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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:31 am
Situation stays the same:
Treasurer Peter Costello remained in his job despite the leadership stoush with Prime Minister John Howard, Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone said.
Speaking after lengthy cabinet meeting in Sydney today, Senator Vanstone was asked by the waiting pack of 60 reporters if Mr Costello was still the treasurer.
“Yes,” she said.
“We had a very, very productive meeting.”
- Good. Mexican stand-off we can handle. Everyone knows who the winner will be if either flinches. Status quo, but the polls will be bad next week.
I have actually been hoping Howard will step down, undefeated, later this year, in favour of Costello. But Costello has shown such bad judgement over this issue I’m having second thoughts.
Christ, he’s a relatively young guy and the Prime Ministership is his with patience. Hope there’s some-one in his camp reading him the Riot Act.Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 11 at 12:41 AM • permalink
- No ticker . . . . how would any bloke who thinks he’s owed the job go in a real election?Posted by Oafish and Infantile on 2006 07 11 at 12:43 AM • permalink
- My money is on JoHo running in next year’s election, after hosting the APEC leaders in Sydney.
Given that the guy is now 66, I’d see him retiring some time in the next term, at a date of his own choosing – most likely end-2008 or early 2009.
Next Prime Minister? Alexander Downer to defeat Peter Costello in an contested ballot, with Tony Abbott as Treasurer, and Costello getting the Bill Hayden Award as Foreign Minister.Posted by Oafish and Infantile on 2006 07 11 at 01:17 AM • permalink
- #9 – I don’t see Costello retiring before or at the next election. He’ll hang around until JoHo retires to try his luck at the leadership, but JoHo and (more importantly) his supporters will have long memories and Costello just won’t get their support.
This goes back to Costello’s sookout in 2003. If he kept his trap shut then and since then, he’d be our next PM.Posted by Oafish and Infantile on 2006 07 11 at 01:37 AM • permalink
- Nobody says Howard is doing a bad job. No one explains how under the rules of the Australian political system a PM can hand over to a successor he nominates without Party endorsement. No one mentions that the alleged deal was made at a time when neither protagonist was PM. In fact no one mentions that this is a bit of fish wrapper news that is up there with aliens abducting people and fiddling with their genitalia.
- Agreed, slow news week, storm in teacup, media beat-up etc. I suspect that each of them remembers what was said differently.
Still the sooner Costello takes over the better. I want someone there that I can actually support rather than regard as the lesser evil.Posted by Lloyd Flack on 2006 07 11 at 02:22 AM • permalink
- I wonder if between Howard and Costello they are deliberately leading the MSM to beat this up and at the same time setting-up the Labor Party. I wouldn’t be surprised if at this moment they were having a quiet drink and laugh over the fuss.Posted by walterplinge on 2006 07 11 at 02:24 AM • permalink
- A great question for a journalist to ask Labor pols right now – one year out from an election (as in 95) would be this: “Can you categorically say there have been no arrangements, deals or conversations about Kim Beazley’s return to the leadership, contingencies for failure etc – yes or no?”
If they don’t answer monosyllabically, their credibility on Cossie/JoHo will be dead.
- #5, Mick Gill,
I think the Liberal Party will be sorry they didn’t put a stake through Costello’s heart. who wants him rising again after showing such appalling lack of judgement and such sustained self-interest.[Emphasis added]
I know nothing of Australian politics, but the idea that Costello is displaying an overabundance of self-interest is odd, when everything I’ve read iterates what a terrible decision this has been, how he will lose his own party’s support, and how the voters won’t like it and will punish both Mr. Costello and his party. Mr. Costello is a politician with experience, is he not? As such, does he not understand the things said here? What would it take for him to think that what he has done could rationally be considered in his self-interest, if that interest is to further his political career? Isn’t his action considered a show of bad judgment precisely because it isn’t in his self-interest to make such a play at this time?
This turned out to be a bit OT. Sorry about that, but not sorry enough to forego any answer I may get. ;~)
- #13, 14 – that’s devious – but clever – thinking.
You’re not pols yourselves, are you?Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 07 11 at 02:44 AM • permalink
- Downer comes across as a lightweight. I think Costello has blown his chance, which leaves Abbot as my preferred candidate. IMHO he’s handled some tricky issues well. He just has to make clear the catholic thing is not an issue when it comes to deciding policy.
