November 25, 2007

Costello to quit

No date, no timeline, but Costello will be neither deputy nor leader of the Liberals in opposition.


Good grief!

Costello won't lead ...

Never saw that coming.


On second thought, we did see it coming, didn't we?

This explains why Costello didn't challenge Howard. He and his family had already made a decision, perhaps? He'd had enough, they'd had enough? Good for him.

So much for the critics in their easy chairs claiming that Costello was too spineless to challenge.

It's not gutless if you don't want the job folks.


  1. Anonymous1:11 PM

    I see a long long time in opposition for the libs Caz.

    I just can't for the life of me think of anyone who could replace Costello.
    Damn shame. He is a talented man.
    On the upside for Pete, he will earn heaps more elsewhere and be able to pay off his mortgage in no time..

  2. Looks like a Turnball opposition by default, then?

  3. Seems so Jacob, and he'll have a strong card to play, given the results in his own seat.

    Nelson as deputy?

    (Does he still have his seat?)

    Yes Kath, damn shame about Pete, he's the only one left with any sense of humor too.

    We're in for a very dour time, very dour. Black will be the new beige.

  4. Costello didn't want the job?

    Nah. Quite simply he now doesn't want it under the conditions his fallen leader has bequeathed.

    But no, I wouldn't accuse him of gutlessness, just an astute and understandable aversion to dwelling in the smoking ruins.

  5. I really do suspect there's more to it Jacob.

    Being at the pointy end of politics is not a doddle.

    We don't really know anything about the personal decisions that leading pollies make.

    I do suspect that Costello didn't want it, period. A few years ago, maybe, but win or lose, he wasn't in the game for the big job, he'd already decided to go and make some real money, working a fraction of the hours.

    Being Prime Minister is not an irresistible job, after all.

    It retrospectively explains a lot.

  6. Sure enough, I see what you're saying.

    Begs the question of why Mr Howard so lerved "being the Prime Minister" that he self-immolated (incidentally taking a few of his Coalition colleagues with him).

  7. Different strokes for different folks Jacob.

    Howard's (and Janette's) refusal to take heed of the bleedin' obvious was a personal flaw, a deep personal conceit, which had nothing to do with politics per se, other than to the extent that Howard wanted to stay in the job forever, a purely personal ambition that took no account of his own position, his party's future, or the good of the country.

    It seems that Costello is going to stay his full term. If so, then he is not 'running away' from being in opposition.

    He's not only going to stay around in opposition for three years, he's going to do it sitting on the back bench!!!

    That's an awful lot of personal integrity for a politician who is so widely despised and derided.

    Presumably he'll fulfill his expressed intention to play a mentor role. He'll no doubt be trying to help those on the way up, so as to leave the party in good enough shape for the next election.

    An awful lot of integrity for one pollie.

  8. Someone - I think it may have been The Age - was tipping Nelson as running for the job. That would be awful, just awful. Turnbull would make it entertaining at least.

  9. I can't imagine Turnball playing second fiddle to Nelson, or anyone for that matter. He only went into politics for the top job. Alas, he's callow, in political terms, and having made a personal fortune isn't actually a necessary or useful qualification for being a party leader.

    Turnball isn't really cut out for politics, is my thought. You don't get to run your own show the way you do if you own your own business, for starters, and Turnball hasn't quite figured that out yet. I suspect that he thinks once he has the top job, he'll be on a roll, but that's just his ego doing his bidding.

    Nelson might have a stronger call on the job, based on longer experience, but I'm still inclined to think it will be Turnball, with Nelson as deputy.

    Still, I'm not going to fall over in shock if it ends up the other way around, at least for now.

    Not sure who else would be likely contenders, it might turn out to be neither Turnball nor Nelson. Perhaps the Libs will surprise us. Probably not, but, hey, they should try to have some fun while in opposition.

  10. Of course, Tony Abbott will be silly enough to throw his hate in the ring, but I don't think he will have enough internal support, and he is too embarrassing.

  11. Unfortunately, they are all rather "embarassing" - those left.

    Turnbull - in the end - will be no different than the bloke he may replace. Turnbull is for Turnbull. End of story.

    Costello wanted it last year. He'd have taken it last year. Whether he'd have taken it in September is moot. Who wants to lead the charge "over the top" against well armed and well dug in voters with deadly intent in their eyes?

    I notice that Andrew Robb has thrown his hat into the ring. Just what the Liberals need: an ex party functionary who believes wholeheartedly in the stupid "citizenship test". There's "vision".

    Must say I was gratified to read Michelle Grattan's piece today echoing my piece of Jacob's site the other day.

