Watching the government implode

Photograph of John Howard and Janelle Howard at the Commonwealth Games in 2006

How can I be expected to do any “constructive” work today when there’s such wonderful entertainment on offer: the Howard government imploding so, so fast.

Spend some time looking at this photo of John and Hyacinth (left) in happier times, the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, because there may not be any more happy times for these two.

(Even in this photo, though, it looks like our Prime Minister would rather be somewhere else — though Hyacinth seems to be, well, excited.)

Even in the few hours since I suggested Malcolm Turnbull would be the Coalition’s best choice to fight a rearguard action, and about Howard’s submissive body language, there’s been two fascinating developments.

Crikey has published an analysis of the Liberal’s own Crosby/Textor polling, which seems to have been leaked to everyone and their dog.

[Update: Crikey has removed the article following legal requests. As of 6pm it’s still online at Possums Pollytics.]

Lots of fascinating graphs, but the summary tells it all:

Howard has conceded the election, but hasn’t told his marginal seat holders.

Talk about an election being a circuit breaker is simply for internal Coalition consumption.

The Liberal leadership knows they’ve lost. They’ve conceded the election, which is why they are running a firewall strategy.

They have lost but cannot tell their own marginal seat holders because a riot will break out and turn a defeat into destruction.

Shhhh! Don’t tell them, OK?

And also today Queensland Premier Peter Beattie announced his retirement.

He has been in the top job for more than nine years and is the longest serving of all current state and territory leaders in Australia.

Mr Beattie says he believes leaders should stay in the top job for about eight years, but he stayed beyond that because he wanted to see three major projects completed or well under way…

“If governments don’t renew, they die. If parties don’t renew, they die.”

John Howard missed his chance to retire when he was at his peak. He missed his chance to retire when he’d served a nice, round 10 years. He missed his chance to retire when he became the second-longest serving PM of this country. He missed the chance to pass the baton as he supposedly agreed. Now he’s missed the chance to retire gracefully at the end of APEC and give someone, anyone, a fighting chance of salving what’s left of the Coalition government.

John Howard, for all your talk of decency and doing the “appropriate” thing, you’ve turned into Gollum. It’s to pass Your Precious to someone else.

On the other hand, do feel free to continue as you are. Because, as I say, it’s wonderful entertainment!

8 Replies to “Watching the government implode”

  1. @Snarky Platypus: And now I’m laughing out loud. Because the first half of the article has already gone out in 35,000-odd emails. Annoyingly I’d closed my web browser window, so I couldn’t save a copy.

    But this is the Internet, and as Joe Rogan’s character on Newsradio once said, “Dude, you can’t take something off the Internet… that’s like trying to take pee out of a swimming pool.”

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