The Costello departure now – now, when he could have been useful to Turnbull by simply keeping the seat filled until the election – shows what happens when a party founded on the idea of the individual crashes to the ground.

It simply shatters into a thousand shards, all edge, no weight.

Labor, meanwhile tends to break like one of those five thousand dollar salad bowls they design for warships  – evenly into two bits, with no shredding, and capable of eventual repair.

Had there been sufficient solidarity, Costello would have taken the reins after Nov 07, led the party to its inevitable ’10 defeat, with sufficient leadership for it to limit its losses, and be in position for a new leader, able to claim cleanskin.

Now the Libs are staring at losing ’10 and ’13 in ’10 – and with no guarantee that they will be competitive by ’16.

If that plays out, you can kiss the Coalition goodbye – the Nats will decide that they can revive themselves by tearing up the non-compete agreement, grab a half-dozen rural/regional seats from the Libs, and deal with both major parties.

When she goes, she really goes. Thanks Peter (Monash ALP club ’75) – your long undercover operation is complete.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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