There is no way Howard can win the next election if he can't stop this series of embarrassing leaks. The leaks undermine Howard's authority and expose his every well-orchestrated media pronouncement as a sham. Either Howard finds the leaker(s), and puts a stop to it, or he steps down. It's that simple.
I suspect that quite a few people in Canberra know exactly who the leaker(s) is (are). Maybe even Howard himself knows, but is powerless to stop them. In either case, it is a sign of serious party disunity. Factor in the Towke affair last week and you have a party that is not unly unfit to govern but also, as Kevin Rudd says, incapable of doing so.
UPDATE: Howard is sounding desperate:
"We have been struggling this year, politically, there's no doubt about that, and I think that research reflected some of the negative views that were around," Mr Howard told Southern Cross Broadcasting.Heh. So two months ago Howard was too old, and now he's not? And voters really do like his War On Aborigines, even if the authors of the report that triggered it say they "feel betrayed, disappointed, hurt and angry — pretty pissed off, all at the same time". Ri-i-ight...
"It was done a couple of months ago, I think our position has improved since then."
Mr Howard said he thought people had reacted positively to a number of recent government initiatives.
"I think they have reacted very positively to the Northern Territory initiative, which incidentally was announced the same day as this document has allegedly been prepared, and that is the 21st of June," he said.