Australia's most tedious, snore inducing soap opera is finally over.
Peter Costello has confirmed his almost year old decision not to go after the leadership of the Liberal Party.
He doesn't want to lead the Liberal Party, and won't, and he didn't even bother informing his Liberal allies, let alone the Opposition in general, that he was going public with this announcement and that announcement basically was "Fuck you very much."
Tony Abbott was interviewed on Lateline. He was there to talk about why Rudd should make the old age pension increases that the Howard government refused to make, when this breaking news about Costello was dropped on him.
Abbott looked stunned and infuriated. But mostly Abbott looked humiliated, and for good reason. He'd spent the past few months debasing himself as he sang Costello's praises, lionising him, legendising him at every opportunity, in the vain hope that just maybe Costello would reconsider his November, 2007, decision to not become the leader of the Liberals, and to quit Parliament completely before the next election.
Costello didn't even call Abbott to tell him to give it a rest, and to remind him that he wasn't going to bring this Save The Liberals From Utter Oblivion fantasy to life. Ever.
Abbott may be one of the creepiest human-like creatures ever elected to public office, anywhere in the world, in history, but Costello has acted like a right fuckwit through much of this, and Abbott shouldn't have been allowed to continually sing Costello's praises, and publicly beg him to take the leadership off Brendan Nelson.
Whatever Costello might have said was unlikely to have stopped media speculation about who would replace Brendan "I'm very popular on the open road" Nelson, but many of the 'leaks' and 'rumours' about Costello secretly planning to stay on and become Liberals Leader that fueled all this absurd months of newspaper front pages and acres of Opinion came from Costello's friends and media allies.
It's all been a rather nasty little business, with Nelson copping most of the fallout, but then we are talking about the Liberal Party here and they're not famous for their humanity, loyalty or compassions. Even to each other.
Now Costello will further destroy the few remaining tattered shreds of Liberals credibility with a media crusade to flog his incredibly expensive ($55!) book.
Sources familiar with the memoir believe it will reignite tensions within the Liberal Party, and could see open warfare between those loyal to Mr Howard and others who wanted him to resign before last November's election.Good Christ, who fucking cares anymore?
Mr Costello will controversially argue that he was given a "wink and a nod" on five or six occasions by either Mr Howard or his close allies on a succession plan.
The book will earn back its advance, but not much more. There simply isn't enough meat on the bones, or blood on the pages, for the book to sell beyond 40,000 copies. Costello isn't regarded as Australia's Greatest Living Treasurer by most Australians, in fact he's widely thought of as a bit of a wanker and a softcock for not going after the leadership. This book is not expected to do anything much to change those kinds of views.
Expect to see John Howard's first post-election interview on the 7.30 Report sometime in the next two weeks, as he attempts to counter Costello's "I Created Australia's Golden Age" twaddle-waffle around the country.