And here's Malcolm Farr at Murdoch's Daily Telegraph:
Great news for the PM's supporters. If only he were campaigning against his own Treasurer!
Meanwhile, even Conservative stalwart Malcolm Mackerras says Howard should have gone gracefully some time ago:
I describe Menzies as an honest, patrician conservative who knew when it was time to go. By contrast I think of Howard as a deceitful, populist radical who stayed too long...Mackerras says Costello has been treated shabbily:
Given the stupidity of the federal Liberals I can safely predict the following details of the forthcoming election: the Howard Government will be defeated and Howard himself will be defeated in Bennelong.
In the opinion of several observers (including myself) the Liberal Party at the federal level now has only one senior figure with any credibility, the Treasurer, Peter Costello.That's bullshit. The only person Costello can blame for his own failures is himself. And, um... shouldn't THE PEOPLE have some say in who becomes leader of this country? The whole idea of populist leaders winning elections and handing power to annointed successors is anathema to democracy.
And how does the party treat him? Essentially they have put him down at every opportunity. While he is sure to be their next leader, he will, very probably, never be prime minister.
It is a fact of Australian federal political history that the first leader of the opposition after the electoral defeat of a government has never become prime minister. Or rather, not since the early years of Federation.
So the fate of Costello is that he will be the next leader of the opposition, will contest one election from that position and lose. He will then leave politics and make very good money in business. The history books will record Costello as the most successful minister who never became prime minister. The Liberal Party will be recorded as having handed to Costello the poisoned chalice.