Saturday, June 20, 2009

OzCar - nail in whose coffin?

What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday the Liberals were in full attack mode (and their supporters in full party mode) with suggestions both Rudd and Swan should resign.

Now it all seems to have turned to poo.

The problem is that the email supposedly sent from Rudd advisor Andrew Charlton to OzCar Manager Godwin Grech seems to be completely fake.

Woops, as they say.

Last night Rudd announced a full enquiry into the matter by the Auditor General - a pretty strong step to take. Today he upped the stakes even more by bringing the AFP into the case, and asking them to investigate who wrote the email (if any) and whether any charges should be laid relating to impersonating a public official.

The Libs - and Turnbull - are now in full retreat. Turnbull is denying having a copy of the email - which is a bit odd since on Wednesday he told Charlton that he knew there was documentary evidence of it (was he just guessing?). And given that Turnbull on 4 June asked Rudd and Swan six questions about Grant in Question Time, he can hardly claim he was only acting on newspaper reports - because at that point there hadn't been any.

This whole thing smells a lot like the Canuck Letter of the Watergate affair. In that case a letter was forged and sent to the press suggesting that the Democratic Party Presidential candidate Ed Muskie had made jokes about French-Canadians. The FBI found that the letter was written by those involved in Nixon's dirty tricks campaign that was at the centre of the whole Watergate Affair.

Here we have an email read out to the press (not actually given the the press, just "read out") that is apparently by a Rudd staffer. Turnbull has used this email as the basis for his whole accusations against Rudd and Swan.

So when did Turnbull first hear about the text of the email? Given the line of questioning on 10 June, it would be reasonable perhaps to suspect it was before that date. Either that or Turnbull was just asking questions about an unknown ute for no reason whatsoever. You know, just wondering...

This has backfired on Turnbull very quickly. 24 hours ago it was Rudd whose credibility was on the line. Now Turnbull needs to step up and tell us all he knows. That is, unless he thinks it's OK to demand the PM resign purely on the basis of stuff that's been made up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Also interesting to note That John Grant has stated that...

"he had inquired about the scheme - "like most dealers did" - through Wayne Swan's office, when his financier GE seemed ready to pull out of Australia.

"When GMAC (Financial Services) and GE decided to pull out of the country, dealers didn't know what was going on," he said. "The government came up with a package, and vehicle dealers wanted to know what was happening with it.

"I did ring to find out what the program was about and I found out that it couldn't be drawn down by the dealers; it could only be drawn down by the finance companies and banks.

"They were the only people who could access the fund, so me as a dealer could get no favours at all. I didn't ask for any favours, and quite frankly I'm still with the financier I started with so nothing's changed for me in my life." "

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