Johnny's announcement yesterday that he intended to stay on as Prime Minister
'indefinitely' came as no surprise to most Australians, but it did come as a
disappointment to Peter (PM-in-waiting) Costello, whose usual insufferable self
satisfied smirk was replaced by a quivering pout. At least he kept a stuff
upper lip at his press conference as he described his day as 'not his best'.
Yes, Peter, this is politics. Power isn't something you are
given - true power is something you take. You don't get to control the lives of
millions of people without controlling those around you.
But Peter has said that he will be speaking outside his portfolio more often,
and clearly intends to start selling himself to the Australian people, having
failed to sell himself to his boss. Today Peter (who-likes-me?) Costello was
using the word 'tolerance' a lot to describe the kind of society he would like to
create. He hasn't said exactly what tolerance means, or how he intends to
created it, but presumably he thinks that taking people's hard-earned money and
giving it to other people is a good start. Why this would make people more
tolerant is a mystery to most people, but clearly politicians know us better
than we know ourselves, and always seem to know what's good for us.
But despite the media orgy over leadership issues in the Liberal party, the media
sharks haven't actually been able to draw any blood. Little Johnny has pulled
his deputy back into line, Peter whimpered contrite things about being a good
team player, and no-one seriously believes that he would be stupid enough
challenge .. for now.
So the media-pack ran back to hound the ALP about their leadership
issues. John Howard's announcement has make life both difficult and easy for
the ALP. Difficult because they can't win against Howard, but easy because at
least they are now free to choose the most worthy opponent for him - who will
lose the least number of seats.
Simon (I-deserve-to-be-PM) Crean keeps hoping that the leadership question will
just quietly go away, but the forces of self interest are working against him:
political leanings are no match for furthering their own careers by producing
scathing stories about the ALP. So the speculation continues.
But who would replace Rottweiler Simon? Mark (mad-dog) Latham might have been a
good opponent for Smirky, but will simply look like a thug up against Gentleman
Johnny. Jenny (affirmative action) Macklin is not much more than a token
pretty face .. OK, she's not even a pretty face, and the man with no face -
Kevin Rudd - is a bit like Johnny Howard without the profile. Why wouldn't
someone just vote for little Johnny and be done with?
So it really comes back to Kim (the Scout-master) Beasley. Big Kim has been
testing the water a lot lately and sooner or later he's going to have to take
the plunge, or go back to the dressing room. Otherwise he'll just have to keep
doing what Simon says.