Loose Cannons

Issue 

Loose cannons

Loves the jobless

"The freedom to establish trade unions ... has no meaning if there are many unemployed in society." — The Prime Menzies, John Howard, either giving advice to or learning from his Indonesian host, the dictator Suharto.

Family affair

"The case might have revealed that embezzlement is a way of life for these gulf royal families. And no-one wanted that." — A Saudi official, explaining why Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah had intervened to end a court battle between Sheikh Hamed of Qatar and his father and predecessor, whom Sheikh Hamed accuses of having embezzled US$8 billion during his reign.

Surprise!

"[US] officials have acknowledged the [Clinton] Administration misstepped when it announced on Friday that it was sending 5,000 US troops to Kuwait ... before telling the Kuwaitis." — Sydney Morning Herald, September 18.

That settles it

"Indonesia is frequently criticised for its human rights record, but you have to remember that Indonesia has set up its own human rights commission." — The brain that's battered, foreign minister Alexander Downer.

Land of opportunity

"It's certainly a growth industry." — Kathie Jo Kadziauskas on her business in Santa Paula, California. She cleans up the scenes of murders and other crimes.

Too clear?

"I guess it could have been better worded." — A spokesperson for immigration minister Philip Ruddock on a department letter sent to the Indonesian wife of an Australian citizen, telling her, incorrectly, that if a "cap" on spouse entries was reached, her application to migrate to Australia would not be considered until next July.

At last, the truth

"US will keep on criticising human rights" — Headline in the September 20 Sydney Morning Herald.

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