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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Smoking guns become a cannonade at the AWB kickback inquiry

Is amnesia in the workplace contagious? Is John Howard suffering from the same failure to recall as Trevor Flugge? He is keen to tell us that there are lots of cables come to his office and that he doesn't see them all.

Well, Prime Minister - Miss Eagle never imagined that you did. You see, you always - well, almost always - look pretty relaxed. None of that ageing in office that she remembers with Malcolm Fraser. And when you are filmed at your desk, it is clear that you adhere to a "clean desk" policy so it has always been reasonable to assume that the cables and correspondence are piled high on someone else's desk.

So whose resonspibility was it to read the cables - and remember they were sent not only to you but to quite a number of ministers? Pass the buck all you like - but in the end it has to stop with you, Prime Minister.

Of course, if office policy has been one-remove-deniability as it appeared to be in the children overboard scandal and no-responsibility-taken as with the great variety of immigration malfeasance, then how are you ever going to see a cable alleging impropriety even if it is the only cable ever received.

You are responsible for setting the pace, Prime Minister,
not only in your office but for the whole-of-government.