In yesterday’s AFR, Alan Mitchell brilliantly sums up the
ongoing AWB debacle by drawing attention to patterns as a “powerful analytical
tool”.

It seems to Henry the government
has two unpalatable choices: 1) admit that it has been incompetent, constructing
an environment within the hallowed halls of parliament where information about
Iraqi kickbacks is not passed onto the relevant ministers; or 2) leave the
impression that senior people have been economical in pursuit of the truth, if
not positively peddling porkies. Which is less uncomfortable, one wonders, a
rock or a hard place?

Yesterday’s call in the Oz for Downer’s head, in
Henry’s view, is a bit harsh, but surely someone in the “official family” has to
take a hit, and it should be someone more senior than the DFAT janitor, who
Henry knows to be a good worker and a conscientious bloke.

The next step, according to
today’s Oz, seems to revolve
around the “terms of reference” of the commission; specifically whether the Cole
inquiry’s powers should be expanded to fully investigate whether any government
minister had breached international obligations.

We watched the PM bravely duckin’
and weavin’ with Kerry O’Brien on the 7.30 Report. Young Bert (age 16) said:
“He’s a sly dog” and Mrs Thornton added: “It shows the value of a law degree”.
This is how the next generation is educated, gentle readers.

Read more at Henry Thornton.

Peter Fray

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