Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sorting the Chaff from the AWB Scandal.

I came across these words from Gandhi who was commenting over at Road to Surfdom. Hope he doesn't mind me reproducing them because they cover matters very well, on the publication of the weighty Cole Report. Mr Cole is seen passing his work over to the Governor-General.

"Yet another shameful day for Australia. How many is that, folks? How many more must we endure? How many more CAN we endure, before we surrender whatever vision of “Australia” we ever held to?

Howard has found our nation’s weak point and he is exploiting it.

The Australian nation is in a dysfunctional relationship with a cheating partner. He promises her security and prosperity, but he cheats on her repeatedly and then he lies about it.

“Where were you last night, darling?”
“I was in bed with the AWB, but don’t worry - nothing happened. I promise…”

She knows he is lying, but she doesn’t dare to challenge him, not wholeheartedly. She is scared of confronting the horrible truth, and she dreads the consequences that must inevitably follow.

If our government knowingly breached the UN sanctions program against Iraq, even while millions of innocent Iraqi children were dying as a result of it; if our government then knowingly participated in a pre-planned war, in defiance of international law and the UN, to seize control of Iraq’s oil fields; if our government lied through its collective teeth to hide these facts and then, under international pressure, set up an anodyne enquiry to absolve itself of any guilt; if, with half a million or more Iraqis now dead and their entire country teetering on the precipice of bloody chaos, our Government continues to put its own survival ahead of any moral consideration; if all this and more is true, then we as a nation have lost our way, we are in the hands of mobsters, we are ruled by War Criminals in shiny suits, we are worse than a laughing stock because we have voted for these people again and again and again, even while we watched other people suffer the consequences of our poor judgement.

The desperate refugee children fished from our heaving seas, the suicidal children locked behind razor wires in desert detention centres, the charred corpses of bombed children with blackened, burned out bubbles where their eyes should be… These are the victims of our terrible misjudgement.

For the record, AWB shares went up following the report’s release."

We used to have Westminster principles of ministerial responsibilty and cabinet collective responsibility*. They have been trashed by he who claims to head a conservative government. Andrew Peacock proposed to resign in the 70's because his wife posed for Sheridan Sheets advertisements. Now we have ......"
A Guide on Key Elements of Ministerial Responsibility" that gives the PM's cabinet "a convenient get-out-of-jail when it comes to carrying the can for departmental stuff-ups.On the matter of accountability in ministerial relations with departments, the code hangs out the public servant to dry, not the minister." Terms of reference of the Cole Report provide a nice little extra buffer, as even the public servants have an escape clause from scrutiny and criminal investigation.

We used to have a media that would have tracked down these, at the very least, incompetent ministers. Instead we get headlines like "Cole report clears Govt"* . When clearly Mr Cole was not employed to investigate them. To find the truth we may well need American help or local litigation. Those AWB employees who are eventually charged may yet spill the beans, probably after ministers are beyond the electorates scrutiny. Still, they are showing immediate signs of being a bit testy. Beware Howard,Downer and Vaile you may not be off the hook yet.


gandhi said...

Nice pic!

Feel free to post anything from my blog, mate. It's not about ME, after all: it's abot fixing our damned country.

joe2 said...

Yep, a good piccie gandhi.
The model of a modern guvner genral and other.

Big thanks for that.