As the Government’s three monkeys – the Prime Minister, Alexander Downer and Mark Vaile – attempt to make a virtue of their ignorance over the AWB, perhaps they should look at the Lloyds of London international shipping weekly, Fairplay, and its editorial:

More organisations than ever seem to have been consumed by a snivelling terror of actually being seen to say something. The worst example this week came from the Cole Commission in its condemnation of the Australian Wheat Board: “The conduct of the AWB and its officers was due to a failure in corporate culture.” What a glorious mealy-mouthed cavalcade of euphemisms! Put in its strongest terms, AWB fiddled its books in order to make illegal payments to a dictatorship whose leader has since been sentenced to death for mass murder. Describing such behaviour as a “failure of corporate culture” is quite an understatement. There are less delicate ways of describing it, but they were probably scared of being sued.

Peter Fray

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