|Being right is fun, and for most of us it doesn't happen as often as we'd like. Today I go one spot on. One of the most overrated figures in Australian political history has once again shown his true colours & decided to quit. I have long thought he lacked the guts to go to an election as party leader. If he has a shred of honesty his forst trip will be to Beijing to thank the people most responsible for the economic successes he will parade before us for the rest of his life.
Below is a little rant I penned after the last election. Apart from containing some eerily prescient observations, this is also the last chance I will get to use it. My only regret is that I will never get to see this clown humilated by leading his party to a loss. More worthy souls will bear than burden.
"Most of what follows in a rant. If you don't want to read it then don't post some pathetic whine afterward about how you hate rants. If you simply wish to disagree, by all means do so.
I should also point out that I have a much higher regard for our politicians than most people. They do a job few of us would be prepared to do - long hours, long months away from the family and the abuse of millions of ignorant strangers. While I am happy to attack policies & political personas, I try to avoid personal attacks on politicians. I am going to make an exception here because Costello himself has been happy to do so, and because the prick has earned it.
I have never much liked Peter Costello. His smarmy, superior manner always grated on me and his politics were largely at odds with mine. I did, however, have some respect for him. A smart man who did well as treasurer (though not as well as his boosters claim - but that is for another day). That respect has now dissappeared.
For a while now I have sensed something was not quite there. I have never believed that he would go to an election as opposition leader and I said so publically before the election. I hadn't clearly articulated the reasons why, it was just a feeling. I did think that he would take the job for a couple of years in order to help get the party back on its feet & help choose a new leader. It appears that I overestimated the man. Before the election Paul Keating was asked about Costello & referred to him as "all tip & no iceberg". At the time I just took this as an extremely witty put-down. it turns out to have been eerily accurate - there really was nothing to the man. He has turned out to be the great gutless wonder of Australian politics.
Costello was given a dream run by his party. Straight to the shadow front bench. Deputy leader a few years after being elected to parliament, then deputy leader & treasurer for almost 12 years in government. Despite this, he was happy to snipe at & backstab Howard for daring to occupy the job he felt was his by right. Yet, with his party at its lowest point since it was founded what does he do? cut & run. If he couldn't have the Prime-Ministership on a silver platter he couldn't be bothered actually fighting for it.
What really grates about all of this is clear when one reflects on Costello's political style. He was the one who led the attack on Kim Beazley as 'lazy' and having 'no ticker'. While all of this was clearly part of a strategy to focus on Beazley's weight, it is interesting to reflect on just how far from the mark it was. Kim Beazley led his party through one of its toughest periods. he lost two elections in heartbreaking circumstances, yet he fought on. When his party was at its lowest ebb, after Latham's breakdown, he onvce again stepped up and shouldered the load. And when the party was ready to move on, he left the leadership with a grace that Costello on his best day could only dream of. Costello was also the man who was happy to drive Nick Sherry to attempt suicide with a nasty personal campaign based on trumped up claims of travel rorts that he knew to be false. Nick Sherry has stuck it out, come back from the brink & is now a minister. Costello is not fit to look such people in the eye.
There is, however, a silver lining. Costello will now get to watch his party stumble & hemorrage blood for years to come in the hands of lesser politicians. The other is that he will always have to wear the taunts of Paul Keating - a man who did at least have the courage of his own convictions. Costello will always be the one who lacked the guts to back himself. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
End of Rant."