Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bringing back the biff in Australian politics

From today's Sydney Morning Herald:

Former Labor prime minister Paul Keating says John Howard and Peter Costello were "the biggest pair of policy bums the country has ever had''.

Mr Keating today slammed the Liberal Party for reconsidering Mr Costello as a leadership candidate, calling the former treasurer a "nong'' and a "mouse'' in an acerbic attack at a book launch in Sydney today.

He said Mr Costello had "not made one valuable structural change in the 12 years he was treasurer''.

"He's a guy without imagination and he is a guy without courage. That point was proven by the fact he let (former prime minister) Howard stay there for so long,'' he said.

"It's a Liberal Party so bereft of talent that they have to go to such a low-grade performer as Costello to come back as their leader.''

Senior Liberals have said Mr Costello will not challenge Brendan Nelson for the Liberal leadership but may agree to a "friendly takeover'' if Dr Nelson stands aside, according to News Ltd reports.

Mr Keating said such a move would be ruinous for the opposition but good for Labor.

"In national terms, to have such a nong - and he is, in policy terms he is a mouse - to have him back again, speaks volumes about the Liberal Party,'' Mr Keating said.

"In Labor Party terms, I sort of hope he does, as he makes it a better pitch for us.''

When Keating speaks, you still do pay attention. Meanwhile, Peter Costello goes jogging (yawn!), and tells us he knocked back a job with the World Gold Council (yawn! - what about a job with the IOC?), as we wait six weeks for his memoirs.

More boring Glenn Mine columns await us.

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