ata me and say “There goesa Luigi, he builda the Brunsewicka Towna Hall”. No.

    My namea isa Luigi. I builda the Rialto Tower. But, when I walka downa the street, does anybody pointa ata me and say “There goesa Luigi, he builda the Rialto Tower”. No.

    But i fucka ONE goat………”

  117. I think it does reflect badly on Rudd to not attend the funeral. His excuse was that he had a cabinet meeting when the funeral was on.

    One point though – you cannot plan was in advance for a funeral, but you can for a wedding. Somethings you can get out of, some you cannot.

    And so – did Hockey not attend the wedding because of other commitments or was it because he was ordered not to?

    But I do stress that Rudd was in the wrong by not attending Button’s funeral.

  118. Thank you’s clearly an Italian joke.

  119. One is invited to a wedding, and is asked to RSVP. Does an invitation imply an obligation to attend? Not in my book, and a polite response to that effect should be all that’s required.

  120. I had forgotten about this..Joe is also going to climb Mt Kilimanjaro..

    February 17, 2009
    JOE HOCKEY is in training.

    In July he hopes to climb Africa’s tallest mountain, the inactive volcano Mount Kilimanjaro, for the Humpty Dumpty Foundation charity.

  121. Rudd should have attended Button’s funeral. It reflects poorly on him. It does so in a different way than Hockey missing the wedding of Rudd’s daughter, but poorly nonetheless.

    I find it more reprehensible that a man misses the wedding of a mate’s daughter because of politics than a man miss the funeral of a politically important man. One is personally offensive, the other politically offensive.

    In terms of parliamentary politics they might be equal offences, but I know which guy I’d still have a drink with afterward…

  122. Ben

    Would it be Hockey -he’d get you drunk, make you laugh, and you’d enjoy yourself.

    Or Rudd would have a single beer, forget what happens and then call Therese to apologise.

  123. It’d be Rudd… We’d go out to a strip club and he’d conveniently forget all incriminating evidence of my night’s activities 😛

    Personally, missing my child’s wedding because it is politically inconvenient would kill a personal relationship with me… no matter how fun the guy might otherwise be.

  124. “One is personally offensive, the other politically offensive.”

    I always judge people on the basis of the behaviour they demonstrate, not on what they say.

    Button was more than a political acquaintance, but Rudd established his priority, and that was to ignore attendance at a funeral that would have provided comfort to a grieving family, and offered the level of respect that Button deserved.

    The term “mate’s daughter” seems to have been used fairly loosely here. I’d suggest that “daughter of a relatively friendly political acquaintance” is a more accurate descriptor of the relationship between Rudd and Hockey.

    I doubt that Miss Rudd would have felt the absence of Hockey as deeply and as tragically as the Button family felt the absence of Rudd at the funeral of John.
    (due to more important and pressing engagements)

  125. James,

    I’m affronted that you’d even suggest that I’d consider offering up my copy of Nana Miskouri’s Greatest Hits for the sake of some tacky online blog competition.

    I will however, be prepared to let my copy of Demis Roussos “My Friend The Wind” go if need be….

  126. Again, there is no surprise we disagree. That said, these are personal feelings biased by personal experiences we’ve had during life.

    I don’t find what Rudd did a good thing or even a neutral one. Just that I find personal slight’s less appealing than political ones.

  127. You seem to be suggesting that the neglect of Rudd in not attending John Button’s funeral was political?

    Whereas the declining of a wedding invitation to a political opponent’s daughter is personal?

    This is a line of logic that makes no sense at all. It is this, rather than any disagreement, that is completely unsurprising.

  128. I’m not going to bother explaining it, Tom. You are looking for a fight.

  129. I suppose I win!

  130. Yes, if that makes you feel any better about it.

  131. That was a “joke” by the way.

  132. Forgive me if I miss the humour six minutes after an insult *shrug*

  133. Really? Then you might just start to contemplate you own “humour” and “fun” recently.

  134. Forgive me, but didn’t Gillard attend the Cabinet meeting AND the funeral? Why couldn’t Rudd get to both?

  135. Mine was never a “joke”, nor did I pass it off as such. But I’m not going down this path…

  136. Gentlemen – play nicely, or reb will put up a link to “Durham Town” as torture.

  137. Gentlemen – play nicely, or reb will put up a link to “Durham Town” as torture.


  138. Joni..I’ll do better. Already sent to TB 🙂

  139. I was crucified at Blogocracy by quite a few here for objecting to the PM not attending the funeral!

    Now, what do I read?

