The Peter Costello media bandwagon is off and running again. The 12-year-old story about his prime ministerial ambitions, his off-again, on-again pursuit of power, is filling the vacant minds in Canberra once more.

Amid the speculation, the real story is this. Costello still has delusions of occupying The Lodge. But he won't accept the Liberal leadership unless it is presented to him by the parliamentary party, without reservations.