Just how desperate is Peter Costello in his attempts to become prime minister? He sounded pretty pathetic on Sundayyesterday:

LAURIE OAKES: Well, talking about Christmas and
presents, MPs – Government MPs elected at the last election, and
therefore subject to the new tougher superannuation rules, are
squealing because they get a smaller pay packet than MPs elected
before. Will the Government do something to increase their pay?

COSTELLO: The consequences of the superannuation changes is that it now
means there are two tiers of MPs. That was a consequence of the
proposal that Mr Latham put forward. I remember saying at the time that
this would be one of the consequences. I didn’t think it would be a
good consequence. Always a bad principle to take advice from Mr Latham…

was a crass bid for votes from whining p-plate pols who have suddenly
discovered the Canberra trough is shallower than they thought. Such
vision, treasurer! No wonder you only have a 34% preferred prime
minister rating (here).

than smirking and sneering, you should have acknowledged that the old
super scheme was an anachronism that built resentment between the
people and politicians. And you should have taken advantage of the
opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to openness and
transparency, to the highest ethics in government.

There is
subterranean muttering in Canberra – and in the states where super
reform has occurred – that the changes have actually created greater
potential for corruption. That MPs, feeling that their future
prosperity looks less secure, will be prepared to act as unofficial
lobbyists for various interest on the understanding that they will be
looked after when they retire.

Former children’s service
minister Larry Anthony is a beneficiary of the old super scheme. He’s
also young, just served eight years in parliament – and has been
allowed to walk into a cushy job in the area he had responsibility for
just months before. If Peter Costello wants to win votes, wants to
position himself as an alternative. He shouldn’t pander to MPs’ greed.

he should be acknowledging the abuses of power and position that now
exist, that reform of MPs’ superannuation is in step with community
demands – and calling for a further level of protection of public
interest by following overseas example and prevent abuse of political
office by placing a quarantine period of at least two years before
former parliamentarians can work in areas where they’ve exercised