Friday, December 09, 2005

Webdiary on the Howard/Costello/Gerard RBA affair: "Why did the Treasurer still appoint this man to the Reserve Bank board? It is crystal clear—Mr Gerard had bought it, and the going price was more than a million dollars. Mr Gerard had bought it. This government is so arrogant, so conceited and so disregarding of the ordinary standards of public life that, if you front up to the Liberal Party with $1 million-odd, you can get yourself anything. Despite a track record of dishonesty, you can get yourself anything. What this man got himself was a position on the Reserve Bank board. That is the allegation the Treasurer should have answered in the 10 minutes he had to speak on this matter in this parliament. That is the allegation he refused to answer, and he will not answer it because it is true."

"Mellish quotes a 'senior government minister' as saying: 'I think most people in Cabinet thought it was an appropriate appointment. There was certainly no mention of tax issues... Like we all do, he would have raised it with the Prime Minister's Office before taking it to Cabinet.'"

"While I hold no truck for the Coalition I was incensed to read in the Australian that Howard has distanced himself from Costello by saying that Costello had suggested Gerard to him. I have never believed a word that came out of the mouth of that man and I can't believe that he could be so vindictive - yes I can! I can imagine the hatred that Costello has for Howard now and to me it is quite justified."

Howard has just mocked Costello in public and kicked him in the face. Mocked him and kicked him in the face like Saruman did his sidekick Wormtongue at the end of Lord of the Rings. But unlike Wormtongue, Costello - an impossibly smug politician without a political identity of his own - didn't and doesn't have the guts to pull a knife.

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