Yes. Cats well know that last week, Prime Minister Turnbull was deposed. The Prime Minister is gone. Long live the Prime Minister.
And as with every such Prime Ministerial change, stories and analyses abound of who did what to whom and how and how hard. Plenty of fingers are being pointed at who is to blame, yet remarkably, fingers don’t seem to be pointing to the person Spartacus considers deserves the greatest share of blame.
As an aside, Spartacus does not think this change in executive Government leadership is such a bad thing. Try to effect such a change in leadership in China, North Korea or the CFMMEU. But this aside aside, Spartacus would argue that the biggest chunk of blame for the messy events of the last week, and to a degree the past 11 years, should fall on Lord Saint John Winston Howard.
Now Spartacus does not think John Howard was a good Prime Minister. Yes he was better than what was on offer from the Labor Party, but that is not the high a benchmark. As Prime Minister, John Howard built the second floor extension to the Australian middle class welfare edifice. And he did a major renovation of the downstairs while he was at it. He was also aided and abetted in the task by Peter Costello who, amongst other things, painted the new baby bonus room.
But in addition to the giant and unnecessary growth in the size of the state directed and oversee by him (not a small failing by itself), Lord Saint John failed in what is generally considered the first priority of the leader of any large organisation; succession planning and succession management.
Consider the counter-factual of John Howard resigning and facilitating an orderly transition to Peter Costello. And yes again, Costello was not great either, but he was better than what was otherwise on offer within the Labor Party (Rudd/Gillard) or the Liberal Party (Abbott/Turnbull).
Yes. Costello would have likely lost the 2007 election, but chances were he would not have resigned from Parliament. And given he would have taken the LNP to the election, Rudd would not have gotten the majority of seats he did. Additionally, the LNP would not have flailed about with the B-team of Abbott, Hockey, Nelson and Turnbull.
This begs the question of why did Howard create the conditions for such damage to be done the party he claims to love? One might suggest it was because he loved something else much much more than Country and Party …. himself. Narcissus with bushy eye brows.
Postulating counter-factuals is easy. Perhaps things would have played out differently. But we will never know because Lord Saint John did not get out of the way.