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Monday, 30 August 1993
Page: 475

Senator BROWNHILL —My question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Is the minister aware that the Artful Dodger in Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist was a pickpocket who lived in constant fear of being caught and that his real name was John Dawkins? Can the minister appreciate the resemblance between the current Australian Treasurer and the Artful Dodger, especially as both are called John Dawkins, both pick people's pockets surreptitiously, and both live in fear of being caught? Would he agree that Treasurer Dawkins has been caught by his mates in the union movement for picking too many pockets too frequently and told to rewrite his budget?

Senator GARETH EVANS —All I can say, contemplating that question and contemplating what Dr Hewson had to say about the opposition's approach to this tax policy last week, is that I would describe him, whatever he looks like, as Bill Sykes the burglar and Alexander Downer as Bill Sykes's dog.