“its a big job” says P2; “I’ll need a hand” – an invitation from our inveterate digger and, caught flat-footed – I had no valid excuse to avoid joining in. Two large piles of paperwork landed with a thud on my workbench, I made us coffee and the unspoken question was answered. “No way am I sorting ‘that’ out”, (a raised chin indicates a large tome). It did look ominous and being acutely allergic to large lumps of paper, I tried to weasel out – alas. And so we began – now, 648 pages hardly gets the missive into the Guinness book of records – even so, it is a long, tedious read. So I ‘cherry picked’ and skimmed my way through the offering from Infrastructure Australia. I thought the ‘executive summary’ may provide a shortcut – I started off honestly enough, but not many pages into the available 37 pages, I gave in and looked up at a smiling P2, “Wanna bucket”? Happily, experience had saved me need of ‘the bucket’ but it was a close run thing. We tried to estimate the cost of producing 648 pages of ‘waffle’ and failed. We tried to discern the purpose of the document and failed. We tried to determine the value of the thing and failed. The only valid reasons for its existence were to keep a lot of people employed and to provide a platform for politicians ‘on the make’ to gouge funds for ‘projects’ listed; Infrastructure recommends it – see HERE – so cough up the project money to assist with my re election chances. A long shopping list of options indeed. I carefully placed it in the workshop stove, to be burned with the rubble of the next clean up. A classic tax payer funded WOFTAM.
“Sanctions make a substantial contribution to power based on privation, and they have never hurt a single despot in the whole history of their use.” (Roger Scruton)
Item next was the entire collected works of Glen Buckley, another large pile. “Nope, not today” says I – it can go into storage. At the back of the stable, I’ve used a timber rack to store the files related to CASA enforced ‘shutdown’ of legitimate operations; it is a large collection. P2 and I hauled the Buckley pile to the rack. “Whoa” says he; “are they all to do with ‘acts of embuggerance'”? I nodded; “they are indeed”. I’ve saved them against the day when CASA get honest; or a serious investigation into the abominable behaviour demonstrated by the CASA, both in ‘fostering’ some operations and decimating others. There are many ‘common’ threads and tactics identified, but, in short, it is a history of there being one judge, one jury and one executioner: metering out the ways and means for the removal of those who fall foul of system. The ‘rule of law’ having no seat at that table. Aye, perhaps, one day – maybe…
“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. ― George Washington, George Washington’s Farewell Address
I note that the French are being mentioned in the news (last time I bothered to listen). Contracts for submarines being cancelled – which of course brought other botched contracts to mind – our very own big pie, wet dream of a world class air traffic control system. That particular song ain’t been played for a long while now in the hallowed halls of Senate Estimates. Despite industry being told to fit equipment, at great expense, to meet the needs of our expected space age system; and avoid mid-air collision – Halfwit’s grand scheme along with gentile inquiry into ‘consultant fees’ seems to have dropped off the Senate radar. Now, when I wonder why, the notion of cancellation seems to be a bloody good idea – well that or rapid delivery and an improvement in air traffic system – so we can avoid another Mangalore event.
I seem to have ambled far from my intended course; that of exploring ‘the great waste’. The endless streams of money flowing into CASA which have failed to produce anything of operational value or safety improvement. The natural comparison model would be AMSA, who, despite having much more to cope with, seem to manage the complex business of ‘shipping’ to and from this island without huge budgets, or thirty years of rule writing to achieve nothing but a buggers muddle and seem (on the surface at least) to operate without pissing off an entire industry, to the point of decimation. Perhaps the CASA board could, under ministerial directive, reform the CASA structure to resemble the AMSA system – which appears sane, sensible, sanguine and reasonably democratic. Not a bad model – probably save a shed load of public money to boot.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense
Aye well; best crack on – there’s a rather lovely old occasional table parked on a blanket patiently awaiting repair. Some oaf decided to sit on the thing – didn’t quite break it, but the damage was done. A testament to the skill of the man who made it; Oh it was a man – indeed, ’twas the lady owners grandfather. Now I must patiently undo some of his good work, match the fine grain wood, and make a repair of equal quality – or try at least. Can’t wait to get started; all the essentials are assembled, fresh air through the doors, sunlight to assist, birdsong from a crew of juvenile Magpies who seem to have taken up residence – tools are sharp, the bench clear – hell I even swept the floor.