In my last column, Out of Touch Politicians and Republicanism, I referred to the editorial in The Australian on 25 August 2005 which implied that an elite agenda, one including republicanism, is the sign of an out of touch politician.
Having considered Labor’s move to the Centre, The Editor then turned his gaze on to the Coalition, noting that the Treasurer Peter Costello is now leaning to the Right, wisely working to establish his intellectual credentials for leadership.
It is not so many years ago, observed the editor, that the Treasurer seemed set on flirting with the "doctors’ wives", of the Liberal Left who were keen on the republic, refugees and reconciliation.
“There is no reason to question the Treasurer’s sincerity, but some of these interests might have surprised supporters who remembered his original political persona. Mr Costello stormed into parliament as a conservative hero following his legal triumph over union thuggery in the Dollar Sweets case of the mid 1980s."
The Australian said that it now seems Mr Costello is again sailing under social conservative colours.
"In the past few days he has criticised schools that do not teach history, praised our alliance with the US and taken a swipe at left-wing activists who argue globalisation is an American plot."
" And on ABC TV on Tuesday night he had a red-hot go at Muslim clerics who do not accept Australian law and values."
It is all sensible stuff, said The Australian. The implication is: forget about the republic , Mr Costello. It won’t get you into The Lodge.
Until next time,