04 June 2009

Joel is no longer our Defence Minister. Good.

Just off the top of my head, in his short time in this senior Ministerial role this belligerent and unrepentant, but clearly politically well placed Hunter valley unionist, has:
  • failed to get the US to sell us any F22 Raptors notwithstanding his idle boasting that he could when opportunistically simply aping some spectacularly ill informed, politically motivated and superficial views of the ABC's 4Corners programme, about the capabilities of FA18 Superhornets that had been ordered by the Coalition before the last election;
  • inadverantly been caught by counter-intelligence spooks whilst Minister of Defence sleeping with a Chinese government sponsored business women ( his "very close family friend") ;
  • failed to disclose gifts to him from Chinese nationals, including paid visits to military shows in China with his father (from whom he inherited his seat in parliament) ;
  • obfuscated the future funding of proposed new Labor Defence projects so completely that defence industry experts are now unable to realistically cost his ludicrous Defence White Paper big toy fantasies;
  • spent millions of taxpayers funds investigating his own Department for allegedly spying on him;
  • overlooked that his hotel accommodation in Brisbane whilst a minister was paid for by an insurance company run by his brother; and
  • permitted military officers and department officials to meet with his brother to discuss business opportunities with Defence in Joel's own Canberra office;

Good riddance. Fitzgibbon junior was a disgrace to federal ministerial office and potentially compromised our national security. He was way out of his depth in such an important portfolio. His resignation will not be mourned by his Department, whatever some Labor lackey at the Australian Defence Association quoted by AAP might say.

How does an honest person reconcile the statement of the Prime Minister that Joel's resignation was of Joel's own volition, with Joel's statement that he does not feel he has done anything wrong? Kerry O'Brien at the ABC didn't even seem to think that this glaring contradiction needed to be addressed by the PM and, unsurprisingly, as usual it didn't even occur to Phil Coorey in the SMH to explore something that might end up reflecting badly on his Labor mates. It just goes to show yet again how love can make you blind. But why are these pundits ceded any credibility when they fail to do their job as journalists in holding a government to account?

But who will get this much coveted gig now? Greg Combet or will Kev give it to one of the other girls?

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