Mind you the ALP and the MSM will run the worst kind of scare campaign about his religous beliefs. Disclaimer, I’m an athiest.
- I like how the MSM can make a beat up about Abbott being a Catholic but you will never hear anyone ever question female pollies for being feminist.
It seems when it comes to the MSM theology is to be feared whereas ideology is perfectly acceptable. They both affect how the politican does there job. The issue should be the results not how they got to it. Disclaimer: Catholic
- I am inclined to agree with Mr. Plinge on this.
Neither of these men are fools, and Costello can take his pick of public or private sector appointments (I’m betting private—the guy will be headhunted faster than a missionary walking into a Sinaugolo village).
Masters of the triple-switch, The Coalition is indeed grinning. Labour, on the other hand, is crowing while their nest is empty of eggs.
Check and mate.
Howard will secure the Party’s endorsement, win the next election—Costello will retire from public life to become a successful multi-millionaire.
I don’t like Abbot, never have—a supercilious prick that lacks the common touch which Howard—unexplainably—posesses.
Downer, for all his faults has really come of age over the past 6 years.Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 07 11 at 03:59 AM • permalink
- #19 – Alan Ramsey.
Sorry! Sorry! Retraction: I thought you said ‘who’s the biggest…’Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 07 11 at 04:33 AM • permalink
Thanks for the question Salty. I guess all politicians have a high degree of self absorption and self interest. Costello as a Member of Parliament for over 15 years and the second most senior member of the Liberal Party has been nakedly ambitious for the top job for about 5 years but has (just) kept the level of his desire decent with artful displays of fig leaves.
This week he has been stupid enough to pose for a Playboy centrefold and has displayed rather too much.
I’m astonished that his Party has not given him the bullet for such arrogance, selfishness and stupidity.
I used to admire his intellect and loyalty but he has lost me on both now. I couldn’t vote for the Liberals if he was the Leader.
- Come on, guys. Costello is IT in terms of a realistic succession. Downer is funny looking (+ drag + karaoke + …) and Abbott is a bit mad (in a good Coulter kind of way but as electable as Latham).
It’s Costello, Australia’s most successful treasurer, all the way! Friend of business and, like most sane people, foe of Kennett. If Paul Keating can turn around his image with the little pinko voters and become some sort of saint then surely the MUCH more likable Costello can with the rest of us?
I think it’s very strange that people see Costello as over-reaching. It’s not like he was a backbencher watching on while others did the work. He’s had to take a backseat as part of the team that made JoHo look good.
You know, it just occured to me that we’ve never had the “who’s got the biggest dick in Canberra” story…
The reason it hasn’t been done is straight-forward: the MSM already KNOWS that that distinction belongs to a Coalition Minister, hence, total media silence.Posted by AlburyShifton on 2006 07 11 at 06:53 AM • permalink
- Imam, is it permissable – or Haram – to develop an interest in the politics of a revolting western society?
If so, may I vote in a poll for my preferred Prime Minister (pbuh)?
Yes, of course – go to http://islamicsydney.com/ and taste some democracy!
And Allah Knows Best.
JoHo currently 17%,
Crybaby Pete 3.8%,
The Western Windbag 29.3%,
Julia Gillard 30.8%.
Curious that the Underground Rescue Action Figure (W. Shorten) wasn’t included. Oy Vey Allah Akbar!
Anyhow – it’s open to the public, so get busy and VOTE. 263 voted so far – we can do better that that, right gang?
- #12 Agreed, slow news week, storm in teacup, media beat-up etc.
In my opinion it should only have been news if Howard had turkey-slapped him.Posted by Art Vandelay on 2006 07 11 at 08:53 AM • permalink
- If Costello had the numbers he would already be PM. He isn’t, and he won’t be, because practically no one in the Parliamentary wing of the Liberal Party believes Costello could deliver a higher primary vote than Howard at the next election. If he challenges and loses he must either quit politics or go to the backbench and try and do a Keating, but all indications are that the electorate has very little patience with that tactic. Therefore, he won’t challenge. So how did he get himself into this situation? – Maybe he heard footsteps (Turnbull?). Or maybe the situation was forced upon him by the wily John Winston, tired of Costello’s constant bitching. Is it possible McLaughlin (whose revelation of a supposed secret leadership deal to the poison dwarf of The Australian precipitated the whole imbroglio, was put up to it by Howard so he could force the issue once and for all. Put up or shut up, Peter
- #26 I voted for Gillard. Not that I would in an election. It might give them some food for thought if a woman came out trumps.Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 07 11 at 10:18 AM • permalink
- #19, #25 – I think that this issue was sufficiently covered/uncovered by a Paul Keating tell all about Bob Hawke.
