Select Page

[Image: Dg-0VFUVQAE0wbU.jpg]

A rustling – in the bushes? – AP Forum version.

This passage from Wind in the Willows:-

Rat, who was in the stern of the boat, while Mole sculled, sat up suddenly and listened with a passionate intentness. Mole, who with gentle strokes was just keeping the boat moving while he scanned the banks with care, looked at him with curiosity.

`It’s gone!’ sighed the Rat, sinking back in his seat again. `So beautiful and strange and new. Since it was to end so soon, I almost wish I had never heard it. For it has roused a longing in me that is pain, and nothing seems worth while but just to hear that sound once more and go on listening to it for ever. No! There it is again!’ he cried, alert once more. Entranced, he was silent for a long space, spellbound.

`Now it passes on and I begin to lose it,’ he said presently. `O Mole! the beauty of it! The merry bubble and joy, the thin, clear, happy call of the distant piping! Such music I never dreamed of, and the call in it is stronger even than the music is sweet! Row on, Mole, row! For the music and the call must be for us.’

The Mole, greatly wondering, obeyed. `I hear nothing myself,’ he said, `but the wind playing in the reeds and rushes and osiers.’

– has been hovering like a moth around the dim light of my feeble brain – it started while walking home from a BRB/ darts practice. Bemused by the unspoken, almost subliminal atmosphere of the indaba. I should explain – usually it is a frank, open, often ribald, occasionally heated exchange of information, ideas, notions; and, the all important ‘what-if’ scenario back and forth. You know the sort of thing – Fred says “What if the moon is made of green cheese” Charlie says “Well; if that’s so then how come etc.” It is a very useful tool for thrashing out – examining and clarifying situations and implications. None of that ‘tuther night though. It was almost as if we could all hear the ‘thing’ rustling in the bushes, but no one dare name it. I blame it all on Wagga myself – there is, we believe, some very welcome, important news to be released there (or so the stories go). The auguries are good:-

[Image: 3843.jpg]

“Today, to him gazing south with a new-born need stirring in his heart, the clear sky over their long low outline seemed to pulsate with promise; today, the unseen was everything. the unknown the only real fact of life.”Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

; and not so good. One of the great unknowns is how long political pressure can be maintained. Not the pitiful; industry variety, which has long been ignored and dismissed for two generations – but the real thing. It troubles me when both major parties settle into cosy ‘bi-partisan’ arrangement. The actions and decisions of a government need the challenge of grounded opposition – democratic like. One mob wants the ‘One Pie in the Sky’ air traffic system – furry muff; but, ‘tuther mob have (IMO) a duty to challenge, examine and evaluate the worth, merit and cost of that system. Same – same the Act, the Regulations and how the CASA apply and police those regulation; not to mention the regulations themselves. For example how the devil did strict liability gain ascendency; or, Part 61 ever get up: or, how did 48.1 come into being? What the hell were they thinking of – if they were thinking at all. Why has none of it ever challenged? I ramble: – point is, there needs to be a healthy tension between parties in the lower house. No problem at ‘committee’ or inquiry level, where they seem to be able to focus on a narrow ‘band’ in the true spirit and intent of a bi-partisan ideal; but elsewhere, it is not too good a thing methinks.

[Image: willows_wideweb__470x4450.jpg]

But Mole stood still a moment, held in thought. As one wakened suddenly from a beautiful dream, who struggles to recall it, but can recapture nothing but a dim sense of the beauty in it, the beauty! Till that, too, fades away in its turn, and the dreamer bitterly accepts the hard, cold waking and all its penalties.

But, the silence of those reading the wind and sniffing the breeze was more than concern for politics – they sense a danger lurking in the bushes, the stealthy approach of something unwholesome. They are right to be apprehensive; no matter what comes into reality at Wagga. The creatures of the deep swamps and denizens of the Sleepy Hollow dark lagoons will not willingly embrace change which they have not generated – not if it don’t suit ‘em. Some call this the grip of Iron Ring; which many believe will never be broken. It is not in the nature of the beast to simply roll over and say OK minister; we’ll do just as you ask. Gods know, history is loaded with fact that proves categorically that ministers, senators, even top dog mandarins have been bully-ragged into submission by this element.

Entrenched Iron ring examples:


The Iron Ring back in control at CASA HQ

CVD pilot saga..

