Talk:Peter Costello

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Biography / Politics and Government (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the politics and government work group (marked as Mid-importance).
WikiProject Australia / Politics (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon Peter Costello is within the scope of WikiProject Australia, which aims to improve Wikipedia's coverage of Australia and Australia-related topics. If you would like to participate, visit the project page.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Australian politics (marked as High-importance).
Note icon
Need help improving this article? Ask a LibrarianWhat's this? at the National Library of Australia.
Note icon
The Wikimedia Australia chapter can be contacted via email to for other than editorial assistance.
This article has been mentioned by a media organisation:


captain smirk[edit]

Could someone at least put a reference in to the "captain smirk" issue in this biography

Sure, got a veriable reliable source? Shot info (talk) 21:38, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

how about or or or

But the main points are 1. a humours aside 2. a note about wikipedia its policies and vunerability —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chadnash (talkcontribs) 12:00, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

So the fact that "Captain Smirk" was added once to the lead sentence of his WP, then (quite rightly) removed as vandalism, means his nickname is Captain Smirk forever now? Peter Ballard (talk) 23:06, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
So the original source was Wikipedia and now Wikipedia needs to reflect the fact that Wikipedia removed some original research from Wikipedia? Shot info (talk) 23:57, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
no the original research (or beat up if you prefer) was by the age and the bbc these represent a public controvery ( beat up) with respect to this page (and is rather amusing) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:32, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I think the original poster had a valid point. In Canberra he was affectionatly known as Captain Smirk. I wasn't even aware the nickname stemmed from Wikipedia, but ask any Canberran who Captain Smirk is and they'll think you're an idiot, obviously it's Peter Costello! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:31, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Ah yes WP:POINT. Shot info (talk) 02:36, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Clarification - captain smirk did not originate on wikipedia. Timeshift (talk) 05:36, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

I think it's disappointing that there isn't any reference to Costello as 'Captain Smirk', considering a Google search on Captain Smirk returns multiple article about the Costello. It’s an important part of political history considering PM&C was accused of editing out the reference of Wikipedia (see —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:37, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

The google mentions are predminantly blogs or newspaper references to the removal of the nickname from this article. Blogs aren't generally considered reliable sources, and the others are sources only for the fact that the article used to mention the nickname, not that the nickname itself is genuine.
Hopefully when various sitting Liberals retire and write their memoirs, one of them will discuss how they all called Costello "Captain Smirk" and we will then have a suitable source. Regrettably, until then there isn't enough to meet the standards for inclusion in Wikipedia. Euryalus (talk) 05:54, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Those accusations of the PM's department editing Wikipedia refuse to go away, at least on this talk page. Hopefully to bury them, I offer my own analysis for consideration: . "if John Howard's staff are interfering with Wikipedia, they're doing a pretty poor job of it. They've only done 4 edits to political articles in the last two years, preferring instead to edit articles on bird life and sport." Peter Ballard (talk) 06:07, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, in part I now agree with the views of not putting the name "Captain Smirk" on Wikipedia. However, this little exchange has taught me to pay more attention to the accuracy of articles hosted by Wikipedia and the politics, well, more policies, behind them.

Living in Canberra, it’s astonishing that the affectionate renaming of Peter Costello as 'Captain Smirk' could be questioned by anybody. I'm just so accustomed to it! Ask anybody here where Costello is now days, they’ll tell you “what Captain Smirk’s” doing. That’s just Canberra for you. That said, I can understand Wikipedia's policy & points of view and needing to find an original reference point.

In future, when researching articles of personal interest, I'll use Wikipedia as more of a secondary reference and try to use a broader range of media which may include ‘in jokes’ and inside knowledge.

