Tuesday 21st of May 2024

lie-along .....

Howard promised me a handover:
Costello .....

Treasurer Peter Costello says
John Howard told him 12 years ago that he would only serve one-and-a-half terms
as Liberal leader.

Mr Costello's comments confirm
former defence minister Ian McLachlan's recollection of a meeting in 1994.

Mr McLachlan says he witnessed Mr
Howard tell Mr Costello that if he won
office he would hand over the leadership after two terms.

Mr Howard has again today insisted
there was no handover deal.

But Mr Costello says Mr Howard
told him he intended to serve one-and-a-half
terms and then handover the job.

"I did not seek that undertaking,"
Mr Costello said.

"He volunteered it and I
took him at his word. Obviously that did not happen.”

Big deal

"Took him at his word." What a goose! Well, he knows him better by now, but it's too late. Costello should have called in the debt when they won in '96, surely. Maybe he has been calling Howard a rotten liar, in private, at every opportunity since then, but where's the evidence? He's been rolling right along with all the deceit over the years, that he is just as much part of the whole package as Howard and Downer. 

Good luck to Costello if he does snivel off to the back bench. Howard won't nudge him out of his job, while there's more value to Howard in watching Costello squirm and sweat, and become 'disloyal'. The phones will be busy in the marginals for a few days. I wonder if I should tell my man that he will lose my vote if he continues to boost for Costello?

Anyway, making a deal with someone like Howard probably involves an exchange of bodily fluid, or a firm handshake and squeeze of the rump, at the very least. Ho-hum. Time to kiss and make up.

Still, maybe something good came out of McLachlan's story. A remark was made along the lines of "if he has a conscience", as reported by Glenn Milne, "make him PM".


If it's in the paper it must be true...

For what it's worth, I have an inkling that uncle Rupert is behind the scene with the whole exposure of the deed between Costello and our primal grocer... One has to remember that not so long ago, about a month no more, uncle Rupert told our Johnnee-in-chief that it was time to go, but Johnnee, believing in his own boot smells, did not to take the advice to retire at the height of his porkie-dispensing powers... The 1994 deed would have been know for a while amongst a few people, including some hacks... For Glenn Milne of the Australian and the Telegraph to blow the lid off the affair this Sunday just now smells of some Machiavellian plan... first from Johnnee because of course it has long been tooted that Milne is one of a few Johnnee's fans... and doing so would actually erase some of Costello's sparkle when the grocer reversed the barrel... But Milne works for uncle Rupert first... Remember those awful headlines and reports about Latham that Milne concocted on the front pages of the "Daily Terror"... sorry, Mirror... sorry, Telegraph... And tonight's (10/07/06) interview commentating on the 7:30 report (ABC) smelt of sulphur, the sulphur that only uncle Rupert can cook in his media brews...

I may be wrong of course... And could be wrong too that the anointed successor isn't our cousin Costello, although he is being buttered to come forward by the Rupert... Say no more... Flattery oh flattery...

hubris in Primus grocerus estu

from the ABC

Howard calls for end to leadership deal 'hubris'
The Prime Minister John Howard has again denied making a deal with Peter Costello for a handover of the Liberal Party leadership, saying the continued claims are indulging in "hubris and arrogance".

Mr Costello said yesterday that the pair had agreed in December 1994 that if Mr Costello supported Mr Howard as leader and the Liberals were elected, Mr Howard would serve two terms and handover to Mr Costello.

The former defence minister Ian McLachlan, who was present at the meeting, has released further details.

Speaking to reporters outside Kirribilli House as he started his morning walk, Mr Howard again denied there was ever a deal.

"Well the situation is, very simply, that that meeting in 1994 was one of many," he said.

"Nothing was concluded at that meeting.

"The best evidence of that is that for weeks afterwards there was speculation that Mr Costello would run for the leadership."

Mr Howard said that if a deal had been agreed on December 5, "why would he tell me between Christmas and New Year of the same year that he still reserved the right to run?"

He repeated that the leadership of the party is in the hands of the parliamentary Liberal Party.

"The leadership of the Liberal Party is not my plaything, it's not Mr Costello's plaything," he said.

"It is the unique gift of the 100 men and women of the federal parliamentary Liberal Party, and any member of the parliamentary Liberal Party who forgets that is indulging hubris and arrogance."


Gus thinks that this grocer-speak is a very good way to "reverse the barrel..." as mentioned in the blog above...

But although our grocer says: ""Nothing was concluded at that meeting. The best evidence of that is that for weeks afterwards there was speculation that Mr Costello would run for the leadership." one could read that to avoid "giving the impression of a deal" it might have been agreed that Mr Costello would not deny nor confirm he would "run for the leadership" for a little while after the meeting.

In fact A DEAL HAD BEEN STRUCK and Costello fell in the trap to believe in it... and as our Primus grocerus says so eloquently: "The leadership of the Liberal Party is not my plaything, it's not Mr Costello's plaything... It is the unique gift of the 100 men and women of the federal parliamentary Liberal Party, and any member of the parliamentary Liberal Party who forgets that is indulging hubris and arrogance."

Ah.... I feel better... I just took my medicine for whatever and can go back to sleep-mode...

and I agree

And I agree with Gerard Henderson... John Howard won't go... till he decides to do so. His most ardent supporters, "she of the beehive" and "he of the things that batter" are batting for him... Who can go past defences like that?

