john howard lied to parliament

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    Remember Honest John? The man who gave us the Children Overboard and WMD? No surprise really that now he has blatantly and cynically lied to parliament. This man has presided over the most morally bankrupt government in Australian history. Those who love him deserve him....

    This article from The Age

    Time for John Howard to come clean
    August 12, 2003

    John Howard did mislead Parliament, and he should just admit it, writes Louise Dodson.

    John Howard should set the parliamentary record straight. He insists he did not mislead Parliament about a private meeting with a businessman and major Liberal donor - but documents from his own department and the parliamentary record show he was not entirely frank either.

    The documents show he privately met Dick Honan, who heads Manildra, an ethanol company, a month before the Government announced an overhaul of fuel excise that benefited the ethanol industry by tens of millions.

    Although Mr Howard was questioned incessantly by Labor in Parliament after the meeting, he denied having discussions with Mr Honan or industry representatives.

    Under fire from Labor yesterday, the Prime Minister argued his previous answers denying discussions with Mr Honan related specifically to whether he had talked about the arrival of a shipment of cheap ethanol from Brazil.

    This is splitting hairs.

    Mr Howard also argued he did not mislead Parliament because he had no reason to do so - he was not trying to hide the meeting and, in any case, Mr Honan did not succeed in efforts to lobby the Government to adopt further measures that would benefit the industry.

    This is not the point. We would not even have known about the private meeting if Labor had not obtained parts of the record of the meeting through freedom of information. We know little else, even now.

    For people to have faith in our political system they have to know the rich and powerful do not have more influence than anyone else with the Prime Minister and the Government.

    Mr Howard should tell Parliament that he (possibly inadvertently) misled Parliament.

    And he should do more. He should give a more detailed picture of the decision-making process which preceded the Government's decision to assist the industry - which is dominated by Mr Honan's company
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