Michael Pascoe writes:


Quick, someone hose K.Rudd down before he
alleges AWB money was used to buy thumbscrews and roast babies – Wheatgate’s
reality is weird enough without Labor totally spinning out with the suggestion
that we were murdering Israelis.

On the other hand, if Kev wants weird, what
about the sex angle? Hasn’t anyone else noticed that all the named DFAT
officials (Jane, Zena and Bronte) are girls while all the AWB blokes are, well,
blokes? And often big bald and boofy or at least gun-toting blokes at that. Maybe
that explains how DFAT discharged its responsibilities to monitor and verify
AWB’s behaviour when it was questioned. The Southpark script would read this
way:

Chorus
of the United Nations, Canada, US Wheat Associates, sundry brown dogs et al to
the Australian Government: “Hey, AWB is paying kickbacks to Saddam.”

Australian
Government to chorus: “Oh, we’ll thoroughly investigate that.”

DFAT
to AWB: “Sorry to bother you, but are you paying kickbacks to Saddam?”

AWB
to DFAT: “No.”

DFAT:
(swoon) “Oh, OK then. Thanks.”

DFAT
to chorus: “We’ve thoroughly investigated your outrageous allegations and
you’re totally wrong and simply jealous of our marvellous AWB men. And your
sheep are ugly too.”

Meanwhile, back in the semi-real world:

  • Another rollover witness today will throw more petrol on the AWB pyre
  • The Oz has AWB chairman Brendan Stewart intending to stand down as chairman of the
    Council for Australian-Arab Relations “in an effort to focus on rebuilding
    AWB’s shattered reputation” – which is funnier than anything I’ve managed to
    write today. Just under the “ought to have known” requirement, I can’t see how
    Stewart can stay on the AWB board.

  • Malcolm Maiden in the Smage has an interesting World Bank study suggesting that everyone doesn’t pay bribes
    in allegedly corrupt cultures and that you’re better off not doing it.

  • And Asa Wahlquist has the Australian Grain Exporters Association wanting the single desk wheat
    export monopoly broken up – not that the AGEA doesn’t have an enormous vested
    interest in that outcome. Not much

Peter Fray

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