Select Page

Was the Hamlet madness feigned, a ruse to confound and confuse? Many believe it was. The ‘antic disposition’ of true reform reminds and reinforces the notion of a questionable madness.

“Nor do we find him forward to be sounded.
But with a crafty madness keeps aloof
When we would bring him on to some confession
Of his true state.”

This continuum of confusion in an attempt to define what is required, the industry attempts to capture the smoke, dazzled by light reflected from the highly polished mirrors.  The lip service paid the ‘myth of safety’, the mystique endlessly transmogrified, the never ending round and round of circular ‘discussion’ during which the regulator decides which crumbs it will allow to fall from their table to the hungry. It is a form of madness.  A deliberate connivance, designed to serve only one purpose.  The regulator has no intention of reforming itself; non whatsoever.  That much is clear and it becomes clearer with each passing day.

The game is about power. Plain, pure and simple.  You could at a pinch include influence in the equation, but only to balance.  Fear is the weapon used to retain that power. There is little subtlety associated and the big sticks are used without let or hindrance, whenever it pleases. The ‘audit’ stick is a well worn favourite, the denial of approval another, the NCN another. None hardly ever used in the spirit and intent of improving ‘Safety’ but as a method of control.

When fear and distrust combine , loathing is a natural response.  While this is isolated to one operator or an individual the system works; the notion of a united industry threatens that hold.  So long as disunity can be maintained, the regulator holds all the cards.  Every operator and licence holder ‘needs’ or ‘wants’ something from the regulator to maintain or grow a business, the threat of delay or restriction is powerful motivation for ‘good’ (approved) behaviour. The time honoured method of unique ‘exemption’ or ‘instrument’ is a further incentive, the promise of ‘fast tracking another; stick and carrot.

The TAAAF policy and the ASRR both provide a road to sanity; the reform of the regulator intricately intertwined with those demanded changes. People hold varying opinions on how the demanded changes can be ‘triggered’, made to happen. Many of those opinions have merit and are worthy of serious consideration; and, I dare say that in the main, most would work. – Unexpected consequences accepted, they are all doomed to failure unless we can put an end to gross, bordering on indecent parody of reform. A director in whom all can have faith, who deserves the trust gifted and who will, without fear or favour, embrace the challenge of cleaning up the glass house, before throwing rocks at others.  Once the CASA house is clean, industry faith and trust could be quickly restored, mostly with a few pen strokes to undo the mischief.

Regulatory reform is a luxury item; it can be forged quickly and efficiently by a joint effort; provided both sides were honourable, honest folk, with good intentions and the well being of the industry at heart, for motivation.  But reform of the ‘regulator’ is a must, this cannot wait much longer. It is imperative that industry be able to rely on the integrity of the regulator; trust and respect have long been lost. There is little reason to question ‘why?’ it is so, it is a fact of life.  The sooner the mandarins realise that no one either trusts or respects the regulators opinions; or, motive; or, expertise, or; integrity, or: honesty, the sooner things can be mended. And they do need mending.  Funny thing is, with the ‘right man’ at the top, most of the tension and distrust would simply melt away, like a snowflake in hell. Put a man in who has industry respect and trust, the rest will follow along naturally enough.  A minister could, with the right selection, earn a gold star and be known as the one who saved an industry.

Probably said all this before; but the omens for change are good.  Carmody is no ones fool and although it is a ‘sound’ move to place him there until Skidmore departs via the back door there is scope for a ‘sense’ of what CASA must become to be mooted.  It has to change, the well respected Carmody will not be the instrument of that change, but he may well be the harbinger.

Aye well, we shall, as always, see what we shall see as time goes by. But Carmody, probably better than most, knows that the antic disposition will not be tolerated; not again.  The ineptitude of Skidmore and the CASA survey fully exposed the division between what industry expect and pay for and what CASA is prepared to deliver; but only on consideration of, and to reward those of good behaviour. It is wrong, totally, completely and utterly wrong.

Hamlet (bless ‘im) dealt with it in his own way; madness upon madness, intrigue after intrigue and look at what a total cock up that turned out to be.  We have had all the cock-ups, intrigue and madness we need for now thank you.  Lets have the lights on; some sanity, some honesty and a reform of the tragic creature we know as CASA.

Sunday ramble posted on Saturday night; time is perhaps out of joint; but the workshop calls and there is a new keg installed and beckoning; better test it, make sure all is well before the company arrives.

Toot toot.