Read yesterday’s Question Time in the Reps. There isn’t too much of it – pages 22 to 30 of yesterday’s Hansard.

Notice
something? Peter Costello only became animated when he was dumping the
PM in the sh*t. He gave four brief answers to shadow treasurer Wayne
Swan, waited for Kim Beazley to get to his feet – and then let rip:

Mr
BEAZLEY (3.07 pm)—My question is the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer
to the fact that the Prime Minister yesterday told the ABC program the Insiders: Peter came to me and said, ‘What about Robert Gerard?’ Did the Treasurer say that to the Prime Minister?

Mr
COSTELLO—I probably said, ‘Mr Prime Minister, how are you today?’ Then,
having got on his right side I said, ‘You are looking fit and healthy
as per normal.’ After going through the formalities, since we were
looking for somebody who is a manufacturer, preferably from outside
Sydney or Melbourne, I think I would have said to him, ‘What about Mr
Rob Gerard?’ And I have never seen such an enthusiastic response in all
my life. Having had such an enthusiastic response, the next thing we
did was to go into cabinet. We said to the cabinet, ‘What about Mr Rob
Gerard?’

I do not want to gild the lily but all of the South
Australian cabinet ministers started swinging from the rafters saying,
‘What a wonderful idea it is to have a South Australian on the Reserve
Bank board!’ Let me let you into a secret: some of those South
Australian ministers are very agile and very flexible when they swing
from the rafters. There was unanimous support in the cabinet.

The line being spun on Saturday was that the Treasurer had the PM’s support over the Gerard affair. Then came Insiders. Well… we all know how that changed things, now, don’t we?

Mind you, we’ve got to say that the Treasurer looked assured in his performance yesterday. Assured. And like a complete turd.

Which isn’t how you become leader – as Michael Brissenden hinted at in a finely crafted 7:30 Report yarn
last night with some nice archival footage of Hawke and Keating and a
shot of Richo that underlined the fact once again that for all the
noise, Dollar Sweetie’s got no numbers.

Peter Fray

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