January 18, 2006 | Graham

Will this Cole inquiry get a different reception?

Terence Cole QC was the uncompromising head of the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry. He found evidence that fraud, bribery, corruption and stand-over tactics were endemic in the industry. No surprises there. For his troubles he was villified by the some in the union movement, as well as Labor members of parliament, with his commission being referred to as a “Kangaroo Court”.
Now Cole is inquiring into whether the Australian Wheat Board knowingly paid $290 million to Saddam Hussein to facilitate sales of wheat. Evidence presented to the commission implicates foreign minister Alexander Downer in the payments. An adverse finding against Downer should see the end of his political career. Aferall, how can you preach about the need to bring democracy to the Middle East as a way of halting terrorism at the same time that you are effectively funding a regime that you accuse of being the chief sponsor of this terrorism?
This may be the last mishap to batter Alexander Downer in his parliamentary career. And it may also affect others. Who might Downer have discussed the matter with? More than a quarter of a billion dollars is a lot of money. And to a rogue regime.
Now that Cole is in a position to damage the government, left-wing opinion is right behind him. Will the government now become Cole’s enemy. Or is his appointment an indication that they really do want to know the truth of the matter and are not playing politics on it?
I have a theory that left-wing politics is more prone to villification than right-wing politics. Cole provides a natural experiment for testing this theory.

Posted by Graham at 9:38 am | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. You must read different blogs to me then,also you must skip the right wing ratbags that write in the OZ,have you ever watched FOX News and the bloody idiots on that,as for Coles, the Union Commission was a witch hunt,brought on for political use by Howard,I worked in the Industry for 30 yrs and no one every told me how to vote at a union meeting, I have voted against strikes and had no come back,I,m not frightened of anyone never have been,I hope that Cole brings a few of them down but I doubt it,he was put there as Howard I think though he would not push the Govt side to hard,get the underlings and no higher,I will watch what happens with interest,or will we have a repeat of Children overboard.

    Comment by John Ryan — January 18, 2006 @ 9:22 pm

  2. I guess if you were in the majority John, no-one needed to tell you how to vote. Cole was/is a good royal commissioner, and if there is government blood to be sniffed he will sniff it.
    And when was there an Royal Commission into Children overboard? Different thing altogether.

    Comment by Graham Young — January 19, 2006 @ 11:07 pm

  3. “I have a theory that left-wing politics is more prone to villification than right-wing politics.”
    Ha ha ha ha ha.

    Comment by Benno — February 2, 2006 @ 10:05 pm

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