Treasurer Costello was told he was a lost dog and Slick Turnbull would replace him

Peter Costello was told he couldn’t do it. After a rehearsed and lengthy rallying speech on election night he appeared to walk away from the leadership of the Libs. Michelle Grattan says he was gutless and couldn’t stand the coming fight as leader. No, on the night he was certainly preparing the Party for his leadership. On and on he talked, as though he was still in government, attempting to give the Party his brand, until John Howard hit the screens. Costello went on talking but the failure had eclipsed him already. Those powerbrokers watching knew then he was a lost dog. They acted quickly and decisively. In his speech John Howard only gave Costello faint support as future leader, a far cry to his raving about him on previous occasions, so the change had already been mooted. A secret and restricted Party poll of Melbourne Club members had sliced through Costello’s capacity to lead. People actually knew who Malcolm Turnbull was and liked him. Costello has never been liked.

The power brokers knew generational change was required quickly and the gutless Costello, who never developed the fortitude to take on Howard, even when the PM was at his weakest, was told to walk. Slick Turnbull, who had the guts to tell Howard he was wanting a month ago, will be given the gurnsey for the others are tainted by Howard’s progressive lying stunts and showed themselves incapable of defying the crippled leader.

Perhaps the media should follow up ex-MP Stewart Fergus MacArthur’s siblings and nephews (all members of the Melbourne Club) – cousins of the Baillieus – for further comment.

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