I find this a bizarre turn of events, especially so for Brendan Nelson.
If, as is noted in this brief article, Brendan Nelson knows he’s expected to step aside for Peter Costello, if Costello makes it known he wants the big chair, I’m driven to wonder just how long Nelson has known of his party’s expectations? Has this seat-warming sojourn of Nelson’s been an exercise in fort holding by the Liberals since 24 November last? Was it always the intention of Nick Minchin and other brokers within the party to coerce, cajole and otherwise jolly Costello back into the leadership? Was it always planned that Costello would make a comeback, but only after allowing some in the party to view the wilderness which awaits them at the hands of other pretenders?
For mine, I’ve always believed Costello would assume the Liberal Party leadership, but in his own time. The man has a Machiavellian streak in his make-up which denies claims of gutlessness in the face of numbers challenges. As I read somewhere earlier in the week, Costello isn’t necessarily ‘gutless’. He simply knows how to count. I do find the situation of Nelson being aware that if Costello gives him the nod, he’s expected to vacate the chair. That’s simply not politics, nor do I believe it’s in Nelson’s nature to tug the forelock and depart.