De minimus non curat rex…Posted by lewisinnyc on 2006 07 11 at 10:26 AM • permalink
- Hooligan beat me to it. While everyone has been speculating whether the successor will be Peter Costello, Tony Abbott, Alexander Downer or Brendan Nelson another contender is waiting in the wings. Malcolm Turnbull has been building up his profile with the water issue and keeping his head low over this debacle. All he has to do is forget his republican ideas and Voila!
- No need to fret about the coalition’s electibility post Howard; the Libs are not lacking in talent. Nelson is looking the goods, although I personally detect a touch of the used car salesman about him. As a preferable and longer term bet, Turnbull. Abbott – hell no. Forget it, not going to happen.
On the other hand, Costello may hose this all down tomorrow.Posted by James Waterton on 2006 07 11 at 11:54 AM • permalink
Mr Costello “would, obviously, like to see a leadership change in his favour before the next election,” Mr Howard said, but added that his ministers did not support such a change.
Is it usual for a retiring PM to abdicate mid-term?Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2006 07 11 at 01:13 PM • permalink
- One thing we’re sure to see from now on is ALL the Ministry putting that little bit ‘extra’ in, now that Costello has shot himself in the foot, the leg, both hands and, um… that’s probably enough.
Whereas before Costello really was the only successor to Howard, now I reckon it’s wide open (but not Downer or Abbott)and Howard will have less hesitation now in building up some-one other than Costello for his job whereas before he was hamstrung in this.
Julie Bishop?Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 11 at 01:19 PM • permalink
- Kyda – Only once before in Australian politics has a PM retired (as opposed to his party losing the election or him being voted out in the party room). Sir Robert Menzies (Howard’s hero) retired in the 1960s at a time of his own choosing after 16 years as PM (in 2 stints).
The idea is that if Howard also goes at a time of his own choosing, he gives his successor time to put his/her stamp on things – the Australian public won’t vote for an ‘unknown’ as PM, no matter how long they’ve been in Parliament. Labor’s Mark Latham was made Leader of the Opposition after about 10+ years in parliament but it was only after he became Leader that the publicc saw he was deranged in all but certification.Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 11 at 01:25 PM • permalink
- Gutsy call, SCD. I thought about adding her name to my list earlier, but decided it a bit premature. You may well be right, however.
I don’t think we should be writing off Costello just yet, people. He’s quite a wily tactician. It looks like a most obvious own goal so far, but I think this story has only partially played out…Posted by James Waterton on 2006 07 11 at 01:28 PM • permalink
- 37 – Not all prime ministers were voted out or lost the election. Prime ministers chosing the “third way” were Lyons, Holt and Curtin. … and then there was Whitlam.Posted by lewisinnyc on 2006 07 11 at 02:09 PM • permalink
- Good point lewisinnyc! (I guess what you mean is that they karked it while in office). Of course in Whitlam’s case it was (political) suicide.Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 11 at 03:29 PM • permalink
- Lyons and Holt died in office….Funny “third way”.Posted by Quentin George on 2006 07 11 at 05:17 PM • permalink
- I tend to agree with James Waterton. I think there is more to this story than meets the eye.
Costello has been waiting in the wings for a while and Howard has hinted more than once that he would step down. In fact, this was somewhat of an election issue last time around as I recall.
I get the feeling that Howard doesn’t trust Costello with the job. Howard has massaged Australia into the image he has always wanted it to be, and will not allow it to be rearranged. Costello was in favour of a Republic and I suspect, there are other policy areas he would be itching to change if he were to take over the wheel.
Abbot is more of a Howard man and I suspect he may be Johnny’s choice to succeed him.
- AddamsFamily. Still the village idiot:
Costello has been waiting in the wings for a while and Howard has hinted more than once that he would step down. In fact, this was somewhat of an election issue last time around as I recall.
– The Labor party have made it an election issue every election since ‘96
I get the feeling that Howard doesn’t trust Costello with the job…
– d’hostie!…No shit!!
Abbot is more of a Howard man
– tabernac!…No shit!!
