John Howard gave a perfectly understandable answer to those journalists who asked him questions about his plans for the future. Of course he gave no hint of an impending retirement. To have done so would have made him a lame duck for the 12 months or so more in which he will be Prime Minister.
The only surprise about this whole affair was the response of Treasurer Peter Costello. He reacted as if he had somehow been dudded. And to think just two weeks ago I made the mistake of writing how relaxed he was about the future. (Changing the Guard - 20th April 2005).
Peter Costello should return to being relaxed. The only way he will not be the leader of the Liberal Party at the next election is if he upsets his colleagues to such an extent that they either implore John Howard to stay on or choose someone else as their leader.