Friday, November 30, 2007

Liberals Suddenly Very Interested In The Government Being Held To Account

The Rudd Government, That Is

Libs Helen Coonan and Christopher Pyne now believe that an Australian government should keep its promises, should be held to account for its actions and should face heat and intense scrutiny when it acts dishonestly. Nothing like being kicked out of power to make politicians champions of integrity, honesty and substance :
Helen Coonan : "It's very important...that the Rudd led Labor party is made to fulfil their promises to the electorate and be kept accountable."

Christopher Pyne : "....the one thing that counts, which is holding Kevin Rudd accountable for his promises and his frontbench accountable for their incompetencies."

Helen Coonan : "I think it is very important to hold Kevin Rudd accountable..." "Can I just say one thing about holding Kevin Rudd accountable...eventually somebody's going to have to actually implement what they say and we will be holding Labor accountable, I assure you."
Great. But what about holding the Liberal Party accountable for the past 11.5 years? Christopher Pyne explains how that works :
"...we have to forget about the past."
Well, you can have your dreams.

Former foreign minister, Alexander Downer, is all for forgetting the past as well :
"...what’s the point of going back over the last 12 months, we can't relive that. It's all over. We just, I think for the Liberal Party, it won't be doing itself much of a favour by a constant retrospective."
It's no wonder Downer, and the rest of the survivors, want to forget about the past year, and the past11.5 years, of Liberal/National government.

Tim Dunlop runs through some of the numerous ways the Howard government shafted the Australian people and ducked and weaved their way through some of the most outrageous and shocking events, boondoggles, double standards and outright fabrications of recent decades :

I can’t remember the number of times we were told that Mr Howard doesn’t lie and that even if he does, so what, all politicians lie; that “core promises” was a perfectly legitimate way of dealing with election commitments; that any government or prime ministerial fudging in regard to “children overboard” was a figment of the “Howard haters” vile imagination; that there were absolutely no problems with the government’s handling of AWB scandal; that the Haneef matter was dealt with strictly according to the law with no eye to political advantage; that David Hicks deserved everything he got and that the government were always perfectly upfront about their dealings with the Bush Administration on the issue; that we were told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the invasion of Iraq; that the subsequent change of position of why we were in Iraq and how long we were staying there was perfectly reasonable; that the former government did have a mandate for WorkChoices because they mentioned something about in passing on their website before the 2004 election; that the “fairness test” wasn’t a backflip contradicting their previous commitments to make no fundamental changes to the legislation; that the business union ads the previous government demanded were a completely honest assessment based on sound econometric research; that Mr Howard’s multi-billion dollar splurge on government advertising was justifiable down to the last cent and that the ads themselves never had any political intent...
Dunlop has more on all this here and makes this final, extremely valid point :
Thank you, Mr Howard. By running the most dishonest government in living memory you seem to have converted a generation of your own supporters to the cause of integrity in government and this is, apparently, going to be a key theme of the new Coalition Opposition...This is a good thing for the country, something some of us having been arguing for some time.