Not the sort of headline you see every day, and having recently drowned one of my own, I felt somewhat kindred, albeit fleetingly before feeling just a tad done over because drowning a car put me in the same box as Barney.
Still, I didn’t drive headlong into more five feet of water and certainly didn’t attempt a crossing over a known creek. I also didn’t have to clamber out of a sunroof & swim to safety.
Yes, my mail tells me that Barney drove headlong into water that was always going to be well & truly over the bonnet of a Landcruiser, and snorkel or no snorkel, it was always going to ingest water. Put aside the fact that electrics & computer chips loathe having a bathe at the best of times. Yes, Barney had to clamber out the sunroof, not the driver’s window and yes, there were other people around at the time, which is how I received my mail.
Yes, it’s a complete hoot, that someone supposedly as bush-smart as Barney and a local of the region should be blind-sided by his own stupidity and destroy a government vehicle, but….hang on a mo….that car belonged to you & me, the tax-payers. All $80,000-plus of it. Leased to be sure, but the responsibility for the payout rests with you & me. Of course, he’ll be driving around in another $80,000 Landcruiser by now, given this spectacular event happened just prior to Xmas. To read how Barney tells it, he’d done nothing wrong, and “the sign said drive slowly” and thought ‘Well, that must mean it’s all right.’ Besides, “If you stopped every time there was any water across the road, you’d probably go nowhere”
Barney, for our sakes, it’s a much better idea if you did that, and went nowhere. But, expensive guffaws and belly-laughs aside, there’s a darker side to this issue. Evidence the latest piece of stumbled over pied dans orifice uttered by the Senator from Queensland in the matter of a chartered flight for asylum seekers on Xmas Island to attend the burial of family lost in the SIEV221, in Sydney yesterday.
"It is always appropriate to ask whether the spending of money is appropriate but in determining whether something is appropriate, I suppose you have to look at the issue of compassion and make the call. I suppose in Senate estimates we’ll find out whether it was a reasonable cost or not. The cost is what the Australian taxpayers are prepared to pay, that’s what the cost is. But you can’t do it with a completely open chequebook."
However, it’s obviously appropriate to shrug off the deliberate destruction of public property – expensive public property – by claiming ”done nothing wrong” and besides, the sign said it was okay! One wonders whether chartering an aircraft & a couple of motel rooms cost the taxpayer $80,000-plus, and what’s more acceptable. Paying for bereaved tragedy survivors & family to attend a funeral, or cover the blatant ineptitude of a brainless politician who clearly doesn’t give a fig about the public property in his care. Senate Estimates next week should be quite revealing.