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A constipation theory – AP forum version.

It was a terrifying silence which met me as I entered the meeting. Fully expecting a row of epic proportions, it was unnerving to walk into a calm, sanguine (mostly sober) room of relaxed people. A welcome Ale appeared along with a note –100 : 50/50 : 8 don’t know: qouth the cryptic missive. P7 grinned; “we’ve taken the vote; half reckon it’s a waste of time; half reckon it’s a great thing; the ‘dunno’s will let us know, but 100% think two years is way too long, any result will be far too late to be of any value, and not likely to succeed in changing anything”. “So, when will the tote board be up?”. Bemused; I wandered off to find a quite seat for while.

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Setting the odds for this type of a Senate inquiry is a hellish business and with a two year event scheduled, anything could happen. Consider even trying to puzzle out what this lacklustre; ex village idiot, now a deputy prime minister is going to do. That he’ll do as he is told to do is a fairly safe bet – but by whom? As the Inquiry is related to matters aeronautical some form of advice will be dictated; that is also a fairly safe bet. Nicely scripted, genuine rubbish, which may be genuinely repeated, supported by  genuine ‘experts’. And that children is, as we all know will be the same genuine rubbish spouted for the last 30 odd years. Even that don’t trouble me much, Hell, they’ll probably just dust off the last lot, rebadge it and send it along.

“There’s one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he’s crooked.” ― Mark Twain

Nope, none of ‘the usual’ bothers my calculations. The worry is clearly defined. Here we have a man who can barely tie his own aviation boot laces; fair enough, we can understand that. That he is obliged to accept ‘advice’ from the ‘experts’ is also understandable. The thing which is completely inexplicable is his total lack of common or garden political sense. Look at it this way – the aviation industry has had a gutful of CASA – howls of protest, businesses closing, imported pilots and pilot instructors, no engineers, no TAFE, more millions to be spent on a rule set so complex they now require ‘translation’ so folk can understand. A dozen close calls on near major accidents, a mandated State Safety Programme ignored, ICAO ignored or fed pony-pooh; a top level ministerial inquiry quietly treated as opinion and forgotten etc. There is a bloody long list of ‘red flags’ out there; yet this minister allows creatures like St Commode, Jonathan (where’s my marbles) Aleck and Stalin’s brother from the Gorbels to manage him, through his CASA anointed (Commode’s hand picked man) ‘advisor’? Ducking scary stuff – I mean who runs this country – advisors? Sheeit…Did ‘we (the people) vote for that?…..

“If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. ― Abraham Lincoln

But wait, there’s more. Can someone (anyone) please explain how both a duly elected Senate and Parliament can be ‘bipartisan’ where aviation is concerned? Seriously; when was there any form of ‘debate’ about an aviation regulation? Even poor old Angel Flight where dismissed after an inquiry, not a word of dissent apart from McDonald having enough sand to put her vote where common sense and genuine democracy should stand. I wish we had a lot more of her calibre and integrity in government. That: would be fine thing.

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But then it’s not just the CASA boys own club making the minister a laughing stock and publicly humiliated; Air Services is a basket case – the holes in their parsimonious knitting appearing almost daily; and the ATSB – what in the name of all the pagan gods are they playing at? Who is really in control of ‘safety’? It sure as Hell ain’t the government – it is most definitely not the minister- so who then? St Commode and his merry band of acolytes and catamites? Aye, sneer all you like minister, shout you fool off in parliament; no one gives a toss, but if we loose just one hull through bipartisan smart arse cop out or parliamentary constipation; it will be on your head the wreckage lands. Think on, think smart, think quick, get some proper advice and do something. Don’t be stood behind the elephant in the room when it happens.

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“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters” ― Albert Einstein

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No matter; there’s enough wiggle room within the ToR for the 77th  running of the Senate Inquiry into why aviation is buggered for everyone to weigh in. The CASA connections believe their entry is a Shoo in, top weight contender. Why should it not be; the Parliament’s entry is nobbled, too bloody scared to enter the race; the minister’s donkey is blind, deaf and terminally stupid, the Senate’s entry is new to the sport and comes from a stable which has never really understood the game. Which leaves industry, once again, standing alone, unloved, un headed and not very well at all. Yes; I’ll set up the board – again; y’all lost yer shirts last time out boys; but, I’ll take your bets.

Best crack on; today is ‘Saw’ day; cleaning, sharpening, setting; old fashioned skills in this modern world; but I have some very old saws that need to see the ‘saw-doctor’ every now and again. My favourite is a 1916 full size ‘Rip saw’ made by Henry Distton (legend). Carved Applewood handle, ground blade, eight teeth to the inch – a timber thief which still cuts sweet, smooth and true today. Quality, experience, integrity, craftsmanship and skill – not much valued today; but an hour of my clumsy attempts will see it restored in the time honoured tradition of those who value such things.