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Tuesday, August 17, 2004Howard is now saying that Jenny McKenry (a former Reithy staffer) did not back up what Scrafton said. He seems to be playing on a lawyeristic technicality that the video and not the photographs were discussed. I listened to this interview on AM this morning and it sounded pretty damning to me. Quotes like:
CATHERINE MCGRATH: Mike Scrafton also said that he told the Prime Minister that no one he spoke to in Defence believed the children had been thrown overboard. What about you, did you believe the children had been thrown overboard?
JENNY MCKENRY: I had no evidence to believe that children were thrown overboard.
Sure, she does stress the video, but is this really the point? I don't think Howard can get away with this one. He is trying to change the argument from "you were told that children overboard was shite" to "I was told that the video was inconclusive". Pressure must be mounting on Howard to call an election, however in a half-Senate election, the Senators are free to hang around to mount an inquiry. Howard could have called a double dissolution election but he is now too late! The latest possible election date is 16 April 2005. This may give the Libs some time to regroup, but under whom? If they act now, they may have a chance, but does Costello have the guts? I think not. Perhaps another outcome, however unlikely, is that Howard resigns. Only 2 other prime ministers have freely left the office, and perhaps history will be kinder if he does so, rather than losing an election. No, I'm waffling now, but would Menzies be the icon he is today if he stayed and lost an election? Given that his departure left open the door to the heirs apparent for a bit of a blue made his leadership look all the stronger. A similar picture to the three stooges vying for Howards job. Time to wake up, Howard will stick around, no one will topple him, the election will be held on Christmas day, and everyone will have forgotten what about the whole saga.