12 April 2006

Teflon John has questions to answer

BerlinBear avatarAlso on the front page of BBC News today is a story about the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard. Now, anyone who's been reading my blog since the early days already knows what I think of Teflon John. To say he is my second most disliked Western leader would be to put it mildly. Back in April 2005, I put it like this:
I'm afraid that this just further confirms my previously-held impression of John Howard as, frankly, an arrogant tosser. ... If I were Australian, I'd view him as an embarrassment to my country.
and this:
[John Howard is] an odious little man with an attitude problem and a misplaced desire to turn his country into a carbon-copy of the USA.
This is the man, remember, who unabashedly maintained that the recent race riots in the suburbs of Sydney, stirred up by white supremacists and violently targeting the Lebanese community (some of whom retaliated with violence also), did not in anyway reveal a racist underbelly of Australian society. Yeah, right! And yet he keeps getting re-elected. Go figure.

In any case, it would appear that Teflon John is in a bit of trouble over an Australian link to irregularities (= accepted bribes) in the UN-administered oil-for-food programme, which allowed Iraq to export a limited amount of oil to pay for food. He has previously publicly denied that he or his government had any knowledge that kickbacks were paid under this scheme.

There is an inquiry into this scandal going on in Australia right now. John Howard has already submitted a written statement to said inquiry, but now, as the BBC reports today, he has been summoned to appear before it in person tomorrow. Oops! Not a good look, especially since this will apparently make John Howard the first serving Prime Minister to face an official inquiry in Australia since 1983. Poor chap, my heart bleeds.

You know what they say: where there's smoke, there's fire. I'll be watching the results with interest, to say the least.

; ;