Celebrations are occurring across Australia to commemorate the tenth year that Peter Costello’s leadership ambitions have been thwarted. The jubilation was heightened as the nation simultaneously marked the tenth anniversary of Australia not being run by Paul Keating, Kim Beazley, Simon Crean or Mark Latham.
“The community must recognise the good work Mr Howard has done for all of us, defending us from Muslims, refugees and Costello” said Eppington resident Maree Warburton. “I’d mark it with a holiday, except I’ve recently had my holiday entitlements stripped from me.”
“Who would have ever thought back in 1987 that John Howard would be Prime Minister for over 10 years?” said another supporter. “Apart from pessimists and depressives, of course.”
The occasion was marked by the usual speculation over the PM’s retirement. Howard responded as always by stating that he would remain for as long as his party wanted him to – that is, for as long as Peter Costello remains his heir apparent.
Even the usually disciplined Howard allowed himself the opportunity to celebrate, spending this week indulging in one of his favourite leisure pastimes, racebaiting. Mr Howard argued that rogue elements of the community should be forced to integrate more, and in particular some Nationals senators.
However, Howard’s decision to celebrate the milestone has been a belated one. The Prime Minister originally denied all knowledge of his tenth anniversary in power, arguing that no one in his office had been told of it. Finally when media reports about the anniversary reached a crescendo, he fired a lowly bureaucrat for allowing it to happen.
Upon realising how popular his anniversary was with swinging voters, though, he began making coded remarks in interviews implying a tacit support for it, and tested the waters by sending Tony Abbott out to loudly and insensitively support it, before fully embracing it himself.
Tributes and gifts have flown freely throughout the week. But the triumphant Liberal leader maintains that his greatest gift was delivered by the Labor Party when they re-elected Kim Beazley as Opposition Leader.