Catchers? – in the Wry?: AP Forum version
“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.” (J.D. Salinger).
I stepped up to the mark, best darts in hand, big score to run down and I felt ‘uncomfortable’. Why? Too damn quiet, that’s why. So I played my hand, stepped away as not even the score I claimed was disputed. WTD? P7 chalked it up, no one questioned the additional 50 points (a winning hand), something was up. “OK” says I, “what’s up?.” Sheepish, the words were spoken – “it’s gotten political, we need to talk ‘politics”. So, darts was abandoned – and, the gabfest began.
I must say, non of the BRB or even the IOS are ‘political’, not even remotely. They have watched and learned over the years to disregard ‘polly-waffle’ and treat it for what it’s worth. Which ain’t much. I should explain; in recent years we have had the luxury of a very pragmatic, truly bi-partisan Senate committee (until O’Sofullofit butted in) and they have tried to do the very best they are able – considering. Any notion of the house of reptiles becoming even momentarily involved has never, ever raised an eyebrow: well, barring anything more than a ribald comment. Anyway, we sat down: I looked about, expectant like, for someone to kick it off. Silence, was the stern reply. Politics has always, along side religion and other unsavoury topics been a ‘no-no’ at any BRB indaba; so there was a reluctance to be first out of the box.
If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it. ― Mark Twain
I looked at P7 – “spit it out Papa” says I. “Well” says he, “seems for once, there is some serious political mileage in aviation”. The silent support spoke volumes. “Explain” I said, “in terms a political dunderhead can understand”. As so they did – herewith a potted version of this week’s great, albeit very short discourse in point form.
Address to TTF Summit: Leadership 2010
The Hon Anthony Albanese MP
23 June 2010
…CASA, the nation’s independent aviation safety watchdog, will recruit almost 100 additional frontline staff with the $89.9 million in new funding provided by the Budget. This extra investment in safer skies will be funded via a small increase in the aviation fuel excise, from 2.8 cents per litre to 3.5 cents per litre. The Government considers this to be a reasonable and responsible step considering the industry’s continued growth depends on the public’s ongoing confidence in its safety standards. Following the ICAO and FAA audits this investment in CASA’s staff and training is critical, and will strengthen the organisation’s oversight of the industry. Aviation safety should be bi-partisan, and the Government puts the safety of passengers ahead of other interests…
From about 04:00 –
a) Albo has realised that he was totally mislead when he was ‘the minister’ and that the great white paper elephant was little more than two sheets of bog paper CASA used to clean their collective and drain even more funds into their bucket.
b) The ‘Nats’ have made such an unholy balls up of ‘transport’ by air that it is now becoming patently obvious to political animals that there is mileage in examining the mess, the money and the embuggerance.
The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ― Josef Stalin
In short – aviation in one form or another employs or affects many, many taxpaying folk and it is in a mess. All these folk travel or have friends or relatives affected by the fortunes of this industry. To the man (or woman) who actually intends to tackle the mess, in opposition or in government, will go a lot of votes, Albo has a win-win situation – he can (rightfully) hammer the crap out the current minister and his government, which has conscientiously avoided the ‘truth’ to score points – alternatively, he can say (hand on heart) that he sees clearly now the problems the industry faces and promises to act more decisively than he did in the past: when he was gulled by the snake oil salesmen of Sleepy Hollow. What a far seeing minister we have at present, gods help him if the truth ever surfaces. Glenn Sterle knows it, sure as eggs; and, he ain’t one to mess about. So who wins the votes from aviation folk?
Dear Sandy –
I agree about the Parliamentary inquiries and government reviews. The effectiveness of such inquisitions is completely undone by bureaucratic obfuscation and procrastination, all designed of course to wait out and wear down the significance and urgency of the current inquiries/reviews latest findings and recommendations.
However I believe if the minister/government had the political will to cauterise the CASA Iron Ring and it’s malevolent loyal lieutenants, then I think some kind of Judicial inquiry will be required to build a legal case for prosecution of what amounts to decades of ingrained bureaucratic malfeasance that has cost 100s of millions of dollars for no discernible safety benefit to either industry or the air traveling public.
Of course such an inquiry would still take time and money but it is probably a necessary evil if you are to ensure the cancer within has been fully cauterised. After all isn’t that exactly what the Kiwis did?
I don’t know clogs from a handsaw when it comes to politics; but, the argument finalized was plain enough. Whoever steps up to the mark, changes the Air Navigation Act and insists on decriminalization of the regulations; has my vote – and that of everyone I can influence. Whodathunkit – aviation, a political hot potato, in an election where every single vote will count. The cost of running CASA, stand alone, has to be a big ticket item.
I shall leave it up to P2 to bring you up to date on matters aeronautical ; I’m off for week; and, I ain’t going to move a finger I don’t have to – and that, boys and girls, you can take to the bank…………..
Toot – bye bye – toot.
A reminder: Dick Smith Wagga Aviation Oration..