What were those comments in The Oz about a “lazy Treasurer”?

“I
am one of those people that finds it difficult to plan in advance so if
I was given homework I wouldn’t do on the first day,” Peter Costello told kids from Cleveland State High School in Brisbane yesterday. “I would always do it in the last hour before it was due in.”

So
we gather, Treasurer. John Howard obviously did his homework as early
as possible. So did Brendan Nelson, Alexander Downer, Tony Abbott and
Malcolm Turnbull, we presume.

Things are looking very difficult
for the Treasurer at the moment. It’s generally regarded that if
there’s no change in the Liberal leadership in the next couple of
months, then there won’t be one until at least the first half of 2008 –
unless, of course, the Government is defeated at the next election.

The
Liberal federal director Brian Loughnane has warned the Coalition it
has a “perilously” small margin for error at the next election after
the proposed redistribution reduced the uniform swing Labor needs to
win, The Agereports today.

These
tactics are familiar. Despite polls pointing to a Labor win, the
Coalition remains the bookies’ favourite. Government strategists need
to minimise any sense of complacency or hubris on the backbench – or
any sense amongst punters that a protest vote isn’t risky.

But
they also focus attention on the Government’s known strengths – which
has got to be bad news for someone’s leadership intentions.

PS
Curiously, the Prime Minister’s transcripts are now being distributed
as part of the Coalition FYI email brief for MPs, Senators and stafers.

Peter Fray

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