Topic: aust govt
Picture: Profound graphic lifted off Sydney Morning Herald in mid 2007 emphasising then PM Howard's obstruction on climate change policies.
Peter Costello, humble backbencher, former Treasurer 11 or so years, keeps his appointment with Fran Kelly on ABC radio national today just before 8am 16 Sept 08. A day late as he cancelled Monday's media appointments to settle down the hysteria perhaps.
Costello has vouched that he 'is voting for Brendan Nelson'. Gerard Henderson in Fairfax and ABC sister station makes the point 'Costello is the best choice to lead and if not running then Turnbull is next best choice'. Yes but in our view that's not the criteria in real politik time which turns on positioning for the prize of prime ministership contest in 2 years time.
Costello is transparently relying on Nelson as his time buffer and blocker. Turnbull has nominated to fly the flag and show his guts, and in our view will likely lose against Nelson, and most MPs this far out will be more interested in their traditional comfort zone of policy and values framework built in large part by Howard-Costello. They want systemic change and serious policy rebuild like a parent wants the flu or a kid likes the dentist. Not at all. The Howard malaise lives on.
Which only means as long as the MP for Higgins remains in the Parliament the significant spill will be 6-12 months out from the next projected federal election not in one hour just after 9 am today AEST. The next election is expected in 2010 sometime, months before the NSW one in March 2011.
So for the ALP the next year or so will be Rudd v slippery Howard proxy Nelson. If Rudd and the centre left of politics slowly crush Nelson as they did Howard, then and only then will it be time for the real change in the centre right of politics on climate change, industrial relations, natural environment, water buy backs in the Murray Darling and so on.
And how has the swing to the right in WA influenced all this? Alot would be our view. It's emboldened the Hard Right to hold fast to the Howard legacy strongest there flush with mining royalties and most infavour of extreme IR agenda, but surely ignores the views of the majority of the population in the eastern states. It's a false dawn for the Liberals and Nats if the ALP and centre Left, Greens based on population spread across the nation, see it for what it is: An artefact of the mining boom.
Picture: Mid 2007 on the floor of parliament in tense discussion with then PM Howard lifted off the big media websites at the time.
Postscript from 10.30 am: We were wrong!
As it happens the federal Liberal Party have decided to go for real change from the Howard-Costello-Nelson legacy by voting 45 to 41 for sharp blade Malcolm Turnbull. Crikey.com.au say this morning media barracking for Big Mal is simply for better copy (the boredom factor with Nightwatchman Man Nelson). Maybe so. Ominously Nelson has refused any front bench position. Similarly Costello is also back there as lead weight or rival.
The close vote doesn't alter the fact we got it wrong here at SAM. Maybe the blanket coverage of Costello's memoirs in the last week was more surfeit than nostalgia for the colleagues. Maybe there was a critical mass of loathing for the failed old leadership clique and desire for not only clear air but a clean break?
Picture: Shadow Treasurer Turnbull gives his Opposition budget in reply speech to the Canberra Press Club mid 2008. These images lifted off the web feed by SAM at the time.
Turnbull has his chance now to make his mark on the national stage for real and if he succeeds the Liberal Party will be a different creature in 12 months. So will the ALP to meet the Opposition leader's credentials. If he falters or is bested by the Rudd machine Costello in particular may well seek resurrection like Colin Barnett new premier of WA 5 weeks after planning his retirement.
Picture: lifted off Crikey.com.au in late 2007 (if memory serves).
Here is a collage of the Wentworth 2007 stoush where we could have seeded the electorate with anti John Howard - Not Happy John leaflets from the 2004 contest in Bennelong. We could have but didn't because the ALP candidate Newhouse refused to campaign against the Gunns pulp mill. So I dumped them on Turnbull's doorstep for them to "pulp":
Picture: visit to the western end of Wentworth electorate in August 2007 by SAM, and then outside the Bondi Junction electorate office same day.
The federal ALP in Wentworth just didn't deserve the help:
And here is one of the victims of Turnbull's 'wet work' as Christian Kerr terms it from The Australian in 2007 pre election - new councillor Rose Jackson elected Sept 2008, wedged over the ultra right in the Eastern Suburbs Jewish community unquestioning support for nuclear armed Israel, with an arguably corrupt Prime Minister: