Tony Abbott: The Moral Case For The Howard Government

The Minister for Health, Tony Abbott, has delivered a speech to Young Liberals defending the Howard government on moral grounds.

Abbott claimed: “There is a moral case to be made for the policies of the Howard Government such as Work for the Dole, the war in Iraq, the mandatory detention of illegal boat people along with much else which is supposed to indicate its heartlessness. But it’s a much harder and more complex argument than that which holds that the proper role of government is to play the Good Samaritan on an epic scale.” [Read more…]


Children Overboard: Admiral Chris Barrie In Humiliating Recantation

The Chief of the Defence Force, Admiral Chris Barrie, has recanted his earlier statements about the Children Overboard affair.

Barrie appeared before the Senate Estimates Committee today. He later issued a statement and held a press conference today.

Barrie’s statement is seen as letting the Howard government off the hook over its actions during last year’s election campaign. [Read more…]


John Howard’s Press Conference In Support Of The Governor-General

The Prime Minister, John Howard, has given his support to the Governor-General, Peter Hollingworth.

Speaking at a press conference today, Howard said he had come to the conclusion “that there are no grounds to advice on the information now available to Her Majesty to terminate Dr. Hollingworth’s appointment”.

Howard said: “People will say and he has admitted that he has probably been guilty of some errors of judgement in relation to certain matters. But that is for none of us, to use the colloquialism, of itself a hanging offence. Who of us have not been guilty in the discharge of some of our obligations errors of judgement?” [Read more…]


Howard Confronts Crises Over Children Overboard And Governor-General

An unprecedented political crisis confronts the Federal Government on two fronts today, threatening to severely damage its political effectiveness and hasten the departure of the Prime Minister, John Howard.

HowardThe Governor-General, Peter Hollingworth, leaves today for a three-day official visit to New Zealand, leaving behind him an ongoing controversy over his handling of child sex abuse allegations in the Brisbane Anglican church diocese. There are now widespread calls for Hollingworth’s resignation. It is difficult to see how he can survive much longer, but John Howard faces an exquisite dilemma in that he probably does not want to be the first prime minister to dismiss a governor-general.

The more damaging problem for the government is the revelation by Air Marshal Angus Houston, the Acting Head of the Defence Force, to the Senate Estimates Committee that former Defence Minister Peter Reith was told on November 7 that there was uncertainty about the children overboard allegations. [Read more…]


Children Overboard: Houston On What He Told Reith; Barrie Backs Howard

Defence Department heads have spoken about the children overboard affair.

The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Angus Houston spoke of what he reported to previous Defence Minister Peter Reith.

The Chief of the Defence Force, Admiral Chris Barrie, backed Prime Minister John Howard in his remarks. [Read more…]


“Children Overboard” Gallery Of Photographs

These are the photographs released on February 18 from the Defence Department Media Centre. [Read more…]


Howard Grilled At Lively Press Conference; Tense Mood In Question Time

The Prime Minister, John Howard, has this afternoon been interrogated about the two crises besetting his government: the allegations and revelations about the “children overboard” story, and the allegations confronting the Governor-General.

For more than 30 minutes, Howard took a series of often aggressive questions from the Canberra press gallery. He refused to say he would seek the resignations of members of his staff, and defended the actions of his foreign policy advisor, Miles Jordana.

Last night, it was revealed that prior to last year’s election Mr. Jordana was in receipt of advice from the Defence Department that there were doubts about allegations of children thrown overboard from a refugee vessel. [Read more…]