BTW mate, there are still bunches of questions awaiting your response in other threads. Some of your er, charming postings and opinions on Lowenstein’s blog have been reproduced. We have been really impressed with your level of hate.Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 11 at 06:47 PM • permalink
- #43 What happened, Addamo? You made a good, relevant post I can agree with. The only explanation is that Costello had a brain fade because he badly wants to change things Howard wouldn’t [like the Queen].
But the way he did it puts a bigger question mark against him, weakens his loyalty rating which should be sky high, and gives Abbott, Nelson and Turnbull hope to come through on the rails later.
Vaunting Ambition is not what Aussies like to see on view.
Did you see how Hawkie still nows how to play? Got both Howard and himself off the hook just by re-defining a few words the way he wants to.
Made an ‘undertaking’, broke it, so what?
He did that often to the ABC types.
- 43. would you trust Costello to run our country I certainly wouldnt. The Liberal party can not go to an election with Costello running the show because all we will see at the polls is a land slide in Labours favour reminicent of the landslide against Kim Beasley. However if Costello and Beasley were to go head to head that would be a very interesting election.
The last thing the Liberal party need after the uproar over the new IR laws is Costello running the show thats not to say that Howard should be either there has to be a better leader somewhere out there.
- What people are forgetting is that Keating was much more popular (at least for a while) after he became party leader. More aspects of his personality and policies were on display. I think the same would happen with Costello.
I’m one of the people who thought better of Keating before he became party leader. His Australia is part of Asia line did a lead balloon impression foe me.
There are people who were only voted for the coalition last time because Mark Latham persuaded them to do so. They would be more likely to vote for the coalition again if Costello was in charge.Posted by Lloyd Flack on 2006 07 11 at 08:28 PM • permalink
- I don’t have a lot of time for Costello. His good work as treasurer is undeniable but his efforts to always be with the popular vote I feel is a ticket to nowhere.
Too many times has he told two opposing groups that he agrees with their opinion only to finally decide on his own when the dust has settled. The RU486 debate is a prime example. Howard had the guts to state a strong opinion and be prepared to be on the loosing vote.
Breaking news: Costello still stirring shit this morning. He continues to dig the hole he is in deeper.
- Phew! Lucky I popped in to see all the news that’s fit to cut and paste. I might have missed something otherwise.
Walkley standard cutting and pasting Timbo. You’re an ornament to the profession.Posted by Miranda Divide on 2006 07 11 at 10:26 PM • permalink
- Once again Miranda bedazzles us with it’s um, logic non sequiters parallel universe who the fuck cares?Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 11 at 11:05 PM • permalink
Damn, you’re sounding in fine form today.
I have long tried to convince Timbo Bla-eurgh to move to a more workable model along the lines of award winning website, webdiary, in which I play a kind of absent managerial role and am paid a large amount of money.
Does he listen? No. And look at the results…It’s a total dog’s breakfast as you so rightly point out.Posted by Margos Maid on 2006 07 12 at 12:23 AM • permalink
- Greenpike, #24, mentions Downer in relation to “drag”, So Mr Greenpike, just when and where did Downer actually wear drag?
If you can’t tell me, try stopping being an irresponsible idiot repeating lies.Posted by Susan Norton on 2006 07 12 at 02:21 AM • permalink
- #53 Susan, he talks about the drag thing himself – here
You can nitpick about stockings and a boa NOT being drag and, of course, many of us have frocked up for fun at various times and for various events. Just not so many of us that are national pollies.
Now Susan, surely you’re not serious about Downer actually being a leader again? He only got in last time because he WASN’T Hewson or JoHo. Look, I’m sure he’s a great bloke, he’s done a good job in Foreign Affairs and I’d vote for him as my local MP if I was a croweater but he’s as inspiring as Bomber Beazley. I keep seeing the golden age of Billy McMahon 71 – 72.
- I said nothing about Downer becoming leader again, and I wouldn’t want it unless it was the only alternative to Labor. i think he’s proved himself a good Foreign Minister but that’s his slot. What i do get sick of is the constant description of him as some sort of drag-queen – it’s actually got the plastic turket knocked dead as a false but apparently unkillable “fact.” Just give me the time and place he wore drag – and if it was a fancy-dress party for a charity event, I don’t accept that that counts.Posted by Susan Norton on 2006 07 13 at 12:55 AM • permalink
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