    The Nationals - a rump in the previous Parliament - are now reduced to an irrelevancy: 9 seats of 150. Hardly woth the title "party".

    Costello is making the right decision. Why graft three hard years with the prospect of three more? This is a result that is totally down to Howard. He chose it; he brought it on. His party is politically decimated.

    It is his legacy to it. Why should costello wear it?

  12. Yes, Costello would have taken it, 12 to 18 months ago.

    September was far too late, it was pointless even raising it. Downer tickled his own little toe with two drops of water. What utter piffle from grown men who run the country.

    As much as I would have liked to see the measure of Costello as leader, even in opposition, I find myself feeling some begrudging admiration that a career politician would stick it up his party with such cold surgical precision.

    Beats the living crap out of the way Latham did it.

  13. Oh for goodness sake - I am with Tim here. Brendan Nelson would be just awful as either Opposition Leader or Treasurer. All he cares about is how to build his profile, I feel pretty sure. (Kevin Rudd was much the same, but is much smarter, I suspect.) Sadly, he will have to fill some shadow ministry, but please keep him away from the top!

  14. Anonymous10:54 PM

    I think Steve is right here.
    Forget Brendan.
    I reckon Mal Brough would'a been a good prospect Caz..

    Oh well," Such is life"

  15. I forgot about her. How about Turnbull and Julie Bishop as deputy? I have found her wide eyed performance in the past a bit off putting, but during the campaign I caught some of the education policy debate she had with - gosh I forget who- and I thought she came across pretty well. As she is well up on education policy, she would be good to have a high profile in analysing Rudd's "education revolution" (ha!).

    Of course, she gives leadership gender balance too.

    Yes, what a good idea I think.

  16. I hope I am the first person in the blogoshpere to come up with this suggestion.

  17. Anonymous11:05 PM

    I know it's pedantic of me, but Tony Abbott 'throwing his hate in the ring' is the most appropriate malaproprism I've heard in a long time!

    I turned against Nelson when I heard a press conference he did after the death of the first Australian soldier in Afghanistan. He was completely cold and emotionless - as a matter of fact, a brick cold have discussed the event with more real feeling than Nelson.

  18. a brick cold have

    Serves me right for being pedantic!

  19. I haven't read anywhere exactly how old Turnbull is, but from comments here and at TBlair's he sounds about 12.

  20. Anonymous11:42 AM

    53 Drunka.

    Too old I think.

    Costello's right about a generational change.
    Now's the time to nurture some youngbloods.
    After all, it will be quite some time before the libs will get another go I reckon.

    Turnbull most likely would be over 60..( If he lasted that long as opposition leader.)

  21. Hey, I didn't suggest that Nelson would be any GOOD Steve. He's a player, that's all, to the extent that he would obviously want to move up the ranks.

    A "brick cold" Timmy? I think I've had one of those for the last couple of weeks.

    Didn't see Nelson in the context you mention, but I'm not a fan anyway, and if he can't show some heart felt compassion for the camera when the moment calls for it, then he's simply not up to the job.

    He's not someone I've ever warmed to, even though he *seems* like someone who could be OK. He hasn't evolved, matured, grown in the job? Not sure what it is, but there doesn't appear to be much wriggle room for him to become anything more or better than we have already seen.

    The Julie Bishop suggestion is a intriguing one Steve, and YES, YOU ARE THE FIRST in the whole blogosphere to suggest such!

    It would make for a nice matching boy-girl leadership / opposition leadership thing, except that Julie is much better groomed and dressed than Julia.

    Of course, it could also serve to cause much confusion. If the Libs played their cards right they could convince at least 50% of the country that Julie is, in fact, the deputy prime minister. Julia might get her nose out of joint, but it would be great fun for the rest of us.

    Drunka - Turnball is a former merchant banker, with enough personal wealth to buy you, me, and several small, but not at all impoverished countries. So, yes, he is pretty much like an overly indulged 12 year old. He has "form". None of which will necessarily stop the Libs from giving him the top job though. They lost the election, they don't care right this minute, so they'll hand the poison chalice to whichever idiot wants it right now, and worry about who the "real" leader should be a bit further down the track. They can always change well before the next election, and probably will, given that Costello is out of the game.

    (Unlike in the US Drunka, most of our pollies are not rich, at least not until they LEAVE politics, then they cash in by working in the private sector, sitting on boards, being a pricey consultant, or giving speeches, or what not. Rudd is the first multi-millionaire we've had as a PM, I think. Although technically, many would say it's his wife who is the one with the wealth, not him. Splitting hairs.)

  22. The very reason I use soap on my head. I am still awaiting the resultant thickening occasioned by my splitting hairs.

    Those that remain to me, that is.