How Do We Know She’s A Witch


We have found a witch! (A witch! a witch!) Burn her burn her!

Witch hunts, they’re fun, and really, Monty Python did it best with their “Witch Scene” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

When I was doing philosophy many moons ago, it was something we studied. Why? Well, it teaches us about logic, rational thought, and the difference between a true argument, and a right argument.

The scene starts with a very simple request from the peasants:

We have found a witch, may we burn her?

In some ways, that’s what I’m seeing from our new government, always searching for a witch to burn, and more often than not, the justification is a very similar argument as to what is portrayed by Monty Python in said Witch Scene.

The latest witch hunt proposed by Malcolm Turnbull, the “Independent audit of the NBN policy process”, is clearly nothing more than this. Not only has Turnbull tasked yet another ex-Telstra employee to conduct the review, the terms of reference clearly ignore the process that brought us to the NBN.

By attempting to limit the inquiry to the time when Labor was in government, Turnbull is deliberately ignoring the genesis of the NBN. I wrote a few days ago on this, and it’s clear that the process started back in 2003, before Turnbull was even an MP.

Dress Up

Woman: I’m not a witch! I’m not a witch!
Sir Vladimir: ehh… but you are dressed like one.
Woman: They dressed me up like this!

It’s clear that Turnbull is not in the business of caring to even hide the intentions of the inquiry; as with the Royal Commission into unions and the other into the Home Insulation Scheme, this is purely designed to make Labor look bad, if not to portray Labor as a criminal organisation. There is no logic behind this, there is no “seeking the truth” in this, there is only a desire to gain political influence via using the judiciary as a political stick.

I’m hesitant to call it for what it is, but we all know deep down this is the start of dark days for Australia, where governments break convention to remove all forms of opposition. Gone are the days of standing on policy and one’s ability to convince the electorate of its merits, it’s now a time of propaganda and pogroms.

It’s clear that this fifth (or sixth depending on who you talk to) review is designed to further remove a reason to deploy FTTP. There is no intention of getting to the bottom of why FTTP was chosen, because if there was the audit wouldn’t be required; reading Senate hansards would be all that’s required.

Big Lies

Sir Vladimir: What makes you think she is a witch?
Peasant: Well, she turned me into a newt!
Sir Vladimir: A newt?!
(Peasant pauses & looks around)
Peasant: I got better.

The problem with any “independent audit” is that they are being run by similar people who ran the Strategic Review; people with a vested interest in NOT finding in favour of FTTP. I have no problem with Bill Scales personally, he was smart enough to say back in 2003 when discussing copper “being 5 minutes to midnight”:

The only point of clarification, just so that there is no misunderstanding, is that when we think about the copper network, we are still thinking about 10 years out. So five minutes to midnight in this context

So surely he must look at the review in a positive light, correct? Not really. When looking at the terms of reference, this has nothing to do with the technology, just looking for people to blame as to why FTTP was the technology of choice:

The audit should:

(A)    Outline the public policy process undertaken to support decisions by the Australian Government relevant to the NBN policy. This should include a description of:

  • the advice and processes that led to the establishment of NBN Co
  • the origin and basis for NBN Co’s mandate to run fibre to the premises (FTTP) to 90-93 per cent of Australian premises
  •  the approach taken in regard to obtaining cost benefit or independent reviews of the project.

(B)    Provide recommendations in relation to the NBN public policy process. This should include recommendations on what future actions should be taken by the Australian Government when considering major projects / reforms such as the NBN.

It’s clear that there is no intention to investigate the validity of FTTP as a choice, nor will the advice do anything but provide a list of names for future judicial inquiries. Even Turnbull has not ruled out a Royal Commission into the NBN, all to satisfy a political lust to blame others and remove opposition.

We know Turnbull becomes infuriated when facts are used to oppose his claims, at almost every point of opposition he attacks swathes of technical experts, just because he can’t handle being wrong. Maybe it’s his anger at his lies being exposed, whatever it is, this seems to be fuelling this unjustified witch hunt.

If I can find all the information that Turnbull is demanding from this inquiry in 15 minutes, how can an MP with a team of spin doctors not do the same? Why are we paying for a witch hunt?

Sound Logic Need Not Apply

The logic of running an inquiry is to find out information that was previously unavailable. Every piece of information Turnbull requires for his witch hunt is available from parliament house. None has been hidden, it was there for all to see. Funnily enough, the Liberal party didn’t even bother to send people to the senate committee that investigated possible technologies for the NBN.

This smacks of politics over leadership, and does nothing to aid Turnbull’s case. If anything, he’s doing what we all expected: destroying the NBN.

What logic can there be to do so? Well, there is none if you assume that Turnbull is not doing this for backers of the Liberal party. There is a lot that Turnbull’s mates will lose out on if an FTTP NBN is deployed, in fact, they’re already screaming blue murder that using Netflix from Australia is “piracy”. This clearly shows that there is a vested interest in stopping ubiquitous high speed connections.

Don’t forget, 25Mbps isn’t even classed as “high speed”, let alone super-fast, or ultra-fast, broadband.

To take your mind off all this, watch the Witch Scene and bask in the glory of a logical argument that is still wrong.

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