I well remember the night Jeff Kennett lost office in 1999 – that was on the day Carlton beat the Bombers in a semi-final by a single point. A double whammy.
More importantly it was 15 years ago.
Since that time there have been a number of calls for Kennett to return to politics and lead the Victorian Liberal Party. In the past few days we’ve heard them again. The AFR this morning had a story pooh-poohing the whole thing:
One of the perennials of Victorian state politics is the quite rational desire to get Jeff Kennett to return.
While the urge is understandable, it’s not going to happen – which is what we think state Planning Minister Matthew Guy meant when he told ABC radio on Tuesday that a return to politics by the former premier was like a comeback by the Spice Girls. (Minister, where were you on their 2007-08 reunion tour? Honestly.)
So everyone is having a bit of a laugh – but there is a deeper problem.
The Victorian Liberals haven’t managed to renew themselves in 15 years; 11 of those in opposition and 4 in government. For the coming November election Labor are $1.22 to win and the Coalition $4.15.