Letters in the Sydney Morning Herald

September 19, 2008 at 6:16 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )


Time and tide waits for no man, including Costello

SMH 15/09/08

Despite announcing to everyone that he was ready for the leadership, Peter Costello could not seem to persuade anyone that he was. He couldn’t persuade John Howard, he couldn’t persuade his party, and the opinion polls showed he couldn’t persuade the electorate. As for the Liberals having a cult of the leader, no one was captivated by that more than Costello, who refused to challenge a leader he believed couldn’t win.

Costello wanted the leadership handed to him on a platter. He wasn’t prepared to do the hard graft of winning over the backbenchers, or to challenge, or to take on the leadership in opposition and prove his credentials at an election.

Perhaps, despite many qualities, he didn’t deserve to be prime minister.

Veronica Le Nevez Bexley

Brendan Nelson and a host of Liberal parliamentarians have said that Peter Costello has “earned the right” to decide when he leaves Parliament, based on his years of public service.

Is there any other profession in which you can draw your full salary, not perform your duties and spend your time parading yourself to alternative employers? Will the Liberal Party advocate the extension of this right to all public servants with long service? Will Nelson stand up for any nurses who are fired after choosing to exercise their “Costello rights”?

One can only wonder why the Government has been slow to make a similar point.

Geoff Austen Collaroy Plateau

Peter Costello has made it clear he intends to leave Parliament, but at his own convenience. He claims to represent his constituents, but it is clear his energies have been directed more towards writing and promoting his memoirs and seeking another position.

We elect members to represent our interests in Parliament and we expect them to give all their energy and ability.

Parliament is not a place where you park yourself to mark time or pursue private interests while receiving a higher salary than you are entitled to as a retired member.

Brian McGee Balgowlah

I have numerous books about men who have displayed inspiration, courage and leadership, combined with human frailties. Even if given a free copy of Peter Costello’s book, why would I bother to read about a whingeing, spineless, gutless wimp?

In the words of Wyatt Earp,

Peter, “you talk too much for a fighting man”.

Tony Nicod Mona Vale

Peter Costello can harp on about what might have been, but the facts are that he didn’t throw his hat in the ring and didn’t end up as leader. Or, as Shakespeare put it:

“There is a tide in the affairs

of men.

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat,

And we must take the current when it serves,

Or lose our ventures.”

David Wall Newtown


I see that Shakespeare, an American gunslinger and a 14th-century proverb have been invoked to explain poor Peter’s failure (Letters, September 15). May I suggest that Robbie Burns was much closer to the mark with “wee, sleekit, cow’rin’ tim’rous beastie”.

John Tuckfield Abbotsford    SMH  16/09/08


Before Peter Costello, or anyone else, rushes off to put into action David Wall’s advice from Shakespeare about taking the current when it serves (Letters, September 15), they ought to recall that those who took that advice lost their ventures, and their lives, in the ensuing battle.

Leonard Colquhoun Invermay (Tas)      SMH  17/09/08


An excellent response to my letter but it must also be remembered that Mark Antony after Brutus committed suicide said of him: “This was the noblest Roman of them all…” So, in a sense, I would still maintain that if nothing is ventured nothing is gained. Perhaps a rather mute point!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: