Russell's war on accountability

By Markus Mannheim
Updated April 18 2018 - 11:41am, first published March 16 2012 - 4:00pm

I don't know retired major-general John Cantwell; I've neither met him nor heard any notable anecdotes about him, other than that he enjoys motorbikes and plonk. But I suspect he's a pretty funny bloke. He let rip last weekend against two of the defence ministers he served: Joel Fitzgibbon (''an auto-electrician in a suit'') and Stephen Smith (''had no respect for those who chose to serve in uniform for their country''). In doing so, he unleashed a storm that still threatens Smith's career. Yet I'm convinced it's all part of an elaborate joke on Cantwell's part.