This is the first column of the 2007 federal election, that I know of, by a key member of The Australian editorial writing team that sounds the alarm, and calls a state of emergency for Howard and the Liberals. What a headline :
'Howard Doomed, One Way Or Another'The short version is Howard's days are over, he has to go.
Michael Costello lays out three options. Howard can step down with most of his dignity intact, for the good of the party; a desperate life-saving patch-up attempt on Howard could be made to try and stop the festering wounds from bleeding and weeping all the way to the election; Howard can get the tap on the shoulder and refuse to go, and then fight a bloody, gore-soaked leadership challenge.
Costello says all three options are basically bad. But Howard and the Liberals have no choice left now. John Howard has to go :
Howard is close to the end of his political career one way or another. He may as well go out doing the right thing by his party.The flow of 'Howard Must Go' editorials from The Australian will soon become a torrent.
Did Rupert send a memo?
UPDATE : Good to see the op-ed writers of The Australian, like Michael Costello, getting some badly needed inspiration from a story on this blog back on July 5 :
After 11 years as prime minister of Australia, John Howard stands today a doomed man. And he knows it.
And early next week, terrible poll numbers, and sweeping rumours of a leadership challenge, will confirm it for the entire nation.
UPDATE : On Lateline last night, Tony "The Cleaner" Abbott was asked for his thoughts about the Costello Vs Howard leadership war still being fought, very publicly, only a few months out from the election. Abbott supplied the kind of deep, thoughtful insight that he has become famous for :
"Shit happens..."It certainly does, more and more often to Howard and the Liberals. Rudd and Labor barely even have to try anymore. The Liberals are eating each other alive as the ship goes down. It only gets uglier, and more bloody, and more entertaining, from here on in.
Jeanette Howard : The Puppet Master Of The Prime Minister
Howard's Army At War With Itself - The Rats In The Ranks Killing NSW Victory Hopes
Howard, The Failed Treasurer - By Peter Costello
Why Should The Public Trust John Howard When Peter Costello Does Not?