Hillary has snapped out of her deep funk and our greatest asset is back filing for Crikey, thanks god.

Hillary took last week off. When a week begins with the Rodent romping in and ends with little Lleyton Hewitt becoming world number one, what else can you do? (And when your election forecasts are miles off, it pays to keep your head down.)

We all know why the Coalition was returned, and Australia is diminished for it. Still, it gives Peter Costello a task that will demonstrate he deserves the leadership re-establishing Australia’s economic engagement with the world and explaining its necessity and benefits to ordinary people.

Costello looks a cert for a term as PM in his own right, after Fart Boy’s absurd decision to resign. Slim is a thoroughly decent man who was largely defeated by events outside his control. True, Knowledge Nation probably only ever excited that old troglodyte Barry Jones, but otherwise Slim simply emulated the Rodent’s successful strategy. When election time came, however, a war was on and the government had whipped up a storm of xenophobia and blown the surplus (repairing the damage of the PM’s panicky porkbarrelling will be another chance for Costello to prove his mettle).

Slimy Simey is as popular as a crap in the Cornflakes. Slim could have waited until mid-term then had some genuine generational change. And the fact that Dr Feelgood seems set to continue on his frontbench is a disgrace.

Fairy fight at the bottom of the garden

Things are looking nasty at the bottom of the garden as Satan struggles to keep her job. The Dems have an automatic leadership spill after each election. Will Mystic Meg try to win her old job back or will Aden Ridgeway make a move? The exact number of Democrats to be returned remains unknown, so the final number of Democrat factions (the number of Senators divided by one) is also unclear. And if the Mystic One returns, what then? Will battling balladeer John Schumann rejoin? And what happened to that lower house seat. Oh dear.

Bob Brown and Salem

The Tom’s de Torquemada of Tassie, Bob Brown, says he’s the big winner out of it all. Brown would have great in Salem back in 1692, but unless you’re into superstition and scaremongering, it’s rather hard to see what he and the Greens have to offer.

Still, Pauline lost so we should all be happy.

The exciting election

The really exciting election is about to come the election for the job of Speaker. No-one wants Neil Andrew he’s the only one who hasn’t realised it and a fascinating field is lining up. Kevin Andrew, the Marlboro Man David Jull, Bob Charles and even Ross Cameron have all been tipped for the job.

Wilson Tuckey’s name keep appearing, too. Howard only put him in the Ministry to stop him from running for the job last time. With Tuckey tipped to dumped in this week’s reshuffle, what will he do?

Token women

With Bronny and Kacky Jelly tipped to be dropped from the Ministry, speculation is increasing over which women will fill the gaps. Long serving Senator Kay Patterson and 96ers Jo Gash and Sharman Stone have been tipped as possibilities, along with the no-profile Margaret May. Hillary cannot even recall her asking a dixer. Does anyone know what this person actually does?

You must be kidding

A fascinating rumour reaches Hillary that Ho Chi Minchin is considering employing Vicki Thompson, one the two Thelma and Louise chiefs of staff to former South Australian premier Buffy Olsen recently disgraced by a judicial inquiry.

Ho has a brain, surely.

Hillary Bray can be contacted at [email protected]

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