The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Petulant Pete – put up or push off

Illustration: Matt Davidson

Illustration: Matt Davidson

Despite former Howard henchman Sen. George Brandis’ laughable reassurance on Lateline last night that there is nothing amiss in the Liberal Party, it is clear that they are in deep trouble. Any possibility of policy coherence is lost while the party is deeply divided between the Old Guard Right and the fresh start moderates arguing over the relevance of Howard’s Legacy, and the power struggles between the NSW Right and Costello Kroger Camp in Victoria.

British editor and broadcaster Andrew Neil has been in Australia launching the Australian edition of the UK institution The Spectator magazine. Asked on Lateline how long it takes a long-term government party to rebuild after defeat he thought about 10 years. Voters have long memories, he argues, and in order to rebrand the image a party needs to remove those who keep those memories alive.

Clearly that’s going to take some time in the case of our Libs. Petulant Peter – I could have been a contender – Costello is the main problem here. He should make the challenge for the leadership or announce his intentions to retire from his seat. Unfortunately, it seems as though he will accept the leadership only if the party comes begging and offers it to him in a bloodless coup. In which case the Libs need to make that choice, sooner than later. Otherwise we will see a succession of reasonable performers like Turnbull and Hockey chewed up and spat out. The Libs cannot afford to have Costello linger around like a bad smell constantly reminding us that that Libs are in a deeply divided shamble.

For Pete’s sake, bring on Costello and put us all out of our misery. I doubt he will be any more successful than Nelson or Turnbull. Perhaps he is waiting around for a crack at the leadership after the Libs lose the next election? But that will just ensure the Libs will remain divided and irrelevant as an effective opposition, let alone as an alternative government.

The Libs are still in denial about the 2007 end of the Howardian Ear, and will remain so until they lose next year’s election, at the very earliest. Unfortunately for the conservative side of politics I doubt the next Liberal Prime Minister of Australia is even in the parliament yet.

Filed under: Howardians, Politics

2 Responses

  1. phil@vvb says:

    I was extremely pleased to see the end of the Howard Era, so the possibility that the Howard Ear is still with us is, well, deeply confusing.

  2. slim says:

    From the venerable Dr Hewson in The Oz today:

    “FORMER Liberal leader John Hewson says Peter Costello should quit parliament for the sake of the party, arguing he’s had his chance and blown it.

    “If your few remaining mates won’t tell you, I will. You’ve had a fair go. If you now won’t give others a chance and pull your weight as a member of the team, you should move on,” Dr Hewson wrote in Fairfax newspapers.

    “It is most unlikely that you will ever be drafted as leader of the Liberal Party and even less likely that you will ever be prime minister.

    “You can’t go on ignoring the facts. You have only ever had a minimal support base and that base has been further and terminally eroded by your disloyalty, antics and shenanigans of the last year or so.”

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The Dog’s Bollocks

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The Dog's Bollocks: "Bollocks" is one of my favourite words, and this is now one of my favourite blogs and I've only been reading it for five minutes. – John Surname

This is the person who tried to analyse Hayek. This is actually a person who needs a shrink. – JC

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