The Gold Coast Bulletin - - OPINION -

GOLD COAST BUL­LETIN Wednesday May 10, 1989

SOME young con­ser­va­tives may find it hard to be­lieve but there was once a time that John Howard was not well-liked by the Lib­eral Party.

But back in 1989 the par­lia­men­tary wing of the con­ser­va­tives led a re­volt against the Op­po­si­tion Leader and re­moved him from the party’s top job in a move sim­i­lar to La­bor’s later Rudd-Gil­lard and Ab­bott-Turn­bull wars.

Mr Howard was re­moved and re­placed by one-time for­mer leader An­drew Pea­cock as part of an in­tense pe­riod of blood­let­ting by the fed­eral Coali­tion, which in­cluded the dump­ing of National Party leader Ian Sin­clair and the re­moval of three Vic­to­rian MPs who lost pre-selec­tion bat­tles.

The clear-out of the sit­ting Vic­to­rian mem­bers led to the en­try to par­lia­ment of fu­ture player Peter Costello.

The stun­ning blood­let­ting was felt on the Coast where in­cum­bent McPher­son MP Peter White slammed the move.

Mr White, a long-time sup­porter of Mr Howard, de­clared it would be dif­fi­cult for the Coali­tion to win the 1990 elec­tion. He ad­mit­ted he was not sure of his fu­ture on the op­po­si­tion front­bench.

“I’m sure there will be changes,” he said. “I’m not feel­ing all that bright.”

Mr White’s fears were proved cor­rect and de­spite a swing to the Coali­tion, La­bor Prime Min­is­ter Bob Hawke romped home and won his fourth elec­tion in a row.

How­ever, Mr Hawke too would be gone within a few years after he was re­moved as prime min­is­ter by Paul Keat­ing.

Mr White would leave par­lia­ment in 1990 and died in 2005.

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