Confession is good for the soul - at least for Catholics and public servants. Mike
Scrafton, conflicted former public servant, has come out of the closet and
claimed that he told John (hear-no-evil) Howard in the 2001 election campaign
that there was no evidence of children being thrown overboard - shortly after
Little Johnny made the original claims. The conclusion: Honest Johnny must have
Of course this raised the question of why Conflicted Mike didn't actually
mention this three years ago, but Mike was a senior bureaucrat and is
well versed in the art of self justification. He handled the
less-than-totally-brutal 'let me play devil's advocate for a moment'
questions on the ABC's 7:30
report with a quick slither - he had obligations as an Australian public
servant, and had to meet them. Apparently those obligations didn't include
telling the truth.
So seven months after his retirement, and in the lead-up to the following
election, Conflicted Mike has found his conscience, and is doing the media
roadshow to help him get in touch with his newfound honesty.
Not that Honest John can claim to be squeaky clean here. While only the
would claim that Johnny invented the story about children overboard, only the
staunchest conservative would deny
that Johnny hadn't turned down his hearing-aid when people around him started
to seriously question the original reports. The defense department said that
children were thrown overboard, and then changed their minds. Johnny wasn't
about to let public service incompetence cost him the 2001 election.
No wonder that Little Johnny hates public servants so much - and this in turn
could explain why they hate him back.
And apparently every ALP supporter knows that this incident lost them the last
election. Which is funny, because no-one has actually said that
If I had known that the asylum seekers hadn't
actually thrown their children overboard, but instead had merely sunk their own
boat (effectively dumping everyone into the water), I would have voted ALP!
These people are a bit like the man-friendly feminist. Lots of people know
that they exist but no-one has ever met one.
And the ALP's solution to all this is to reduce accountability in the
public service - install fixed tenures to prevent the government of they day from
sacking senior public servants. Examples like Conflicted Mike only serve to
demonstrate the need for an 'independent' Public Service. If Conflicted Mike
weren't accountable to the government, there would have been no need to conceal
the truth for all this time, and the truth would have been known all along.
Of course! As soon as we give someone absolute power, they won't feel the need to
lie cheat or steal, and they will rule us all with total benevolence.
Utopia is just an election away. But after this little scandal, Johnny
seems unlikely to call it anytime soon.