The biggest story in the Van Errington biography of John Howard isn’t what Peter Costello thinks of the Prime Minister, but just what he thinks. It proves once and for all what a pathetic and petulant pretender he is.

No Placido Domingo speeches for poor Petey-poo. No “megacom” battles. Just gnawing on bones in the dark like Gollum. For years and years and years.

Poor pouty Pete is still upset about the Shane Stone memo from 2001. He got all stroppy that the PM thought of giving a diplomatic job to his factional enemy Jeff (the Victorian Liberal Party is so much more important than the world).

Worst of all, a bloke he clearly hates and his missus have never asked poor Petey-poo and his missus round to either the Lodge or Kirribilli House for dinner in all the time they’ve been there. Oh, the agony!

If the man who controls the Howard government’s purse strings disagrees with the Howard government’s spending priorities, he should go to the backbench or challenge.

At the moment, Prime Minister Howard’s policies look as if they may deliver the same sort of results for the Liberals in 2007 and Treasurer Howard’s helped to do in 1983.

There’s still a chance Costello will be able to seize the job he covets before the election. But his showing in the polls is even worse than Howard’s. Poor pouty Peter. Poor Gollum. He might grab his Precious – then fall into the volcano.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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