    Has anyone here considered Tony Abbott as a future leader of the coalition?

  140. I think Abbott has too much baggage.

  141. Has anyone here considered Tony Abbott as a future leader of the coalition?

    Tony sure has.

    Personally, while he might be able to get the votes in the party room (especially if Turnbull tanks badly); I don’t think he’d be able to get the votes from the public. He acts too much like an attack dog at inappropriate times. Just imagine another “Bernie Banton” incident whilst leader… he’d never recover.

  142. Abbott as leader seems hard to fathom but he is very popular with the young Turks.

    Remember the ‘swinging dicks’ thing.

    I am led to believe he had his paw prints all over that one.

  143. Oh – and I have made this comment before. A friend of mine has a lot of time for Abbott with the fund raising that he does without any publicity for himself. My friend is very anti-liberal but says that he really is a decent guy. Which I suppose all MP’s actually are – unless you don’t know who she is, and then that MP can get really nasty. hehe

  144. That Bernie Banton thing was a stunt and the howls of protest at the time made me sick.

    That said, if Costello rated a 5 on the unelectability scale for demeanour, then Abbot rates an 8. Too Christian, too hardline, not enough charisma.

  145. Oh and he is a very nice bloke.

    Just been reading up a bit more on Hockey. Geez Min, you’re harsh on him.

  146. Young Turks? “swinging dicks”? Not sure what event you’re talking about… could be that night I had out with Rudd… 😛

  147. Joni, I heard that too from an old school chum who is very close to Abbott.

    If his decent side could be portrayed to the public, I believe it would have to rate as the PR feat of the century!

  148. B.Tolputt – “Mine was never a “joke”,”

    Then I’ve completely misunderstood your blogging technique.

    When you say things like “*laughing uncontrollably*”, “Man, you are a riot Tom!”, “that you cannot back down is funny”, “it’s too funny” and post lots of smiley faces, there I was thinking that there was some attempt at injecting some levity.

    I’m wrong yet again.

  149. Which I suppose all MP’s actually are – unless you don’t know who she is, and then that MP can get really nasty. hehe

    *sigh* And the sad thing is, she’s the member for my area…

    On Abbott, if he is indeed as nice as mentioned – he has some work ahead of him to clear his old image. Stunt or not, things like the Bernie Banton incident & his swearing at Roxon after being late to the health debate don’t play well in the media. Party leaders, as we can see with Rudd & previously with Howard, are held to a different standard and are the figurehead for their party’s election chances.

  150. Joni, please don’t let reb post that song! I was a good boy!

  151. joni, on June 16th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Does he speak German?

  152. Legion


  153. joni, on June 16th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Better yet, does he like kimchi? And even if he doesn’t…it is a grave crisis affecting the entire region when things go boom in the Asia-Pacific.

  154. James as per moi at 2.48pm. Hockey had the persona set up, the trek, the Sunrise show. He worked too hard on the former to make a credible transformation to the intellectual-go-getter. First impressions I think.

  155. Maybe the job that Rudd is offering is a ambassadorial post to Wolstencraft. 😀

  156. The political spotlight now focuses on the next Member for Higgins. Who will it be? The Bolta and Krogger, both high priests of the Party, declined, leaving a virtual scrum of wannabees vying for the nod.

    The favourite apparently is John Roskam from the Institute of Public Affairs but strong opposition is expected from former state director Julian Sheezel and financial advisor Jason Aldworth. If Roskam wins, it will again confirm that the ‘liberal’ tag is a misnomer because he is from the far right.

