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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

PM not to retire...just yet

In The Australian earlier this week Prime Minister Howard, to use the Australian vernacular, had a go at the new Leader of the Opposition:

What is interesting is that, having promised a new style of Labor leadership, Kevin Rudd has adopted the same basic approach as every one of his predecessors since 1996. The same crude demonisation of the Government on grounds of fairness. The same hyperbolic overreach. The same absence of solid facts and coherent argument.

He then turned, as we would expect of a self-confessed "cricket tragic", to Australia's regaining of the Ashes. Various versions of his comments have been published, including one online on the Herald-Sun website and an expanded version in The Advertiser (not online), in which he offers what by the standards of the rest of the Australian media is a restrained assessment of Australia's victories. There's still nothing on his website, which is unusual for someone who likes to preserve every public utterance, from doorstep interviews to major speeches, on the record.

In previous years during the SCG test Mr Howard has done guest commentary slots on both ABC Radio and Channel 9 TV. Perhaps he's angling to join Richie Benaud, Mark Nicholas and co after his retirement from the PMship. There again he might be happy just to take heart from Richie, who is still going strong well into his 70s and 40+ years on TV, and stay in office.

The PM's cricket writing is much less forceful than his political prose. For example, he says this about the England team's Kevin: "Kevin Pietersen has performed extremely well and tested the Australians with his great determination with the willow".

If this is the best he can do then, setting any personal feelings to one side, I'd advise Mr Howard not to give up his day job...just yet.
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