The Liberal Party machine is not concerned about the fact that the Howard Government introduced both the Goods and Services Tax and committed Australia to an unlawful war in the face of the Australian people's clearly expressed opposition, nor are they concerned about the fact that Howard's government detained a mentally-ill citizen without trial and wrongfully deported another ill and disabled citizen. After all they were complicit in creating John Howard's power to do so.
The Party was never concerned about the creation of legislation which enshrined secrecy, censorship and abrogated basic human rights. Because secretly it admired the Howard family's 'bully boy' past and John's part in the silent coup which toppled another properly elected Federal Government.
However, the word is out that many in the Liberal Party are doing a slow but white-hot burn over John Howard's focus on his own ambition to reshape Australia at the expense of the very political party that nurtured him. They now blame him for not standing down as prime minister last year, for endorsing an election campaign which is seen as largely ineffectual, for not even trying to be a genuine team player. Some are so incensed that they are even mumbling in their beards about Janette's influence.
The slow trickle of targeted poison has seeped its way from various campaign offices across the country and out to dinner tables in rural Australia. It won't be too long before it breaks into something quite ugly if the Coalition is defeated on 24 November. Quite a few know where those old bodies are buried.
This long election campaign may be John Howard's greatest mistake because it is eating away at his chance of a graceful exit.
The bush is beginning to talk, Prime Minister, and what it is quietly discussing is hardly complimentary.
Of course you have always failed to understand that sporting an Akubra on the odd occasion was never going to win hearts and minds.
The Canberra Times on the state of the Liberal Party: