There’ve been a few departures today but amongst them is Paul Wolfowitz . I often wonder why righties think that post modernity is some conspiracy of the left. Well I don’t really – I guess it’s because so many of the philosophers and cultural commentators who are regarded as leading lights of post-modernism were instinctively left.
Most of the post modern moments I see are enacted by those in power. Though sometimes they’re in power representing parties that think of themselves as left leaning my impression is that the ones representing the right are more audacious. If it is so I always think the answer is implicit in what I think is my all time favourite Oscar Wilde gag – not nearly as famous as many others. In the opening scene of The Tmportance of Being Earnest in which Algernon reflects on the servant’s lax views on marriage “Really, if the lower orders dont set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them?”
John Howard gave us a post modern moment when he brought ministerial responsibility back for a little cameo a month or so ago – a strictly walk-on-walk-off role – in which Ian Campbell resigned for having met with Brian Burke, not because that was the wrong thing but because the Government at the time was arguing that it was the wrong thing for Kevin Rudd to do and Campbell was therefore getting in the way of the ‘optics’ of that campaign. This was explicitly mentioned by the smiling Campbell as he resigned.
Now Paul Wolfowitz has resigned. Of course he did nothing wrong and indeed acted in good faith throughout – but it’s just one of those things. He’s found a way for himself and the institution that he has led to ‘move forward’.
I’ve taken the liberty of interpolating a little explanatory material into the statement announcing his resignation.
Statement of executive directors
Over the last three days we have considered
carefullythe report of the ad hoc group, the associated documents, and the submissions and presentations of Mr. Wolfowitz. Our deliberations were greatly assisted by our discussion with Mr Wolfowitz. He assured us that he acted ethically and in good faith in what he believed were the best interests of [his girlfriend] the institution, and we [have done a deal with him to say that we] accept that. We also accept that others involved acted ethically and in good faith. At the same time, it is clear from this material that [rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb] a number of mistakes were made by a number of individuals in handling the matter under consideration, and that the Banks systems did not prove robust to the strain under which they were placed [the IT system was a particular problem allowing e-mails to be identified]. One conclusion we draw from this is the need to review [rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb] the governance framework of the World Bank Group, including the role as well as procedural and other aspects of the Ethics Committee.The Executive Directors accept Mr. Wolfowitzs decision to resign as President of the World Bank Group, effective end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2007). The Board will start the nomination process for a new President immediately [but won’t review the governance process which involves the appointment being the gift of the US President which was the problem in the first place].
We are grateful to Mr. Wolfowitz for his service at the Bank. Much has been achieved in the last two years, including [a pay rise for Paul’s girlfriend – rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb – not to mention the invation of Iraq an early victory for Mr Wolfowitz who was not however associated with the Bank at the time]. . . .
It is regrettable that these achievements have been overshadowed by recent events. Mr Wolfowitz has stressed his deep support for and attachment to [rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb] the World Bank and his responsibility, as its President, to act at all stages in the best interests of [his girlfriend]
the institution. This sense of duty and responsibility[Paul’s inability to successfully take contracts out on his enemies, righteous and otherwise] has led him to his announcement today. We thank him for this and underscore our appreciation for his commitment to development and his continuing support for [his girlfriend] the World Bank and its mission.
Statement by Paul Wolfowitz
I am pleased that after reviewing all the evidence the Executive Directors of the World Bank Group have accepted my assurance that I acted ethically and in good faith in what I believed were the best interests of
the institution, including protecting the rights of a valued staff member [my girlfriend].
The poorest people of the world, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa deserve the very best that we can deliver. Now it is necessary to find a way to move forward. [rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb]
There really is a fair bit of rhubarb after that but I’m afraid I haven’t read it.