One of the features of Wayne Swan that constantly surprises me is his belief that he is still campaigning against John Howard and Peter Costello. Here he is again this morning in his tax speech:
One of the key things that this analysis shows is that our predecessors embedded long term structural damage to the budget that we have been working to address and will need to continue to do. We have already taken important steps to improve the sustainability of the revenue base.
In fact the analysis does not show that at all. Treasury analysis shows that the Howard / Costello budgets were almost all in structural budget surplus.
But putting that aside. What is the political benefit of attacking Howard and Costello?
Right or wrong, Howard and Costello are commonly seen as good economic managers, why wouldn’t you want to be associated with their legacy.
Peter Beattie is a much smarter political operator. He went out of his way as Premier of Queensland to be associated with Joh, even though just as many have Joh-derangement-syndrome as have Howard-derangement-syndrome.
He knew, however, that Joh was a hero to many mainstream voters which any political party has to win over to win elections.
Wayne Swan either doesn’t realise this or is too full of hate to put his own interests above his own bile.