March 15, 2003


THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD'S Alan Ramsey thinks the Prime Minister should confront his enemies in hand-to-hand combat:

Our Prime Minister these days has a permanent armed bodyguard, around the clock, of 13 so-called "federal agents" - we cannot help copying the Americans - who work in relays. It used to be a unit of seven when Paul Keating was prime minister. It has all but doubled for his successor. And yet still John Howard will not take his argument for war out to the Australian people. Instead he does it by interview from the safety of his office over the phone with a clutch of favoured radio talkback hosts or from television studios.

Or in nationally broadcast speeches. Ramsey imagines that the logic of Howard's position would be enhanced by placing himself in the midst of hostile demonstrators; perhaps he should urge Saddam Hussein to try the same stunt. Come to think of it, I haven't noticed Ramsey taking his argument against war out to to the Australian people. Instead he does it by computer from the safety of his office.

Ramsey also writes:

Two weeks ago John Kiesling, an American diplomat, sent a letter to the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, that says everything about the George Bush White House that worries Australians. What follows is an edited version.

Kiesling sent the letter (by fax) on Monday, February 24, almost three weeks ago. Alan Ramsey is the world's only weekly columnist with monthly deadlines.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 15, 2003 01:44 AM