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The Forum > Article Comments > Moral myopia rules again > Comments

Moral myopia rules again : Comments

By Natasha Cica, published 30/11/2006

Cole plainly attributes the AWB fiasco to a lack of openness and frankness in relevant dealings, and a closed culture of superiority and impregnability.

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We are on dangerous ground if we insist on ethics in politics. Anyone contemplating a career in politics must be able to produce a history of criminal behavior. In lieu of a history as a person liable to succumb to temptation a potential politician must be able to demonstate a life of indolence, ineptitude, aversion to truth or a failing memory.
Posted by Sage, Thursday, 30 November 2006 9:12:50 AM
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Well said Natasha.I am familiar with the'culture'within DFAT.
Morality declined in DFAT when it was required to cover up what it knew was happening inside East Timor and together with succesive Australian governments felt obliged to apologise for the behaviour of the military.However we are not being very honest with ourselves.
Under apartheid the majority of white South Africans lived in a firm state of denial,sometimes aggressively so.
If we believe that DFAT needs reform then so does Immigration,PM&C,the AFP(with its para military role and dirty tricks department),Defence and Defence Procurement,ASIO(under the new Director-General),AusAid,Health and Education.It would also be useful to have investigations into Macquarie Bank,Qantas,the mortgage industry and financial advisory services.
Cole was never about the AWB,it was about us and it said a lot.
Why was it felt necessary to cover up the death of Private Kovco?
Bruce Haigh
Posted by Bruce Haigh, Thursday, 30 November 2006 11:10:38 AM
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Just finished reading John Clarke's 'The 7.56 Report' - a collection of the brilliant and hilarious scripts over the past three years taken from the weekly sketches by Clarke and Dawe. The biting satire of these two writers is sadly spot on.

They are the true Court Jesters of our time shouting to all and sundry that for some time in Canberra while the the lights may be on - there is no one home.
Posted by stormont, Thursday, 30 November 2006 12:01:35 PM
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If howard and his gang of four did what they did in private enterprise they would have been sacked - and rightfully so! This pathetic excuse "I/we didn't know - "they" didn't tell us" How many times has this peurile, lying excuse been used now by howard and his disfunctional ministers?
If these pathetic pollies had any decency, honesty or shame they would resign immediately. But no wiley howard will once again fool the Australian people and throw money at them and be re-elected. Of course these people get the government they deserve but what about the rest of us? Regards, numbat
Posted by numbat, Thursday, 30 November 2006 12:09:46 PM
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Regarding the AWB wheat sales fiasco in Iraq, is it a case of the little growers all too often the bunnies while the original overseers are allowed to get away Scot-free.

The Howard government certainly had knowledge, because it is in Federal Government records that the single-desk is a government-sponsored cooperative or agrarian socialist plan from farmerís groups begun in the early 1930s to cut out big entrepreneural companies such as Dreyfus and Bunge from taking too much of the grain profits during the Great Depression. Pollard, the Labour PM at the time, gave solidarity to a motion for the Federal Government to guarantee the cost of grain production. Further this proposal could only be guaranteed by letting farmer executives take the place of the private buyers or middle-men. Hence the Australian Wheat Board - AWB - was born and also because it began as a government-sponsored enterprise, future governments had to be kept in touch with all major movements of the Wheat Board, especially about sales.

During the recent inquiry why was not this information asked for? Or if presented, why was it pushed aside?

Finally, if the Howard government can't find the records, both State and University libraries will have them as historical records.

From an angry old cockie - BB
Posted by bushbred, Thursday, 30 November 2006 12:32:35 PM
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Yep. The way I see it is pretty simple. If DFAT wasn't complicit, they were incompetent. It's one or the other, there is no third option.

Either way, heads should roll, and not just those of senior AWB figures.

This is how I feel, and I suspect the majority of Australians do as well. Anyone honestly disagree?

(That being said, I'm opposed to removing the single desk option, unless of course foreign subsidies are phased out, which is unlikely before 2017. On this score, I suspect a few more may disagree :) )
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Thursday, 30 November 2006 4:14:16 PM
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