Monday, 22 June 2009

It apparently start out as

a simple query about the 'loan' of a car. In this case the car is a 'ute' or utility vehicle. It has been 'loaned' to the Prime Minister for use as mobile office in his electorate. We all know there is no such thing as 'loan' for such purposes to any politicians. Nevertheless it had apparently been declared in the proper manner. That should have been an end to the manner. It was not. There is the small matter of a car dealership and a massive loan - a complex trail of financial arrangements designed to make it look as if a neighbour and friend of the Prime Minister did not receive preferential treatment.
What was not declared and what may have not been declared as a result is potentially much more damaging for the Prime Minister, his Treasurer and the Leader of the Opposition. They will probably all survive the crisis although their reputations will have been given another dent or two.
The person who may not survive this crisis is the public servant in the midst of the affair. He appeared distraught as he tried to give evidence to the Senate Inquiry into the matter of a missing e-mail and a chain of other e-mails. He also looked ill. Almost certainly there will be an announcement shortly that he has been retired (very) early on the grounds of ill-health. The general opinion is that he is a hard-working public servant trying to do his job. In all likelihood he is one of those public servants who does have too much to do when others do not have enough to do. He is probably under pressure from those above him and being jostled by those below him who are seeking promotion to his level. There are also doubts about his loyalty - to the Government.
Governments do not like whistle-blowers. This man is a whistle-blower. He has opened a box which the Government wanted kept closed, locked and hidden away. The Labor Senator leading the Senate Inquiry was well aware of this and acted swiftly to end his evidence before the Senate. No doubt there will be rowdy scenes in Canberra today - not all of them in Parliament.
My sympathies are with the public servant. Politicians can look after themselves.

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