1 Nov. 2007

Wanker Of The Day

A minister's resignation is just what John Howard's lacklustre campaign needs right now, isn't it? Today Kevin Bloody Andrews goes into hiding and lets a spokeswoman invoke the old John Howard Defence on his behalf:
"He didn't see the emails. He hasn't seen the emails. Never heard of the police officer (mentioned)," the spokeswoman told AAP today.

She said Mr White could have received the email and failed to hand it on to the minister, but maintained the minister had a healthy relationship with the department.

"Absolutely, a relationship that any minister would have with his department.

"But there would be no reason for the minister to be seeing such (emails) because they are completely unrelated to his actual decision."

Mr Andrews first considered revoking Dr Haneef's visa on Monday July 16 and that was the only time he considered detaining the doctor, she said.

"The visa cancellation was entirely unrelated to the criminal proceedings and the bail hearing.

"I mean the cancellation of the visa is entirely a matter for the minister. It's only something that the minister can decide so there is no way that anyone could have known what the minister would decide."
That last bit is the Condi Rice and George W. Bush defence, BTW.

This is from the email in question:
"Contingencies for containing Mr Haneef and detaining him under the Migration Act, if it was the case he was granted bail on Monday, were in place as per arrangements today," the email said.

Written by Brisbane-based counter-terrorism coordinator David Craig to commanders of the AFP's counter-terrorism unit on Saturday July 14, the email was then forwarded to immigration department public servant Peter White the following Monday.
Two days later, Haneef was granted bail. Kevin Andrews immediately revoked his visa.





UPDATE: Lest we forget:
JOURNALIST: Were doubts raised in the meeting, did anyone…..

PRIME MINISTER: No the meeting I had at the Lodge nobody on my staff mentioned to me, nobody on my staff has ever raised at the relevant times doubts about the photographs no.

JOURNALIST: What do you mean when you say “relevant time”?

PRIME MINISTER: I mean relevant time, I mean before the election and I mean up until right now. I mean I’ve got to be careful that I don’t say nobody’s ever said anything to me about the photographs because unless I fix that in time that might be sort of taken out of context.

JOURNALIST: Can you fix at a date?

PRIME MINISTER: In relation to my staff I don’t think….I mean I probably would have had some discussions with them generally after I decided to commission the inquiry, generally some discussion with them perhaps late in November and they were, I mean to the best of my recollection I’d really have to go back and check and, hang on can I just finish answering Glenn, I’ll go back and check that, otherwise I might give an inaccurate recollection.
UPDATE 2: Crikey's email today asks some good questions:
Firstly, did Mr Prendergast, a senor AFP officer, brief his Commissioner Mick Keelty on the plan to detain Dr Haneef if the bail application was successful?

Secondly, did the DPP’s lawyers know of the plan when they were arguing against bail being granted on Saturday 14 July, and if they did, why didn’t they tell Dr Haneef’s lawyers?

Thirdly, is Mr Andrews’ statement today that he knew nothing of the plan credible given that he is the Minister for Immigration and there would be no point putting a plan to detain Dr Haneef in place without knowing that the Minister, the only one who could approve such a detention, was going to play ball?

Finally, how credible is Mick Keelty’s claim to The Bulletin a fortnight ago that he told the DPP that there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Haneef when his own officers are hatching a plan to use the Migration Act to detain Haneef if he got bail?
Crikey also has this interesting analysis from Jeff Sparrow:
The leaked emails essentially vindicate the position taken in that case by the Australian Greens, at a time when Labor marched arm-in-arm with Kevin Andrews – yet the story appears alongside a poll showing a slump in Green support.
It’s one of the bizarre ironies of this campaign: even as the issues they own become more and more mainstream, Bob Brown’s mob seems to be becoming more marginal.
You’d think the changing political climate over global warming would, in and of itself, propel the Greens into double figures, given that Bob Brown was campaigning about it back when John Howard denied it even existed (oh, hang on – that’s still going on. But, no – as The Age says, the Greens were "polling 8 per cent in early October, but have been on 6 per cent since the campaign began."
The Greens have been vindicated in their opposition to the Iraq war, and their position on WorkChoices reflects the visceral hatred about the IR laws revealed in all the surveys, much more so than Labor’s wishy-washy stance. Yet none of it seems to have done them much good.
Quite simply, people want the Liberals out. And, for most of them, that means a Labor vote. Yes, we all know about preferential voting but, somehow, it doesn’t quite seem real. You want rid of Howard, so you vote for the other bloke. You don’t mess about with 1s and 2s and 3s.
It’s not much consolation for this election but one suspects that, like John Howard in the nineties, Bob Brown will be able to say of the next decade: "The times will suit me."
If the anyone-but-Howard mood leaves little space for a third party, consider the landscape after a Rudd victory. The Liberals will be so preoccupied with fratricidal bloodletting that traditional Toryism will be off the agenda for some time, even as a Blairite Labor Party reveals that economic conservatism coupled with social conservatism equals something pretty damn conservative. In those circumstances, one could easily imagine Brown becoming a focal point for disappointed Rudd voters.