July 4, 2009

Vanity, all is vanity

Commentary on the commission into the Victorian bush fires, but really, it could be commentary on any fuck-up, and ain't it the awful truth.

"The vast body of evidence suggests a great deal of loss and destruction could have been avoided if local knowledge, experience and commitment had been respected and used. Instead, the politicians and their bureaucrats shared a motivation to exert close and uncompromised control. An aggressive resistance to contestable advice allowed policy-makers to deny the existence of culpable knowledge.

The mandarins eventually succumbed to their own intoxicating publicity and stared down the risk of their knowledge deficit.

Dysfunctionality bred like a virus in a hotbed of intellectual conceit.

The implications are sobering for every aspect of government policy."

Self-serving know-alls fuelled fires


  1. With greatest of respect to the bushfire victims, I'm not too sure that the commission was ever going to come up with anything other than a conclusion that, with the benefit of hindsight, certain things should have been done differently. As you say Caz, same conclusions as any other fuck up.

    Will the conclusions help us avoid future natural disasters? We may be expecting a little too much if we believe it will.

  2. No avoiding natural disasters, not in this harsh land, and Victoria has always had, and always will have, the perfect confluence of elements for perfect bush fires.

    The preliminary "conclusions" from the commission, announced a couple of days ago, left me, err, underwhelmed Dan.

    How many commissions ... over how many centuries will be needed ...

    Humans are so smart, yet so persistently dumb.