Friday, February 13, 2009

Michael Costa, Castles, Infrastructure, Bureaucrats and Valiant State Ministers battling Canberra windmills

A quiet day on loon pond, as loonatic columnists, exhausted by hysterical shouting at the vile greenies, put down their keyboards, and spend a quiet day in the back yard chopping down trees and covering over their grass with concrete.

Even gadly Tim Blair doesn't have anything to offer, except for noting with envious spleen that Tim Flannery seems to get a lot of moola for talkfests, and he gets there by building up his polluting air travel time and frequent flyer points. If you didn't know any better, you'd have to think Tim was really pissed nobody flew him anywhere to say anything, and he thought that staying indoors massaging their blogs on their computers was the only lifestyle choice for greenies too.

Anyhoo, even in the darkest and quietest hours of loon pond, you can always rely on someone to squawk, and it seems Michael Costa has now become a regular hack for the Murdoch press, this time bobbing up with a column grandly entitled Canberra's castles in the air.

In it, Costa explains why the states can't be trusted and why nothing ever happens on time or on budget in relation to state works.

Costa manages to blather on for a thousand words or more about the ways governments, federal and state, fail in their fiscal, management and infrastructure duties, as he speaks, he assures us from deep in his tormented soul,  from bitter experience.

Of course one of the main problems is the bureaucrats:

Infrastructure delivery is often undertaken by service delivery agencies that don't have core skills in the areas required to deliver the infrastructure. A health or education bureaucrat may be good at delivering health or education outcomes but have no skills in administering the construction of large hospitals or schools.

Let's re-phrase that a little so you can understand what the now featherless featherduster and ex-rooster and treasurer of NSW is getting at:

Infrastructure delivery by bureaucrats is often undertaken with the supervision of Labor party politicians who don't have the required skills in the areas required to deliver the infrastructure. A health or education  minister or a treasurer may be good at kneecapping an opponent, wielding a baseball bat, branch stacking, joining cliques and factions to bring down anyone actually good at anything, know how to fraudulently claim travel allowances, or complain about the quality of the sandwiches in the canteen, but have no skills in administering the bureaucrats as they go about their bumbling job of ruining the infrastructure of the state through a lack of vision and competence at the very top of the chain of command. 

Yes it all becomes clear now - just as there's a real difference between Haig and Monash, so we can say there's a real difference between state labor party ministers and people on the dole. People on the dole don't do anything, while former ministers can explain how nothing will happen on time or budget and everything is rooted, thereby meaning that there's not much point in doing anything. Sir Humphrey would be pleased. Take that you dumb Canberra bureaucrats building castles in the air.

Costa goes on to explain the labor shortage and how all the proposals in the pipeline require skilled people. But Mr. Costa isn't there a thing called training, isn't that what state governments do? How else can we explain your magical transformation from bungling, incompetent, shouting at everyone politician to Murdoch hack with a denigrating explanation for everything going wrong, and a constructive offering for nothing going right? You must have done some on the job training as a journalist, or does the gibberish flow freely, from a natural strength and ability, and hours spent propping up a bar complaining about politicians?

Well each time I read Costa, I think there's a knockdown blow for the people of NSW. The more he rails at everything, the more people can dance in the streets with joy knowing he'll never hold the reins of power again. (And no, for the millionth time, it isn't a wog thing, it's that thing never spoken of in the halls of power in NSW, competence).

Costa jumping up and down in a column is so much more idle fun than him jumping up and down on the corpse of NSW to make sure there's not a breath of infrastructure planning or vision left in it.

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