OK, so
you stole the lead story on the front page of The Oz on Saturday from the PM
and may finally be making some hopeful noises on tax
– but Cossie, mate, you wedge like a girl.

“Given
that Cabinet quite explicitly considered this matter [deporting Muslim
militants with dual citizenship] some months ago and decided not to go down
that route, Costello’s comments struck me as inexplicable, except as cheap
nasty populism,” a commentator wrote on the weekend. “I wonder if Costello ever
will be prime minister. I ponder whether he ever should be. His recent comments
seem to have no connecting threat except to follow perfectly the pervading
zeitgeist on every issue.”

Some Fairfax pinko? Er, no. It was that old
grouper Greg Sheridan, writing in The Oz. And he had more to say:

After ten years with Costello as Treasurer,
the Government still confiscates half of every extra dollar someone on
barely twice the average income earns. As Treasurer he can’t fix the
tax system but he’s become an expert on Islam.

To condemn extremists when they appear is absolutely right. To
just go on and on with these lazy, incendiary remarks, without a
skerrick of any positive direction in them, is a very poor show,
irresponsible, distinctly low class

And he’s
absolutely right. Costello was as convincing sucking up to the Uglies as he is
when he masquerades as a moderate. Maybe even less so. That will work wonders
with his backbench cred. Not.

The wedge
bounced off Beazley. The opposition leader simply responded to Costello’s
comments with: “He’s been in office for ten
years. If he’s got a problem with people who come into this country who are
committed to jihad or committed to any form of violence, why doesn’t he do
something about it?”

No, sorry, Peter. You wedge like a girl. Leave it to the master. John
Howard’s still there to enjoy his party. All the parties. The party he shows no
signs on relinquishing his grip on – and all the parties this week to mark the
tenth anniversary of his election as PM.

Peter Fray

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