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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

ministerial responsibility « Previous | |Next »
February 4, 2006

This image about the oil-for-food scandal captures what we citizens have understood to be happening within liberal democracy in these postmodern times.


So does US Senator Coleman---he sees evidence of the Australian Government's knowledge of, and complicity in, the corrupt kickback practices of the AWB.

They--our ministers---needed to do it to help the struggling wheat farmers, you understand. The latter had to be protected from the way US senators used Senate inquiries to play politics with Australian farmers' livelihoods. The liberal state has to protect the interests of Australian farmers in a global world whilst its diplomats had to lie to a US Senate sub-committee for the good of the government.

Why so? Because the US senate investigations conducted by Senator Coleman into the Australian Wheat Board's corruption were motivated by dirty US agricultural politics aimed at boosting US commercial (wheat ) interests. That insidious lobbying could not be allowed to be successful. The end justified the means.

What of the ministers bearing some responsibility for the ineptitude of their departments? No such thing you understand. The Westmionister doctrine of ministerial responsiblity was ditched some time go, don't you remember? Some time in the late 1990s, wasn't it? Gee, and here's me thinking that the Howard Government was serious about respecting and protecting Australia's British heritage.

So any inquiry is only going to get us as far as departmental officials. And that is how it should be, isn't it. That's what relativism is all about, you know--different kinds of truth infiormed by power.

Those of us who think otherwise are just driven by timidity and weakness, not by a hard-headed and clear assessment about Australia's national interest; and they just adopt a condescending tone to the noble British tradition of politics.

The commercial interests of Australia's wheat farmers are identical with Australia's national interest? That is a bit hard to swallow, isn't it. Surely it is the welfare of the Australian population? Nope. The 'national interest' simply equates with Alexander Downer's attempts to limit the damage to the Howard Government coming from all the exposures, leaks and disclosures.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:33 PM | | Comments (0)