I’m surprised to read Jeff Kennett has given Costello a spray for being "gutless" in deciding to walk away from the leadership of the opposition. Whatever your politics, surely we should be applauding anyone who chooses to put their family before their working life? Yes, there are obviously other factors at play behind his departure but the fact that his family have suffered from his absence over the last 11 years and his wife has had to raise their two young children alone is a key one according to Costello in his press conference yesterday.
The irony, of course, is that Jeff Kennett has been such a tremendous advocate for men fighting depression. He has spoken at length about his own battles with depression and how his commitment to politics above his family caused his wife to leave him for a while and nearly cost him his marriage. He has been a brave and inspiring role model for men seeking to deal with depression.
So is Jeff Kennett truly suggesting that Peter Costello should put a political party above his own mental health and the well-being of his family? It appears Kennett thinks he should have done exactly that.
Earlier this year, NSW Premier Morris Iemma copped a similar caning from his fellow pollies for his desire to spend time with his family instead of working 24/7. When will politicians start walking the talk – or even just talking it – of work/life balance.
And they wonder why so few young people – let alone women – are interested in pursuing a political career……