Sunday, March 04, 2007

Why we love pollies.

Australian minister quits over row


Sydney: Attacks by Australia's conservative government against its resurgent opposition over links to a corrupt state leader were turned on their head yesterday when a Cabinet minister quit amid the growing scandal.

In a blow to Prime Minister John Howard as he faces an election later this year, Human Services Minister Senator Ian Campbell quit Howard's Cabinet after it was revealed he met "corrupt" former Labor politician Brian Burke last year.


Howard's government has ratcheted up attacks on new centre-left opposition Labor leader Kevin Rudd in the past week over three meetings he had with Burke in 2005 before he became Labor leader.

Treasurer Peter Costello launched volleys of criticism in parliament against Rudd for meeting a man he said was a convicted criminal and corrupt influence peddler. Costello said anyone who dealt with Burke was "morally and politically compromised".

Another senior government member, Tony Abbott, likened dealing with Burke to "supping with the devil".

Howard described Campbell's meeting as an error of judgment, even though it was within his portfolio duties as the then environment minister.

So we can now be confident that Howard will instruct his underlings to withdraw their remarks and replace them with accusations of errors of judgement?

Or are we to believe what we're told - when doing the same thing, the guvmint only has innocuous lapses of judgement while the opposition is morally and politically compromised by supping with the devil.

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