Remember the good old days
when governments used to reassure us that all was well with the world?
How they would be the first to denounce scaremongers, play down threats
and appeal to journalists not to play up bomb threats, hoaxes and
anything else that might unduly worry the public?

That was
certainly what happened under Bob Hawke when the government reassured
people about Iraq, Fiji and the like, stressing that they weren’t a
threat. Journalists were also encouraged not to report hoaxes.

Now
we have a government that never misses an opportunity to scare the sh*t
out of us – the fridge magnets, ad campaign, etc. The embassy stuff has
been an absolute disgrace – why isn’t the gallery taking Howard apart
on this? Was he lying or just ill-informed? Either way it’s an
indictment of him.

Send a bit of Ajax to the Indonesian embassy
and the prime minister is first out of the block to declare it a
“biological agent” with, it appears, not a skerrick of evidence to back
up the claim.

Perhaps there’s a link to Corby? “Yes, oh yes”
says our eager PM. But is there? Why do you need a tabloid press when
you have John Howard as PM?

CRIKEY: Alan Jones has been the most
hysterical shock jock about Corby and gave the PM quite a beating on
radio earlier this week. One theory going around is that the PM was
trying to put him back in his place, although the fact the package was
sent from Victoria means it wasn’t one of the Parrot’s incited
disciples. The story is still bubbling along this morning as you can
see here.