You might have thought the Prime Minister could have made the effort to be there for his adversary of 27 years standing, but he did not. John Howard remains a miserable toad. The rest of the Howard ministry took their cue and also absented themselves — Robb and Nelson the exceptions. And know also that when Beazley finished speaking and sat down, and those in the public gallery got to their feet to join the applause of Beazley’s Labor colleagues and most of us in the press gallery, Andrew Robb and three of the Liberal backbenchers applauded, too.
Brendan Nelson did not.
I always liked Kim Beazley — which, you should note, is not the same thing as saying he’d make a good Prime Minister. He was a strategic thinker and a good orator, both skills lacking in modern politics.