Still love Wiki though :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:32, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Yeah but everyone knows Canberra is a socialist republic! Timeshift (talk) 08:38, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

I love it how there are still Liberal Party employees still protecting this page full time. I think its great that wikipedia allows it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Taksraven (talkcontribs) 03:05, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Per the above discussion we are still without reliable sources for the nickname. I'm happy to believe there are people in Canberra who call him this, but without good sources its original research. Also, its a sad reality that politicians get called all sorts of unflattering nicknames. Including this one would require some justification of its importance and universality to avoid the inclusion giving undue weight to what might otherwise be simply a passing insult. Euryalus (talk) 04:29, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
One of the things that amusing me about employees is that they are often the first to accuse others of being the aforementioned "employees". I believe it's called projection :-) Shot info (talk) 04:47, 17 June 2009 (UTC)


i wonder who keeps doing rude remarks about him although he isnt a minister so i think the honrable should go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!—Preceding unsigned comment added by Montana Gy (talk) 12 January 2008 (UTC)

He was a member of the Federal Executive Council. Please be encouraged to learn more about the Australian political system. Shot info (talk) 01:38, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

The Hon needs to be removed[edit]

"The Hon" at the start of his name needs to be removed as this term is reserved for current ministers. All politicians in opposition (even shadow ministers) do not have the title of The Honourable. Once a politician has finished there ministerial duty they loose the title.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:51, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Incorrect. The Hon is a title for life per APH source. A Member or Senator who becomes a Minister is appointed to the Executive Council and thus has the title ‘Honourable’ while they remain Executive Councillors. It rests with the Governor-General to continue or terminate membership of the Executive Council and consequently the right to the title. With one exception, Ministers appointed to the Executive Council have not in the past had their appointment to the Council terminated upon termination of their commission and hence have retained the title ‘Honourable’ for life. Timeshift (talk) 00:23, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Does anyone know who the "one exception" is that the above quote is referring to? --Roisterer (talk) 02:35, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Two possibilities are Jens Jensen, who was dismissed as Minister for Trade and Customs in 1918 after a Royal Commission found that he had behaved corruptly, and Hugh Mahon, a former minister who was expelled from the House for sedition in 1920. Intelligent Mr Toad (talk) 02:53, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

It might also be Andrew Theophanous, who as far as I know is the only federal "The Hon" to be sentenced to prison. Intelligent Mr Toad (talk) 13:52, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Well my sources including wikipedia article The Honourable say that the title is only for serving ministers. I have heard from a member of the house of representatives that the title is not for life. so you are wrong. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:29, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

If you have a published reliable source that says so, feel free to put the reference in the article. Somebody "telling you something" is not a reliable source. At this moment in time, Wikipedia has several sources that says you are wrong. You only have somebody "telling you something". Which one do you think will win per Wikipedia policies? Actually, even the The Honourable disagrees with you. Shot info (talk) 12:05, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
The only exception I'm aware of is Senator Glenister Sheil (Nats, Qld), who had his appointment to the Federal Executive Council terminated by Malcolm Fraser only about 2 days after has was appointed in 1977, and even before he had been sworn in as Minister for Vets Affairs, for making pro-apartheid statements. Thus, he was "The Hon" for about 2 days. It's all there in the EXCO article - that's because I put it there. Theophanous might qualify to be unappointed from EXCO, but afaik that has never happpened, so he's still "The Hon Andrew Theophanous". -- JackofOz (talk) 00:54, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and Federal Executive Council of Australia Handbook tells us everything we want to know about EXCO, including that, barring exceptional circumstances, "The Hon" is for life (see para 2.1.4). Anyone or anything that says differently is simply misinformed. -- JackofOz (talk) 01:01, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

I think Jack is correct. The 1987 Parliamentary Handbook records that Senator Glen Shiel was a member of the Executive Council for two days in 1977, but does not accord him the title "The Honourable." Intelligent Mr Toad (talk) 08:59, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

"Well my sources including wikipedia article The Honourable say that the title is only for serving ministers." I definitely remember that John Howard for example had the Honourable title in his long period between Treasurer and Prime Minister. --The Shadow Treasurer (talk) 11:42, 10 January 2009 (UTC)


If/when The Howard Years puts transcripts up, it might be worth noting that Costello wanted to go further on aboriginal reconciliation (not just Costello said it, Peter Reith did too). Peter Ballard (talk) 11:32, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Cabinet decision stopped me in sorry walk: Costello. As good as any :) Timeshift (talk) 11:48, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

