Loose cannons


Rift on the right

US Contragate figure Oliver North has cancelled his subscription to that bastion of conservative oracles, Readers Digest, because of an article entitled "Does Oliver North Tell the Truth?" (Answer: he doesn't.)

Nobody did

"How anybody could be silly enough to believe those words I wrote for Bob Hawke about no child living in poverty by 1990, I don't know." — Former Labor government adviser, and current consultant to logging and forestry industries, Richard Farmer, as quoted in the Bulletin, July 13.

It wasn't easy

"How you could elect a government like us I don't know. A government that has no idea how it got us into this problem and no idea how it is going to get us out. But you're the ones who did it." — Richard Farmer, in the same speech.

No idea

"According to Farmer ... Australians have a naive faith that governments have the answers — 'which they don't. The reason Paul Keating has been in virtual hiding for the past three months is that he has no idea either. I doubt if anyone has any idea and things will get a lot worse yet.'" — Bulletin, July 13.

Honesty the worst policy

The Ratner retail chain in Britain has just announced that a further 54 of its stores will close due to the group's annual loss of $95 million. The firm's problems date back two years, to when former chairperson Gerald Ratner publicly boasted that his company made its money by selling "total crap".

The good old days

"In the [Japanese] parliamentary precinct at Nagatacho they still remember the splendid example of Masayoshi Ohira, whose government was heading for oblivion at the 1980 election in the wake of the Lockheed scandal, and who died during the election campaign. The LDP was swept back into power

... on a sympathy vote." — Sydney Morning Herald report on wishful thinking in the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party.

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