Wednesday, September 22, 2004


This appeared in Fuse - though the buggers scrapped the last, and only funny, line.

Imagine this: first up we’ll presuppose that you’re all-powerful, and for the sake of argument your name is Helen. You have a son, lets call him Air-Force – not so catchy, but being all-powerful means you can call him whatever you like, anyway he has a whole lot of planes, which you own but he controls – some are really cool - they go real fast, look mean, can blow stuff up and they impress his mates, and some, well some are purely practical - slow, noisy, dowdy and boring.
Now, imagine that you scrap your son’s cool planes, with the result that none of his friends want to play with him anymore. And then, to really rub salt in the wound, you demand more lifts from him in the crap planes that make Air-Force feel like a dick when his ex-mates see him driving his mum.
Sounds pretty pants really, well at least if you’re the son. But as Helen knows, another thing about being all-powerful means never having to say you’re sorry.
Right, done with the imagining now, I’m sure you get the picture.
Back in the real world the Air-Force really are unhappy, and that decision by this Labour Government to scrap the Air-Combat wing must be one of the least thought through moves they’ve made.
Although, to be fair, in terms of economy they have achieved a great deal by the simple act of abandoning the combat wing; they’ve pissed off Australia who feel we are not keeping up our end defence-wise, further alienated America as we aren’t buying more of their planes, diminished our world-class reputation as pilots and provided an exodus of talent to the RAF, and in the process have incurred near $9 Million in storage costs as they wait to find a buyer for the rejected Skyhawks –which, believe it or not, they are now mooting the selling of for scrap. That certainly is a lot to achieve with one decision, but it probably isn’t quite what they had in mind.
And now, on the back of this brilliant planning, management and treatment of the Air-Force Helen really has expressed a wish to get more rides in their remaining (crap) planes. It makes you wonder why they bother.
Perhaps I’m biased by the fact that I like things that look cool, go fast and blow stuff up, but I reckon that it’s bad form to take away all the fun toys and then expect more rides. But on the flip-side, this being all-powerful thing looks like a sweet deal. I’m beginning to understand why the Fijians like coups so much.

I post it here because I was approached at a party by someone who had read it and I was lambasted for advocating a combat wing. Which I didn't, I didn't really advocate anything - 400 words doesn't allow much persausive language. What she should have had me up for was the juvenile and laboured metaphor - but then again she was either wasted or as thick as pig shit. Actually, perhaps both. Anyway....
What I would advocate would have been the gifting of the skyhawks to the Australians and the continued joint use of them by NZ and Aussie pilots.
To mothball and sell them to the detriment of a cosy status quo of shared training with Australia is churlish pursuit of idealogical policy.
If the chips ever go down the first people we throw our lot in with will again be Oz. Simple really.


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