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Palmer Report--buck stops where? « Previous | |Next »
July 15, 2005

I missed the release of the Palmer Report in Canberra yesterday afternoon, just before the press conference attended by the PM and Minister Vanstone.

I did watch Amanda Vanstone being interviewed by Maxine McKew on the ABC's 7.30 Report last night, and heard her again this morning being interviewed by Fran Kelly on Radio National Breakfast.

It was all about a boots and all report, the culture of DIMA being the core problem, and the Minister making the necessary changes before she was required to. Minister Vanstone is doing a good job in other words. That was her defence in relation the Westminster tradition of ministerial responsibility.

A good job? Some think otherwise:

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Oh yes she has. Her denial of moral responsibility. The Minister was a part of Cabinet and so a party to the policies that gave rise to the problems at DIMA. She is as equally responsible for them as Minister Ruddoch, or the PM.mandatory detnetion is a foundation stone that enabled the Howard Governemnt to retain its power in 1991.

The Minister's strategy is put a firewall between the bad department and the good Howard government. Therein lies te denial of moral responsibility for causing harm to others.

In listening to the interviews I was reminded of Hannah Arendt's understanding of the banality of evil whilst listening to the evasive spin about ethical responsibility.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:19 PM | | Comments (0)
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