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One of the reasons ‘we’ have adopted The Mandarin, quite apart from the first class reporting and balanced opinion is the messages of ‘hope’ which creep onto the pages.  Modest, but essential changes that those who toil for the government initiate; where a honest, practical approach to perceived problems is offered; to both small and large – all for the benefit of Australia and it’s people and pride in the work.  Bravo   There are signs of change for the better from all manner of departments.  Australians are entitled to and happy to pay taxes for this type of evolution, where a ‘misconception’ or an ideology is creating an unnecessary burden; or thing could be done better; it is a natural progression of a modern government.  Most departments view ‘Estimates’ in a the way of an audit – done properly – which is of benefit to all, questions, ideas, accountability, result = gold star.  So WTF is it with Merdek’s departments?

Late, obfuscated, delayed, disingenuous and never a straight answer in sight.  This last round of Q&A is a masterpiece of non-answers and drop dead answers.  The P2 example is a classic, representative of many others.  In short, the Senators are told, oh so politely, to duck off – mind your own business and move along.  In the real world, it’s called taking the Mickey Bliss.

For my two bob, the only QoN worthy of consideration is how much longer are the Senators going to have rings run around them by a department which clearly has only one interest – to never change.  Merdek runs the three stooges like a clever ventriloquist at some RSL club big night out.

“Tell the ladies and gentlemen about Melbourne Beaker”   “Oh, mi, mi thinks I’m satisfied; anyway it was all ASA’s fault, nasty, nosey Senators can butt out”.

“And what about you Halfwit?  “What would you tell the Senators in the audience tonight about the Melbourne situation”   – “Well boss, they really make me cranky, FFS here I am climbing the slippery pole and they bring up all these pretend problems – we are safe and they should butt out that’s what”.

Then,  a pathetic skinny scrap parked behind the suitcase is grabbed by the scruff of the neck – “What say you Oliver?”  “Tell the good folk here what you think”.  “Well Sir, (think Bluebottle voice) much as I would like more talk (sotto) all this action makes me nauseous; I think part 61 is wonderful, ATSB are all good jolly chaps and the ASA is so masterfully technical; why, it makes my little wooden head spin.”  “I say, lets have more tea biccies, a nice sit down and let the boys do what they do; that way, the MM crew feed us and pet us and even lets us speak at the RSL, between bingo and the magician”.

Senators better wake up and get a grip, before they too become an act for the RSL Thursday night pre Bingo warm up.  This is becoming farcical and dangerous; hundreds of aviation JOBS – GONE – more following? you bet your life.

P2 – I will (promitto) patiently wade through the pap served as answers; but it’s been a tough tour and I crave a day or two grace before I can tackle, once again, the steaming pile of elephant pooh, deposited on the Senators doorstep.  Seems if they can’t – someone must. FCOL.