August 4, 2009

The Grech who vanished

It seems like only six weeks ago that Godwin Grech stole the headlines, yet we didn’t know him at all.

Now the entire country knows Godwin to be a deeply private Christian man, a nervous drinker of copious amounts of coke, a workaholic, a friendly and kind neighbor, a man inclined to do his gardening at odd hours of the night, a person of fragile health, having once nearly been felled by septicemia, a committed Bulldogs fan who helped get $8M in federal government funding to rebuild their Whitten Oval in Footscray, and, thanks to the over-sharing of his worried neighbors, we know that he suffers chronic bowel problems.

All that, and then Godwin vanished into the wards of the psychiatric section of a Canberra hospital, where he remains.

Prior to his hospitalization, Malcolm Turnball & co fed him to the wolves, declaring promptly that Grech was a long term snitch, having provided unspecified information to the Liberals over a long period – how long is puzzling, given that the Liberal party were in power for more than a decade, so would hardly have been in regular need of leaks from their own departments.

The congo line of public servants lining up to feed information to the Liberal party has, oddly enough, shrunk somewhat. Revealing your sources without even being tortured is not a good look; does not inspire leakees to come forth and lavish you with leaks.

The most mystifying aspect of the Utegate affair has always been why, oh why, oh why, would this diligent career public servant concoct an email, and why, oh why, oh why, he would give the fake to the opposition leader to read.



From his hospital bed, Mr Grech has now revealed that his motive was pure: he was desperate to save jobs in the car industry, desperate for the OzCar bill to be passed.

Grech also insists that there had been an email from the Prime Minister's office and that the fake was his best-bet memory of the real thing.

Left hanging, left still utterly inexplicable, is why the opposition needed to be privy to that email - fake or real - and why dumping Rudd and Swan into allegations of mate-helping was going to help pass the bill.

How, how, how did any of this contribute to or influence either major parties in the Senate to pass the bill that was, apparently, so occupying Grech that he suddenly felt the urge, after decades of service, to breach every important code of conduct by which he and others perform their government jobs?

"My concern was that the issue of Grant could be used to frustrate the passage of the bill," he said.

Except that no one knew about the "issue of Grant", no one. Certainly not senators from either side of the fence.

Before Grech himself sat in front of a senate hearing, no one knew anything about anything, and the bill, prior to Grech and the fake email was not at risk, period.

Forging an email might have been an "error of judgment", as Grech now concedes, but this error and his anxiety that the finance bill be passed in the senate doesn't bring clarity, resolution or closure.

We're still left wondering what the hell Godwin was thinking, and more so, what the hell did the grossly intemperate Turnball think he was going to get from this opaque little affair.

In search of Godwin

Rudd, Swan cleared over OzCar Affair

Why I faked OzCar email: Godwin Grech


  1. At the risk of displaying the worst traits of a geeky conspiracy theorist, let me throw this out there:

    Perhaps Godwin Grech doesn't exist at all. Instead the name is code, the initials of the name being "G.G." which is a common abbreviation for the Governor General. I don't suppose the G.G. was having another pop at our Prime Minister just like in November '75 ???

    Surely not.

  2. If Godwin Grech was faked that explains why the face suited the name so well. I never saw a man who looked like such a Godwin Grech before.

  3. Nope, you can't put this one down to any conspiracy theory.

    Godwin is one who cannot and is not a fabrication, he was not conjured.

    *Shoosh, don't tell anyone* ... I used to live in Canberra ...