Monday, July 09, 2007

Confusion in Govt Ranks

The last few days have seen some confusion in messages from members of teh Federal Government.

Last week Minister for Defence, Brendan Nelson, let slip that oil ("resource security") was one of the reasons for going to war in Iraq, and staying there. Within hours we had "the big three" - the Prime Minister, The Treasurer and the Foreign Affairs Minister all denying it. Whether any voters believed them is irrelevant: it is the Government's style to pick a position and defend it to the death; even when they, and everybody else, know they are wrong.

Today, there was apparent confusion in statements from Prime Minister John Howard and Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer about whether travel warnings to Indonesia had been upgraded. The Prime Minster said there was an upgraded warning about travel to Indonesia. Alexander Downer said there wasn't. The matter is resolved in Mr Downer's favour. The smartraveller website, published by the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade, says:

"This advice has been reviewed and reissued. ... The overall level of the advice has not changed." (9 July 2007, 20:25)

The Prime Minister will be hoping that voters don't penalise him in opinion polls. Only time will tell.