My Honor is my Loyalty

Ten years into the battle for the destiny of the Australian people, it's a shame that a simple misunderstanding has splintered the platform of trust, and eroded the tissue of outright falsehoods. 

When Our Leader has had a chance to adjust the signal in his bionic earpiece, he will get right to the guts of the thing. Poor Pete heard "handover", but The Illustrious One will recall he referred to "bad weather". In fact, John was exercising his powers of prophecy, and a review of the meteorological charts will reveal that a storm was indeed threatening at the appointed time, at a 'term and a half'. This is an update for that well-worn phrase "mene, mene, tekel, upharsin". Pete was onto it two weeks ago, when he referred to the 'one hundred years'. Here, again, though, Pete will live to regret his lack of application to his studies in the '70s. When Pete was busting gangs of socialist thugs, he should have turned a thought to the import of the year 2015. April 25th, to be precise, when Our Leader will celebrate the Anzac centenary at Gallipoli, as the longest serving PM ever. We will be in Iraq, still, creating an opportunity to paper over one military disaster with another.

So much for honor and loyalty, Pete. You should have consulted with the Jesuits. One good outcome, though, is that widows and orphans will not have to bear the sight of you cocking a leg at grand military occasions.

Fundament of wisdom

Lex made two speeches recently. I've employed one of the lip-readers who decoded the incident that led to ZZ's red card, in order to disclose whether Lex is sniffing around for a drainpipe. With Costello on the nose, there will be some significant shifts in aspirations, and, dare it be mentioned, loyalties, over the next few months.

In Should Australia Think Big or Small in Foreign Policy? (10 July), the key themes are militarism, freedom & democracy, security, Rupert Murdoch and the “post 9/11 environment “.

In 40 Years of Australian Foreign Policy - Democracy, Liberalism and Australia's National Interests (11 July), the key themes are militarism, freedom & democracy, security, and Amartya Sen. The obligatory nod to Fox-Bush's 'post 9-11 world' is sanitised into an antipodean format - “The world is not standing still.  In fact the world changed quite a lot on and since September 11 2001.”

Adulation of Rupert may be perceived as a shortcut to greatness, but Costello's recent plug got him nowhere, fast.

While some other politicians are indulging their prospects, with talk about Media set for biggest shake-up, it's a fair bet Rupert will exhibit a nimblefooted agility to walk both sides of the street. Witness one of his cartoonists at The Australian getting the award from Counterpunch for Website of the Day: Bad Boy of Gitmo.

What are the odds for Deputy Lex, then? Lots of us have been thinking on what makes John Howard 'electable'. My theory: Howard may be a consummate dag, but he is predictable. That is, his appearance and expressions remain within a restricted envelope. He does not expose punters to the risk of uncertainty about his demeanour. How he looked and behaved last week, last month, last year, does not vary much. He is under strain, but rarely looks or sounds unbalanced. Costello, on the other hand, has a wide range of countenances. One day he is gleefully ripping into the Opposition, the next he is sulky and down at the mouth. People react, unconsciously, to expressions of emotions on display in the public arena. Costello is not PM material, because his emotional labilities are amplified on the small screen. Cosmetics help to disguise the emotional indices: whether or not that could be a bonus, in the eyes of the Australian electorate, is untested. Looks do count, and I challenge Lex and Costello to a face-off.

Lift off

The game is on at Centrebet. They call it a 'novelty event', but we know the main contenders have a lot of ego at stake, in the race for second spot. From Do or die for the great pretender:

... The odds on Costello blew out from $3 to $4 and then to $4.50. ...

... and Alexander Downer, without a single bet backing him, was at $101. ...

As to Howard's plans, from PM tries to close off leadership debate:

... Mr Howard offered one piece of good news for his deputy, saying there would "definitely" be another prime minister by 2018, when Australia hopes to host the soccer World Cup. ...

There was a brief pause, while he rattled his abacus, before Howard answered that question. Yes, indeed, 2015 is looking pretty good as an expiry date for the darlings of Kirribilli.

Costello can't hide now, even on the last row of the back bench. He will keep the shouting the bar, and his mates in the press gallery will drink his money, but they will find it very hard to extract much support for Pete amongst his colleagues.

So, what's a man-for-the-people to do? Peter, while you have a lot of time on your hands, stick your big noggin into a few government schools, public hospital clinics and forsaken crannies around the margins. Get away from the Big End of Town, and listen to the poor mugs who can't help themselves. But don't be too upset if they wonder who brought the pong of dead rat into the room. Peter, your big carcase will keep swinging in the breeze while you kowtow to Fairfax, Packer, Murdoch, Kroger and the eco-rat nazis.

Cut yourself some wiggle room, Peter. Come out for Fixed Terms, and put the death-mask on Howard's face.

We're nutsos

From the ABC

Voters believe Costello but prefer Howard as PM
A new opinion poll suggests more people believed Treasurer Peter Costello than the Prime Minister during the recent leadership stoush, but John Howard is still most people's preferred prime minister.
Gus approves...
So, in the land of liars, stooges, shifty pollies, crooks, porkyists and embezzlers, who else but the best of the best to lead us...?