Has the Costello comeback begun?

The reappearance of Peter Costello over recent weeks has heightened speculation that he will soon take a run at the leadership.  Rumours filtered out today that he now has the numbers in the Liberal party room to roll Malcolm Turnbull if it came to a challenge.

As asserted in an earlier piece on The Political Sword, The Costello enigmaCostello is highly unlikely to accept any front bench position other than leader.  His much publicized dislike of Turnbull makes the acceptance of a position under his leadership virtually out of the question.

Recently, the electronic media, always quick to sniff a coup coming up, has focussed on leadership to the detriment of its reporting on the matters that really count, the GFC, ETS and IR.  Then today in an editorial First leader to the centre wins The Australian declares its hand and gives the Costello bandwagon a hefty push.  More...

The Turnbull answer to the Rudd essay

In an article in The Weekend Australian of 7-8 March titled PM's cheap money shot Malcolm Turnbull responds to Kevin Rudd’s essay in The Monthly, The Global Financial Crisis – (first 1500 words of the Rudd essay here).  Turnbull’s piece is worth reading as it gives tentative insight into his thinking, tactics and ideological position, more the former than the latter.  You be the judge.

It’s an article in three pieces – an initial somewhat emotive and sarcastic condemnation of Rudd’s propositions, then an objective account of how the sub-prime mortgage problem emerged, starting with Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, followed by a return to a condemnation of Rudd and some personal invective thrown in for good measure.   The contrast between the middle and the rest of the piece is arresting.  Did someone else compose the middle?  It doesn’t sound like Turnbull-speak. More...

The Costello enigma

Aspiration to the highest office in the land is the ambition of most senior politicians.  So after so many years coveting that position, it came as a bolt from the blue when Peter Costello declined leadership after it was offered on a plate right after the 2007 election.  A role outside of politics was mooted, but as time passed and nothing suitable eventuated, the backbench seemed all that was to be had.  But from time to time, like a smouldering fire smoking on the crest of the mountain, speculation flares about his return to active political engagement. Yesterday was one of those times.  More...

Who do you want at the helm?

Metaphors abound around the global financial crisis.  The Government says we’re facing a global tsunami, and we can’t swim against that sort of tide.  We’re in a ship in stormy waters battling the elements.  In the wake of Victoria’s bushfires, it’s surprising that the ‘firestorm’ metaphor has not much been used. 

In today’s Australian George Megalogenis heads his well-balanced piece Leader’s bounty kept ship afloat Michael Stutchbury, in an even-handed video clip We’re in recession  avoided metaphors, but in McCrann on Australia’s recession, Terry McCrann, so prone to exaggerated language, couldn’t resist.  He has the global economy “slowing to a walk”, the Australian economy in a “twilight zone” between the good things and the bad things, and accuses the Reserve Bank and the Government of “over-egging the pudding”.  His piece was nonetheless reasonable. More...