Parliament has its own Diogenes. Barnaby Joyce has been on the radio again, shining his lamp on the AWB odyssey.
And it’s good news for the Government.
All last week Government ministers from the PM down were
playing Sergeant Schultz with the key
question: did anyone know about the AWB Iraqi kickbacks? But Barnaby reckons
that far from knowing nothing, almost anybody – from backpackers to exporters –
understood that the system was
“If you didn’t want to deal with
a corrupt system you just wouldn’t trade with them at all,” BJ told ABC radio
this morning, drawing on his extensive real life experience as a bush
accountant. “You bet your life no matter what you tried to do, there would be
somebody somewhere grafting money from it.”
“You’ll never get anywhere unless the right people
are looked after. That would be the case for Iraq full stop. The only way to get
around that would be not to deal with Iraq.”
Compare this to the PM’s
protestations last Monday: “We were in no way
involved with the payment of bribes. We didn’t condone them, we didn’t have
knowledge of them…”
again, Barnaby’s nailed the issue; when it comes to real-world knowledge, a
backpacker – or even a freshman Senator for Queensland – knows more than our
may have failed to find an honest man, but at least he’s exposing the Government
for the bunch of plucked chickens they are.