Of Webs; woven, tangled and broken. – AuntyPru forum version.
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.” – Walter Scott, Marmion.
It is not very often that I get moved to saying thank goodness for the heavy weight bureaucrats, but the performance of our senior government ministers and parliamentarians over the past week in the political world makes you glad there are some cool, sensible heads keeping the wheels turning. I have no idea the cost involved ‘running’ the parliament for a week; I have even less idea of what major decisions, those which affect the lives of the people have been delayed, again, while the hair pulling and bitch slapping games are played out. No wonder there is opposition to a federal ICAC – Barnaby leading the charge
“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” ― Mark Twain
Joyce said an anti-political corruption watchdog was unnecessary in Australia, and he didn’t want to get to the point “where people are scared for the government to govern”.
“I don’t think there is a real sense in Australia of a concern with the political system,” he said on Sunday.
“We don’t lack any capacity in our federal system to pursue issues that are a concern within the political frame. We’ve got a Senate in federal politics which all the time calls inquiries, it can basically subpoena people, it has the capacity if there is a query to follow that through.
“I just don’t want to get to the position where people are scared for the government to govern and all that happens is departments govern, because any time you make a decision that’s different to your department you have the potential to end up in front of Icac, that would not be governing.”
Yes; well. While we are ‘on politics’ as part of the ongoing ‘digging’ into the Pel-Air fiasco; P2 dug up a carefully concealed bone, which, when examined, provided some ‘interesting’ data, which explained much.
P2 – “However it wasn’t till I stumbled across the former Minister for Non-aviation Albo’s explanatory speech, for the introduction of the amendment, that the penny dropped that this was nothing more than Albo creating further ‘degrees of separation’ between himself, the government and anything remotely resembling responsibility and oversight of aviation safety – read it and weep…”
P7 – “Abrogation of ministerial responsibility and a perfect system for both ATSB and CASA to be responsible to no man. The CASA board may be seen as being completely inutile, ATSB answer to no man. Both may, with legally approved, ministerial sanction tell the world and it’s wife to go and ‘boil their bottoms’. And they do, repeatedly and often. O’Sullivan’s next for the pot, if he don’t get a shift on and catch up.”
P7 – “When you add the ‘Act’ to the untrammelled power bestowed on the incumbent ‘Boss’ of either department there is a clear picture of total separation from question, inquiry, responsibility and governmental control. A free hand with a lovely big circuit breaker between them, the DoIT, the minister, the Senate or even the gods themselves.
There are now three (3) additional, separate ATSB investigations, within active investigations. You have to wonder what the devil Hood is playing at; since when and with what expertise can the ATSB tackle the big end of developers, retailers and the DoIT? Many believe Hood is merely kicking up a dust cloud to distract from his part in the last FAA audit and the Pel-Air ditching debacle to divert questions about how, in the seven hells, he got the top job at ATSB. There are other valid theories; some not quite as savoury, but we’ll keep those for another day.
Which brings us neatly to ‘Estimates’, which ain’t really ‘politics’ but important to the aviation world. There are some interesting rumours in the wind, much theory and some disappointment must be expected. I have this week had the opportunity to catch up with not only P7 but the other two attending a ‘briefing’ for the Estimates committee to get the finer details and the nuances etc. from that session. P7 was supposed to be there to ‘hold the jackets’, perhaps weigh in to the ‘technical’ areas and, most importantly, to observe (he is good at it). Now then, I can’t reproduce our conversation from about the third beer, what I can do is leave it up to the reader to work that out from the following:-
Sen Rex Patrick is star quality, an intelligent, articulate gentleman who has diligently done his homework and completely ‘get’s it’.
Sen David Fawcett – brilliant; with a crystal clear view of the ‘problems’ aviation faces and, more importantly, how to fix those problems.
Sen Glen Sterle – See’s the big picture, knows the problems and just wants to get on with it, get it all sorted out so he can move on to other matters which demand his attention.
Three star quality players in the front row; waiting for the delayed kick off whistle, they must wait for the ‘drones’; then they must wait for the regional airlines, then wait for whatever else is hanging in limbo while the referee makes sure all the boot laces are regulation length, tied in just right manner and the studs are exactly the right make, style and size. The main hold up is that the referee is used to overseeing the parliamentary ladies badminton matches, not a full blooded version of ‘the game they play in heaven’. It would help greatly if he actually understood the game- alas.
There is a call for certain CASA officers to be present at the next ‘Estimates’. Seems the Falcon Air horror story may get an airing. N.B. I did say ‘may’. Much depends on the referee; but it would be great if it happened. Not that much will change afterwards – but these sort of events do amuse the crowd. So, “throw him to the floor.”
The dogs and I met the sunrise this morning – that wonderful hour where night and day merge and the world shakes itself awake. The stone floor of the stable is cool and the dogs are sprawled over as I sit, with an illicit smoke and decadent second coffee, waiting for P7 to turn up with a couple of tools (and expertise) we need to complete a repair. Peace, for the moment rules supreme.