Well surprise, surprise! The PM’s
sticking around until the next election. At least, that’s the only conclusion we
can draw from comments he made responding to a caller during an appearance on
Liam Bartlett’s program on 6PR in Perth yesterday.
Have a dekko:

PRIME
MINISTER: Well Joe, I don’t think anything I could say would alter your view.
I’m sure that’s a view that some people have. I’m sure it’s not the view that a
lot of people have in relation to whether they’re parents of people who’ve
served in Iraq or not. I can only tell the truth as I know it, and I have done that in relation
to this issue. And the question will ultimately be resolved by the Cole
Commission. And the truth of the matter is that this company was highly
regarded by people on both sides of politics. It wasn’t just the Government
that highly regarded AWB. Back in 2002 when our wheat sales to Iraq were apparently under a cloud
because of the attitude the Australian Government was taking to the Hussein
regime, we were effectively being told by the Opposition to get out of the way
and leave it to AWB to resolve. So there was no suspicion about AWB on the part
of our opponents any more than there was on our part. Now that’s the truth and
I understand and respect Joe’s view, and it’s a view that some Australians will
have. But it’s not a view that all Australians will have andin the end I am accountable at the ballot box and in
the end people will make a decision based on their assessment of me and the
assessment of my Government…

“In
the end I am accountable at the ballot box and in the end people will make a
decision based on their assessment of me and the assessment of my Government.”
The PM wouldn’t use any sloppy language in a radio interview after all the
grief he got from the “When I’m 64” comments, now would he? He’s in there for
the long haul.

And
trivia buffs please note. The“I can only tell the
truth as I know it” line. Heard it before? It’s exactly the same form of words
that Tony Blair used to justify, er, untruths over the presence of weapons of
mass destruction in Iraq.

Peter Fray

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