The Art of the Australian Insult

Snarky schoolboy
April 1, 2009, 10:43 pm
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“If Mr Costello were to generate a few ideas of his own on the nation’s future, instead of snarking at those who do, he might sound less like an envious schoolboy furious about being dropped from the debating team.”

Jen Woodcombe of St Clair responds to Peter Costello’s criticism of the 2020 sumit.

Contemplating the navel
March 17, 2009, 10:47 pm
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“At least looking at Pauline Hanson’s navel is more interesting than reading about Peter Costello contemplating his.”

Robbie Roach, Randwick, NSW, letter to The Australian

March 13, 2009, 10:08 am
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“Costellonomy, like bird watching, is a discipline best suited to the very patient.”

Annabel Crabb reflects on the fascination of the media with Peter Costello. Labor politicians are fascinated by him too. “I’ve known him for a very long time – longer than you characters have known him. And I can’t work him out. Does he have a cunning plan?” Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner said to the Opposition.

“Every minute the cameras spend on Peter Costello doing nothing is a minute they don’t spend on Malcolm Turnbull doing something,” observes Crabb. “This is Turnbull’s central difficulty.”

Lazy, unelectable, disloyal…I could go on
February 23, 2009, 7:11 am
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“It was just another example of your disloyalty to the party and of your willingness to destabilise in pursuit of your personal, unattainable ambition.”

Moreover, all the polling that I have ever seen or heard of – Liberal or Labor – has had you as unelectable. This should be enough to convince you but, if not, then you should have an honest look at yourself. You are bone lazy…
I also doubt you have the skills, experience or self-confidence to have accepted the obvious job after losing the last election, namely shadow treasurer. You’d be lost without Treasury. You may have delivered 11 budgets but ask yourself honestly how many of them were actually yours, rather than Treasury’s.”

You should also recognise that your indulgent “memoirs”, released recently, did not provide the platform from which you had obviously hoped to be drafted. They were received with a yawn. They were being sold at a discount in my local bookstore in just a few days.”

Former leader of the Liberal Party, John Hewson, launches an extraordinarily vicious attack on the man once widely expected to replace John Howard at the helm, Peter Costello. In response, Janet Albrechtsen of The Australian hit out at Hewson by parodying him:

“John. Enough is enough. If your few remaining mates won’t tell you, I will. You’ve had a fair go and you fluffed it, remember. Having gone down in Liberal Party history as a failed political leader, you lack a certain gravitas, not to mention credibility, to now tell the party how to get its house in order so it can win the next election. But, John, just between us girls, we know that helping the Liberal Party was not your real intent was it?”

Asserting a leadership role
October 16, 2008, 2:03 am
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“Peter Costello writes “Australia must assert a leadership role now or it will be left out” (“We must not sow the seeds of the next crisis”, October 15). He would know all about asserting a leadership role or being left out, wouldn’t he?”

John Mahony Paddington, letter to the Sydney Morning Herald.

It’s not the smirk, it’s the sense of entitlement
September 21, 2008, 11:52 pm
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“Thank heavens the man is about to exit the political stage because, quite frankly, I’m not sure I could take another minute of him.”

Leslie Cannold on Peter Costello. She explains, “It’s not the smirk. It’s the sense of entitlement.” She concludes:

“Costello isn’t unemployed but if there was any justice in the world, he would be. Out on his ass in a pile of snow streaked yellow with dog pee. I’ve worked in a number of places in my time, but none where I had the option to throw aside the job description so I could use the office space to focus on things I found more lucrative and interesting.”

An exercise in egomania
September 15, 2008, 3:09 am
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Treasurer Wayne Swan declares that Peter Costello’s memoirs “are an exercise in egomania if ever I’ve seen one” and argues,

“Apart from the well-documented pea-hearted involving the leadership, he was a policy lamb. He was so timid that, despite saying he would strike out in areas of his own, he never did…

“He launched a couple of petulant but futile attempts to get Howard to take his back and ball and go home.”