Even seen parents who only seem to promise good things to their brood once the chance has been blown? Where the potential for something good exists only as a punishment – where it is never actually realised, and the kids gradually cease believing that it’s even possible?
I suspect John Howard was one of those:
According to Mr Howard, he was planning to hand the leadership to his deputy with the intention of prolonging Coalition rule.
But he abandoned this plan, he said, because Mr Costello overplayed the revelation in 2006 that they had a longstanding handover agreement.
Under public pressure from Mr Costello, Mr Howard decided to dig in and remained leader until he lost government, and his seat of Bennelong, in 2007.
Yes, of course. If Costello had only been a little more gutless and obedient, to a level unprecedented in political life, his great patron would have eventually deigned to honour his earlier agreement. Maybe even while the Liberals still had a chance of winning!
Sure he would have.
Remember, in politics, it’s those who meekly sit back and accept what’s given to them who become leader. If only Peter had blindly trusted more, and exercised his own judgment less, he might be Prime Minister today!
Meanwhile, Tony Abbott (and Joe Hockey in particular) must be thanking their benevolent celestial objects for the desperately-needed distraction.