Thursday, July 15, 2004


At the age of five, on my very first full day of primary school, I learnt a valuable lesson. It happened at lunchtime. It was late summer and extremely hot. I saw some older kids playing under the sprinklers. They were laughing and having what looked like a lot of fun. So I went over and joined in. Well, just about then a teacher showed up along with a bunch of prefects. The older kids scattered leaving me standing by myself soaked to the skin under the sprinkler.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard must now be feeling how I felt then. That he'd joined the big kids on one of their fun adventures only to have them disappear when the going got tough. But unlike my five-year old self he's refusing to admit that he's done anything wrong. He steadfastly says that he believes that Iraq had WMDs immediately before the 2003 invasion by the "Coalition of the Willing" and that they will eventually be found. The US has admitted they got it wrong in their estimation of Iraq's WMDs and now Britain too has reported that there were no WMDs. But still John Howard won't admit the obvious. Why?

Because he still hasn't learnt the lesson that I did when I was five. That when you do something wrong it is better to own up to it and take your licks instead of trying to deny it.

As for my punishment, I got carried kicking and screaming by the head prefect to the headmaster's office, where I waited for twenty terrified minutes until he sent me home to my none-too-impressed mother.

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