    One name that’s received little mention is Mal Brough or Capt’n Brough as he is often called. Some may recall that Capt’n Brough lost the seat of Longman to one Jon Sullivan, a political light-weight who was once a member of the Queensland Parliament. The swing against the good Capt’n was in the order of 10.3%, a large swing particularly with Brough’s high media profile in Aboriginal Affairs at the time of the 2007 election.

    It now appears that Capt’n Brough has ‘cut and run’ leaving the sunny climes of Queensland to reside in the dankness of Victoria. For Brough it is ‘the place to be’.His flight is understandable given his total political humiliation as Liberal Party President when he unsuccessfully opposed the takeover by Clive Palmer’s National Party. But why Victoria?

    At the declaration of the Higgins result in 2007, Costello singled out Brough lamenting in no uncertain terms his demise. No doubt, Costello will have some say as to his successor. Perhaps Capt’n Brough is about to be resurrected. It would be a long shot but not out of the question, particularly with Costello and Kroger behind him.

  157. One friend I spoke to yesterday mused that Howard might make a bid for preselection in Higgins, in which case she said he would be Frankenhoward.

    I think Brough might be on the money. Would be good to have him back in parliament.

  158. I think Brough would be good for the coalition but would the party machine allow him to ascend to the leadership?

  159. I tell you what, if Brough got re-elected to Parliament I would retract what I said about the Coalition being bereft of leaders.

  160. Unfortunately James it would come too late for the next election – which is when the opposition need him.

  161. The Opposition are already stuffed for the next election. They know it, everyone knows it. At best they will win back a few seats and both sides will claim it as a victory before Rudd heads to New York and Julia assumes the position.

  162. That would be an interesting scenario (Brough getting the seat). Sad thing though when fly-ins have a better chance of getting the seat than the locals though, right?

    This is where party politics corrupt the concept of representative democracy. A problem by no means limited to the Liberal Party.

  163. Well given the personal attention (Costello aside) that most voters can expect from their member these days does it much matter? But yes, sad, though not in this case. I’d take a genuine performer with a serious social conscience over a think tank director every day.

  164. scaper…, on June 16th, 2009 at 5:15 pm Said:

    but would the party machine allow him to ascend to the leadership?

    Parties, whether they be Liberal or Labor, might decide who gets endorsement but their ability to determine the leader is much, much less. That decision is down to members of the parliamentary parties. Rudd is an example of that.

    While he was supported by Arbib he was actively opposed by power brokers in Queensland.

    Parliamentary members in the final analysis want a ‘winner’ who can deliver the spoils and therefore will vote according to what they see as their own interests. In that situation the party power brokers don’t get a vote.

  165. I’m still hopefull that Turnbull, now unchallenged will bring the Libs to the centre/left.

    Brough has moved from Qld to maybe this is what has caused a little speculation about him re-entering politics. However, for the seat of Higgins, he’s going to have some talent contesting this..that is, of course unless it’s just speculation of Brough trying at all.

  166. James, I see a lot of swinging voters not voting for either party.

    The Green vote will increase which will mean the preferences go to Labor.

    Who knows…another party might form in the next few years to fill the void the Democrats left.

  167. Has anyone here considered Tony Abbott as a future leader of the coalition?


    Tony Abbott has about as much chance of becoming the leader of the Opposition as I have of becoming The Marlborough Man.

  168. What about the Archbishop of Australia

  169. I reckon Abbott is undermining the Coalition and will hook up with Jules and together they will be the dictators that will rule for at least a decade.

    Our tender will be altered and every note will feature them making luv.

    The $5 note will feature foreplay, the $10 note will feature a 69er, the $20 note will be a doggy, the $50 note will feature the missionary and of course the $100 note will be the cum shot.

    Now, that’s what I call dirty money!

  170. Enjoy your dinner, folks!

  171. I thought you’d stopped drinking after 5:00pm, scaper?

  172. I am having a glass of wine whilst I cook the thick porterhouses on the Weber.

    I should refrain from visiting Gutter Trash…it is corrupting me!

  173. I am having a glass of wine whilst I cook the thick porterhouses on the Weber.

    The perfect prelude to a Cuban.

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