The Empire Strikes Back! on Colour Defective Pilots


FalconAir vs PelAir – Part II.

On chasing tales and washing spots

Those are the noises we can hear on the breeze, rusting in the trees, furtive, stealthy disturbing whispers of sound, half imagined. Pulling the blankets up about your ears won’t chase this Bogey man away; there is only one way – confront the daemon and shine a bright light on the bloody and disgraceful past history. A history of circumvention, denial, deceit and outright refusal to acquiesce to the requests or demands of past harbingers of real change. Here is my ‘what if’s– RAAus fall deeper into dependency on CASA good will? Is the GAGA crew (or whatever) simply going to get in behind and push like hell to get the scrum over the line – or, will they just go along to get along while working against proper change to carry the ‘preferred agenda’? It is quite a band and it plays a merry tune for those who must dance at the devils own banquet.

[Image: 7613e72c924a153fa2920178dfa4ecce--kennet...-books.jpg]

Now then, did you ever watch a child in a high chair with a bowl porridge -trying to feed itself? No need to go to all that mess and trouble’ just bring up any one of the latest (properly aged and sanitised) ATSB reports – same thing. The AirAsia thing is an excellent example – but for a real close encounter of the appalling mess ATSB is making of it’s breakfast look no further than the Mt Hotham report. It is a masterwork of top cover, dogs breakfast and porridge besmirched toddlers let loose, unsupervised. I’ve no idea what, in the seven hells ATSB think they are doing, who they are doing for and why; but the time for educated adult supervision is now. I notice the stalwart, ever on the ball Old Akro has taken the Hotham shambles to pieces; which earns a Choc Frog – none of our crew can be bothered anymore; its simply easier not to bother reading – particularly when the facts the ATSB have ‘written around’ are known. I cringe every time ATSB eventually get around to actually releasing a report – hoping that its not spotted by a professional who cares. Maybe we could have Chester and O’Sofullashite placed on the board of the ATSB – all national disgrace in the one place, put ‘em in an unused shed in the back paddock and just let ‘em moulder away there – save a bloody fortune: while HVH Hood (aka Toga Toad) gives the Kool Aid club rousing, inspirational little insights.

[Image: DhDUghaVAAAluze.jpg]

“Glorious, stirring sight!” murmured Toad. . . . “The poetry of motion! The real way to travel! The only way to travel! Here today – in next week tomorrow! Villages skipped, towns and cities jumped- always somebody else’s horizons! O bliss! O poop-poop! O my! O my!”

Speaking those happy to sit back in hairdressing salons while the electorate must eat beef imported from the EU, our old favourite Darren 7D is once again centre stage. But wait; there’s more, he’s now boss of the DVA to boot. Which brings a further delight, considering the amount of ‘military’ votes his electorate (them what can’t eat a local steak) which may just be ever so slightly upset about the treatment one of their own has received and how Darren 7D failed to step in and take the case head on. Local – “What about them ducks eh – Dazza?” “What about them glowing ducks eh – fark mate; can we eat ‘em instead?” “Quick, grab a selfie for twitter – Aunt Pru loves them – go on, you know you want to?

[Image: DhDZW8WUcAAgafc.jpg]

Winter is upon us, as is the Wagga Reform Plate. There has been a mountain of work done, risks taken, bets made and some pretty ferocious stands taken. All of which has been done solely in an attempt to get ‘the industry’ into the race and on to the start line. Getting that far and having the Stewards accept the entry is, believe it or not, the easiest bit of the whole affair.  Easy – finishing? Ah, now  that is difficult, but; to walk off with the prize takes as much effort again and team work as the industry can muster. This is the start of a long, very long, brutal race against very tough, experienced competition – no room for slackers or those who just came along to watch.

[Image: badger_320.jpg]

Aye, whimsical enough – but I don’t like the vibe any more than the BRB do; there’s something on the wind, my curiosity bump is off the scale and my thumbs are pricking – Anyway –  its freezing in the stable; time to reach for the axe and log splitter, get the stove going, shut the doors and settle down to a ‘sharpening up day’. Let’s see, there’s three saws need doctoring; a dozen chisels which could do with some attention, and half a dozen planes to tune up – that should keep me out of the kitchen until lunch time. Exeunt: Large hooded figure carrying an enormous axe, last seen heading for the wood pile melting into the early morning mists,

Toot – toot.