Corrupt Politician: Peter Patrick Costello

Lately, I have been reading the much praised “Carlton: A History“. I found an interesting tidbit on our treasurer’s great-great grandfather, Patrick Costello.

He “was an Irish catholic publican of the influential ‘publican’s party’ that controlled Melbourne’s municipal affairs in goldrush days.” He did fairly well for himself and acquired a few properties in Carlton. But when Patrick turned to politics he found himself in over his head. To gain more votes for the seat of Mornington, he “organized a steamer trip during which a number of men were asked to personate deceased or absent Mornington electors.” Patrick became the first Australian politician thrown out of parliament. He was sentenced to 12 months in gaol but due to his strong Irish political connections got freed. Even 150 years ago, you got screwed by lawyers and his legal fees sent him to bankruptcy.

So not only can we attribute the GST to a Costello but we can also credit a Costello with being the first to be ousted out of government and almost gaoled.

Carlton: A History

Australian Dictionary of Biography: Patrick Costello

Picture via SMH/Casual Cas

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2 Comments so far

  1. Brett (unregistered) on May 30th, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

    The resemblance really is uncanny. The physical resemblance, I mean :)

  2. Duncan (unregistered) on May 30th, 2007 @ 2:11 pm

    Whoa! here’s that infamous smirk again, oh yes, its obvious the proverbial ‘apple’ never fell too far from the ‘tree’!
    Apparently Patrick Costello who hailed from Co Leitrim, was a man of great charm, full of the blarney and well liked by most.
    He also is said to have fathered six children. It’s a shame Peter doesn’t share more of his forebears ‘chutzpah’then maybe he would challenge Howard head on for the Liberal Party leadership.

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