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Australian Political Debate
Peter Costello 
25th-Nov-2007 03:13 pm
Peter Costello has refused leadership of the opposition. This is a very clever move on his part. Despite John Howard's nomination as successor, there would almost certainly be at least one challenge for leadership. Without Mr Howard and without government, the party may well also suffer the internal strife and division that most opposition parties on the state and federal level suffer these days. The last thing Mr Costello wants is to be the next Kim Beazley.

So what will he do? Maybe he'll sit back as Joe Hockey and Alexander Downer and whoever else tear eachother down, safe from the mudslinging and relatively untarnished in reputation. Then in a few years he'll be poised to step in and finally take the leadership role as John Howard did before becoming prime minister. Or maybe he really has had a gutfull and he's content to serve out his term before going into the private sector to get his back scratched. God knows I would in his shoes.

Either way, it should be interesting to watch.

In the same article linked above, Mr Costello attempts to blame the media for his party's low poll result. Make of that what you will.
25th-Nov-2007 05:47 am (UTC)
I've just written a little article about Costello:

Costello makes the right work choice.

AS someone who likes to dabble in the history arts, and has been an avid cultural warrior, my brain is today turning to what will be the historical legacy of the Howard years. With the culture war now over, and post-modern history seen to have a superior validity to the fixed narrative school, one understands that it is the perception and interpretation of what happened that is important. I thus offer for the annals one of my own interpretations of the Howard years.

The Howard years will eventually be remembered as the Costello years. Peter Costello’s decision to not stand for the Liberal party leadership, or deputy leadership, and to announce his decision to move into the corporate world signifies the real end of his political career. All that there is to do now is to sure up the contacts and contracts that will mark his movement into the corporate world. In his words:

"I will be looking to build a career post-politics in the commercial world.
"As a consequence of that, I will not seek nor will I accept the leadership or deputy leadership of the Liberal Party.

What this means is that his political memory will forever be associated with being J-Ho’s 2IC; in other words, he was the treasurer whilst Howard presided over the most prosperous times this nation has seen.

We’ll never really know just why K-Rudd is now frontman of the government of the country, but we will analyse it and speculate wildly. The working class left will shout workchoices. The neo-con right will say “timing”. But being a chardonnay sipping, latte swiller, I’d like to think that there is perhaps a little more to it. Kyoto. Iraq. Reconcilliation. Republic. The History Wars. And perhaps most of all, the arrogance shouting at us of “WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ORSTRAYLIN”. Just as the Cronulla riots turned out to be more about the power of the media to incite violence than inherent race problems within Australian society, now that we’re back on track for understanding that “Australian” does not necessarily mean you’re a blonde, bronzed Aussie who likes to eat pies and go to the beach I think we’ll all realise just how great and diverse we are; not only as a people, but as a history. It is my belief that this will be Howard’s legacy. Forever wrapped up in race issues like a bogan wearing a flag like a batman cape (not that I think there’s anything wrong with doing that, I’m all for batman cape flags, just don’t punch people if they refuse to kiss it).

What the History Wars has shown us is that, as a nation, we really do like to be proud of our past, and quite often reinterpret our history to suit that sensibility. Hence, I think once we throw off the last remaining shackles of Hansonism, we will want to reinterpret a way to explain the last decade to suit. John Howard is the obvious scape goat. He has the actions. He has the quotes. He has the history. But this last eleven years has seen a prosperity that will be looked upon fondly in the inevitable tough times that are to come (economics is still cyclical), and Peter Costello is our way to explain that. Although he is not widely loved right now, it will be easy to remember him as the man who was held down by the tyrant, who so calmly and responsibly guided HMAS Australian Economy through the tough seas of global economic crisis into the sea of prosperity, regardless of whether or not there is any truth to the idea.

25th-Nov-2007 05:56 am (UTC)
They'll have to Roshambo for the leadership..
25th-Nov-2007 06:23 am (UTC)
Turnbull's just thrown his hat in the ring.
25th-Nov-2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
Remember that Howard came back to lead the party to victory 13 years after losing the election as Treasurer. I don't know if Costello can be buggered staying around that long, though; he certainly doesn't have the same drive and ambition for power that Howard had.
26th-Nov-2007 08:51 am (UTC)
Higgins By-election will be around April/May next year, his 18 years (max super) is up in March.
26th-Nov-2007 10:27 am (UTC)
Costello's said he'll stay the three years but it could be a non-core promise where he makes room for new, young talent. Costello will make the move to the private sector in seconds flat.
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