AWB “deliberately and dishonestly conspired to defraud the United Nations” in its dealings with Saddam Hussein’s regime, Federal Court judge Neil Young has found. What’s the Cole inquiry going to find? The implications are massive for the National Party.

Nationals leader, Deputy PM and Trade Minister Mark Vaile wasn’t all that good in the dock – but worse may be to come. The Federal Court judgement doesn’t exactly bode well for the AWB at Cole. That Inquiry’s final report is likely to spark of an earthquake in rural and regional Australia with what it says about the Wheat Board. If the ground opens up, the Nats could well vanish down a crack.

The Nationals are short of credible parliamentarians. Their 2iC, Warren Truss, would make a risible deputy PM. Rumours persist that Peter McGauran will follow his brother into the Liberal Party.

It’s not said often enough – the Liberals hate the Nats. Country Liberals in particular. They’d love to see them gone.

Odd health rumours keep popping up about Vaile. There’s talk he will go. The Federal Court says AWB “deliberately and dishonestly conspired to defraud the United Nations”. If Cole finds something similar, Vaile would make a useful fall guy. And if he goes?

Well, just take a look at the state of the Nats. You don’t need too many nails to close up that coffin.

Peter Fray

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