If Peter Costello were to consult an uberspinmeister on the best steps to maximise his future professional options, the advice would go a little something like this:

  1. Make your book a manifesto on the future of the Liberal Party, conservative politics and political leadership in Australia.
  2. Sprinkle it with gravitas — but also make it lively and readable (especially the newspaper extracts). Lace it with anecdotes that support the manifesto, but don’t use it as an attack dog against colleagues.
  3. The exception to this is John Howard. He is absolutely fair game in describing how and why he lost the election, but don’t get too personal. Maintain the serious tone.
  4. When you do the book publicity, focus on the manifesto and the leadership requirements. Rise above the personalities.
  5. Don’t be dismayed by the muted responses to your job applications — the timing is wrong for a former Liberal Treasurer to stride the Big End of Town.
  6. You’re a political operator par excellence; you don’t need to switch professions.
  7. Hang in there, stay calm, remain serious, don’t lower yourself into personality baiting.
  8. Persistence in politics is everything. Remember Lincoln. Remember Howard. Remember Nixon.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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