  • He says in his memoirs that he walked in the local reconciliation walk in Victoria later. Is it notable for this article though? --Surturz (talk) 12:12, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
It might be worth putting in a section on Howard/Costello tensions, but it might also be not notable, I agree. It's just that I found it interesting. p.s. by "Peter Reith did too", I meant Peter Reith backed up Costello's story, not that Reith wanted to do the walk (IIRC Reith didn't want to, like Howard). Peter Ballard (talk) 23:19, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree it's interesting as an example of the behind-the-scenes Howard-Costello tensions, but I don't think it is a notable part of his career, and so shouldn't be in this article. If he'd defied cabinet to take part in the walk, perhaps that would have been notable. It might be appropriate for inclusion in another article... one on reconciliation, or the sorry walk or something. --Surturz (talk) 01:25, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
How would that be the case, when it relates to Costello? Timeshift (talk) 01:30, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Howard Government record[edit]

I've removed the following from the artricle, and wanted to explain why:

===Economic Record of the Howard Government===

In a review of the economic policies of the Howard Government published in January 2009, former Treasury Secretary John Stone concluded that Australia had enjoyed “twelve years of unparalleled prosperity” under the Howard Government. As evidence, Stone cites the following key statistics relating to the twelve-year period of the Howard Government:

  • Economic output grew by 54% in real terms, as measured by Gross Domestic Product
  • Average weekly earnings grew 24.4% in real terms
  • 2.26 million jobs were created, an increase of 27.1%
  • People unemployed for periods 52 weeks and 104 weeks substantially re-entered the workforce – numbers in each of these groups of the long-term unemployed declined by two thirds
  • Real living standards increased, as measured by a 36.1% increase in consumption of goods and services per head of population[1]

Details of Costello's performance as Treasurer are relevant to this article, but the paragraph above relates to an opinion of the entire Howard Government, not Costello's performance. They don't of themselves necessarily tell us anything about Costllo, who is the subject of this article. If the paragraph is not meant to imply these were Costello's achivements only, then it is too peripheral to include in this page and would be better located at Howard Government. Secondly, it suffers froma point of view problem - John Stone is not a neutral commentator, and his views of the Howard Government should not necessarily be uncritically added to the article as fact. I'm not saying these statistics are right or wrong, only that the source is not independent of the subject, and alternative ones should be found.

In sumamry - the paragraph is not about the article subject, and would be better placed at the "Howard Government" page. Secondly, the source is not neutral and if these stats are to be used anywhere they need additional referencing.

As always, other views and opinions welcome. Euryalus (talk) 07:15, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Two queries[edit]

  • In the late 1980s, he was identified as part of the New Right movement,[5] which was organised to some extent in the H. R. Nicholls Society.
Does this mean organised from within the Nicholls Society, or modelled on the Nicholls Society? Or maybe both?
  • Did he really say “we are uncomfortable with an office that appoints people by hereditary” - as opposed to “heredity”? -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 02:00, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Leadership Aspirations "Visibly Disappointed"[edit]

Aside from being a value judgement, the claim that; "When this did not eventuate, he showed signs of frustration and was visibly disappointed when Howard announced, in July 2003, his intention to lead the government into the 2004 election." is not substantiated by any references, and it ought to be. If Costello really was "visibly disappointed" then that disappointment would have been easily observable at the time, not something miraculously revealed over 3 years later. This comment overreaches, and does not hold up to Wikipedia's fine standards.

Further, the entire section on Costello's Leadership Aspirations' is based primarily on allegations and hearsay, and this should be highlighted in the article. Costello never confirmed these claims, and they have never been substantiated with conclusive evidence. This should be highlighted in the article, particularly considering how much attention is placed on this part of the article in comparison to aspects of his actual career of which we have substantive factual evidence upon which to write. --Gloryify (talk) 08:40, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Image copyvio[edit]

I'm not sure how it managed to stay there undetected for so long, but i've replaced the copyright violation image with the previous allowed image. I do realise the photo is inferior but it's all we have. Timeshift (talk) 23:58, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 2 external links on Peter Costello. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

N Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 19:48, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ John Stone, Growth, Jobs, and Prosperity, Quadrant. January-February 2009