Thursday, April 5, 2007

The sound we just heard ...

... was a hand grenade landing at the feet of our Prime Minister John Howard and our Treasurer Peter Costello. Call me a 'Conspiracy Theorist' ... call me an 'Old Pinko' ... accuse me of being so socio-politically blinkered that I am only capable of using the 'left' hand side of the stove ... categorise me, for your convenience, as you will - but I am tipping that the undeniable thud we heard last night has marked the beginning of the end of John Howard's Prime Ministership.

Here's why.

As reported on ABC News last night, the Commonwealth Government's Treasury Secretary Ken Henry (whose boss is Peter Costello) took it upon himself to fearlessly announce that 'good policy can often fall victim to political opportunity when an election beckons'. The Australian encapsulates it all rather neatly in their Editorial here.

Howard and Costello were, quite obviously, both caught horribly off-guard. It was easy to recognise because they rarely are. As media performers, Howard is especially hard to beat. Costello's hastily convened media call following Ken Henry's announcement was a brief and jittery appearance - with our Crown Prince of the Facetious Smirk looking and sounding noticeably ruffled. Costello is such a veteran of these sorts of pit-stops that it is rare to see him looking off into the middle distance, even for a second or two, trying to ignore the fact that an elephant has just trampled across the garden behind him. By Costello's impervious standards, it was a wholly unconvincing performance.

Then there was Prime Minister Howard's positively sullen interview last night with Kerry O'Brien on ABC TV's 7.30 Report. Was I the only one to notice Howard's nervous tick - the apparently uncontrollable little twitch courtesy of his right shoulder?

But 'the devil' is in the detail, as it were: the "policy" in question. And what was that? Ah, yes. Water. And who is the Parliamentary Secretary for water?

It would appear that someone, somewhere, has decided that the Government stand little chance of winning the Federal election to be held sometime this year with either Howard or Costello as leader of the Liberal Party. Ladies and gentlemen ... start your engines.


metal_petal said... picked up on the nervous tic today - and even featured a lovely animation of it.

I'm enjoying watching the little bastard lose it.

I can't wait to dance on his grave.

Snidley Whiplash said...

Come now, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the greatest PM/Treasurer team Australia has had since Federation! Mind you, admiration can sometimes be lacking in requisite detail from 9837 nautical miles away.

Geoffrey said...

I agree entirely Snidley, and in fact in a number of both public and private forums, I have made myself extremely unpopular by declaring my respect for and appreciation of Howard's Prime Ministership. I have been howled down and cursed for any and every observation in the positive and constructive vein.

But like anything ... dinner, sex, opera, flying and life ... the one certainty is that it will end. And I think the Stage Manager has just given the Front of House Curtain and the blackout their standby's.

Snidley Whiplash said...

I was a Young Liberal once, you know. I was even considering running for the Senate. Australian politics would have been very different had that lotus unfolded!

Geoffrey said...

Indeed! The mind boggles.

It's never to late you know Snidley? It's been a while since I've been a political Campaign Manager, but ...

Geoffrey said...

Errata: "It's never to late you know Snidley" was meant to say "It's never too late you know Snidely".

Humblest of apologies for this shameful lapse. Cringing with embarrassment here.

Nicholas Pickard said...

Did I just hear another bang??