Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Verbiage wins the day

Australian Prime Minister John Howard, talking to Macquarie Radio, expands volubly and relentlessly on the problems that do not beset the federal Liberal Party:

There was naturally, within the party, discussion about our political position given some of the published polls and nobody has behaved in a disloyal fashion towards me.

Yes, Prime Minister, that’s very nice to hear.

There have been some suggestions that Mr Downer, Mr Turnbull, Mr Costello have been behaving in some kind of disloyal fashion. They haven’t.

No, of course they haven’t, perish the thought.

And the discussions that ministers had occurred with my approval and my sanction and it’s the act of a mature group of men and women that if they have a political challenge, they should talk about it.

Yes, of course, of course.

We’ve had a party meeting and there was absolutely no evidence in that party meeting of any desire on the part of the party for any change in the current leadership team and that remains the position. It has been the position for some time and that’s the position that will obtain into the election and beyond.

Yes, we see.

I can certainly confirm that I fully agreed with Mr Downer talking to the colleagues about our position and giving me a report on that discussion, yes. Nothing he did was in any way disloyal or in any way designed to hurt me. Alexander Downer is a close friend of mine.

Thank you, Prime Minister, and good night.

And there is no suggestion, and can I say Peter Costello behaved, you know, quite properly throughout the whole of this thing and any suggestion that he was trying to do anything dirty or do me in would be quite wrong.

Okay, okay.

Peter’s been, you know, very, he has legitimate ambitions and I applaud ambition and that’s a fine thing. There is nothing wrong with ambition. I’m all for it.

Alright already.

I mean I think I’ve demonstrated in the past little while that I’ve got a lot. I mean, when I said yesterday, I’ve never run from a fight in my life, that was really directed at the Labor Party.

You mean? You mean? Give it a rest.

I mean there was some people running around saying well look the polls look so bad, this that and the other, Howard will fall on his sword, Howard will go, he won’t stay around and fight.

Enough already.

Well, I’ll tell you what, it’s alien to my nature. I mean this is going to be a tough campaign for me. I recognise that but I’ve got a lot of energy, I’ve got a lot of ideas and a lot of enthusiasm and I’m really dedicated to winning. I’ve got a much better team than Mr Rudd has.

Over and out, Prime Minister.

We can still win this election. I really believe that and I think the most important thing for Liberals now to do is to focus on what the Australian people want and the Australian people’s future —

I’ve stopped listening, sir.

— not our futures. We’re really irrelevant to this, it’s the future of the country that matters to people and I believe that what people are wanting from us is a more detailed explanation of how we propose to use the prosperity we clearly now have for the benefit of future generations of Australians.



Meanwhile, poor old ‘Tip’ Costello, as ever, is out of the loop and kept in the dark:

“The meetings didn’t involve me and I didn’t know they were taking place,” he said.


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