Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Talented Mr Howard's Game

Jonathon Trelawney: I know that I should thank you because I wouldn't be alive now if you hadn't helped me but I can't say it. I can't say ... thank you. I know I don't know anything about you. Who are you?

Tom Ripley: I'm a creation. I'm a gifted improviser. I lack your conscience and when I was young that troubled me. It no longer does. I don't worry about being caught because I don't believe anyone is watching ...

KERRY O'BRIEN: ... In Mike Scrafton, you have a former senior Defence official who says he made clear to you at at the time that no children were thrown overboard.

He is backed up by two senior Defence officers, a serving major-general and Navy commander and also another senior Defence official.

They say he told them all at the time that you knew that you had been told that no children had been thrown overboard and yet you continued to tell Australian voters the opposite.

What do their accounts and recollections say about your honesty?

JOHN HOWARD: Well, they're not direct evidence.

There are only two people had that conversation and I dispute his recollection.

This is all known.

People know that I dispute that recollection and I continue to dispute it, but there is really nothing I can add to that and my recollection is consistent with the recollections of my staff, but in the end, people will make a judgment about that.

I don't seek to denigrate Mr Scrafton.

I'm sure he believes what he is saying.

I am simply saying my recall is different and I'm also saying that what people remember about that issue is that we stopped the boats.

We were very strong on border protection and the Labor Party was weak.

7.30 Report (my emphasis)

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