March 18, 2007

Prime Miniature

John Howard tells us that the next election will be decided on character - he says the people of Australia will have to decide who they trust.

Thanks goodness for that.

Little Johnny seems to be under the apprehension that people voted for him in the past few elections, but it's more likely that people voted against the other guy. As we get closer to the election date expect to see a few more skeletons come rattling out of the closet as the spotlight is put on the 'character' of Howard and his band of merry makers...

Peter Reith
- $50,000 phone card illegally used by his son and friends
- retires as defence minister to join tenex as a consultant, months after reviewing sensitive tender submissions
- found culpable by a senate committee for deceiving the Australian public during the 2001 election campaign regarding 'children overboard'

Michael Wooldrige
- $5m worth of funding for an organisation he later joined as a consultant
- MRI Scan Scam scandal

Bill Heffernan
- distasteful allegations about senior judges made under parliamentary privilege and backed up with nothing more than a lousy stat-dec and a shabby receipt
- the ironic comparison of the farmers' plight in the AWB affair and children abused by priests

Philip Ruddock
- Keeping media out of Woomera and Naru to avoid the human face of (dare I use the word?) *refugees* from being seen on the television - they even demanded they be called 'asylum seekers' instead of bestowing any assumption of status
- The arrest of Natalie Larkins for being a reporter
- Child abuse scandal and the entire issue of privatised detention centres in place of refugee processing

Amanda Vanstone
- Cornelia Rau Scandal
- The failure to respond to the Scandal

And let's not forget a mention of AWB and the lack of recall from Alexander Downer.

The Cole commission found no evidence to link the government to the activities of the AWB, but likewise found no competence on the part of the government either. Don't be thinking this one is dead yet - once the political tide turns and Howard is out of a job I just know some of those faded memories will come good again.

The final word goes to Oxfam, who seemed to smell a rat long befor the Cole commission did...

Oxfam Community Aid Abroad chief executive officer Andrew Hewett told the Congress Daily in June 2003 that the Australian Government's appointment of Flugge to advise Iraq on reconstruction is "like appointing Henry Ford to advise on public transport." He asked: "Is Mr. Flugge's appointment about helping the Iraqi people reconstruct their run-down rural economy -- or is it about making sure that Australia's $800 million grain deals with Iraq can continue and not be replaced by U.S. or domestically grown products?"

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