When Peter Costello announced he was bowing out of the political leadership stakes on Sunday, it was so he could “spend more time with my family and do something for them”. When Mark Vaile followed him the next day it was also a family-motivated decision — “they deserve a bit of time and that’s what I want to give them”, he told the media, holding back tears.

Politicians seeking a work-life balance should be respected and supported. Politicians who use their long-suffering families as the PR pretext for cutting-and-running should be seen for what they are — liars.

The simple way of testing the sincerity of Costello and Vaile to “spend more time with my family” is to ask yourself: would either of them have abandoned high-level politics for their families if the Coalition had won Saturday’s election?

The answer is obvious, as is the hypocrisy.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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