No Smoking Gun


Let’s face it, as far as the Cole Inquiry’s concerned, there won’t be a smoking gun. What there will be is a steaming pile of smelly, unsightly manure.

As Mark Vaile, the Minister for the Post Boxes at the RG Casey Building in Canberra, sat in the hot seat on Monday and did a passable impression of a stunned mullet, I wondered how all this was playing out in Voterland. Were they interested? Were they even listening?

Thanks to Scratch.

Vaile’s constituency, of course, would be largely sympathetic to the simple country boy being grilled by those wily city-slickers who wouldn’t know a tractor if it fell on them (Who would? I ask myself). So what, if Vaile couldn’t remember what day it was? After all, he had better things to occupy his time, like that excellent Free Trade Agreement with the US that we had inserted into us a few years back. You know, the one that didn’t mention sugar at all, and went on to say that the Americans would consider the possibility of one day looking at the eventuality of sooner or later assessing if some part of a restricted definition of what might be considered Australian ‘meat’ could ever be imported and sold in the USA?

Yessiree, Mark was doing the hard yards back then! Pre-occupied, I think you’d say.

And then on Tuesday, Vaile flick-passed the poison pill (if you pardon the mixed metaphor) to his sophisticated, urbane colleague, Alexander Downer, the Minister for all those other Post Boxes at the RG Casey Building in Canberra. Downer was statelier than Vaile. He spoke in sentences and even convinced a few of the hardened, elitist wits in the room that he actually understood that something was not as it should be.

And then it was quick hands along the back line as Downer flicked that poison pill on to the United Nations finally pinning down the real villain of the piece.

What no one has mentioned over the interminable weeks and months of the Cole Inquiry, is that it was the UN who had the lack of understanding to set up this inherently corrupt system whereby Iraq could sell its own natural resources to the developed world so we could drive to the movies or fly to Fashion Week in Milan, in exchange for money to buy food for its own people many of whom we had abandoned to Saddam’s nerve gas and Republican Guards after encouraging them to revolt after that First Gulf War, when we teased them with ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom (Not)’ under that First George Bush. Am I going too fast for you Mr Vaile?

It will be wonderful if we get to hear John Howard, too. He’s the Minister in charge of the Post Boxes in National Circuit, Barton, I think. Or is it Kirribilli? No matter. He’ll remember everything he didn’t know about and wasn’t told. He’ll know where all the skeletons are buried and where all the babies were thrown overboard. He’ll talk. He’ll sing. And we’ll all feel better for it.

Thank you Mark, Alex and John. I feel so much safer now.

José Borghino


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