It hurts when you laugh

Nick Cater is magnificent in The Australian today:

LIKE Tarzan, the feral child raised by the Mangani apes, Stephen Conroy ended his term as communications minister barely able to speak intelligible English.

He had, after all, spent much of the preceding six years entangled in the undergrowth of a dense technocratic jungle. His teachers belonged to a peculiar species of bureaucratic boffins cut off from the outside world.

While we live in homes, for example, they inhabit Standard Dwelling Units. We have streets, numbers and postcodes; they have Geocoded National Address Files.

To them, broadband is not just something hooked up to a computer but a 206,000km-long GPON, a Gigabyte-capable Passive Optical Network wired up to every GNAF in the country.

To us, a building that contains more than one GNAF is known as an apartment block. To them it is a Multiple Dwelling Unit, and it is here that installing the GPON gets tricky.

Wiring up a Brownfields MDU (what we might call an old block of flats) generally requires the co-operation of a body corporate, an organisation pathologically incapable of replacing a light bulb in the lobby, let alone installing Fibre Access Network Architecture (FANA) from an Optical Distribution Frame (ODF).

Curmudgeonly body corporates – or “frustrated MDUs” as they are technically known – were the bane of Conroy’s life until he resigned as communications minister in June.

That is genuinely laugh out loud stuff until you realise how much of our money was being spent on the NBN.

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38 Responses to It hurts when you laugh

  1. Alfonso

    Poor Steven just confirmed his fossilised pommie class warfare wild eyed nutter status with an NBN babble-a-thon on Lateline.
    It’s too much radioactive milk is what does it.

  2. Token

    Can’t wait to see the spin of the the Liars Party fanboys who backed Senator Red Underpants & his overpriced white elephant to the eleventyth degree.

    Come on M0nty, why did you blindly back this fool who finally admits he was out of his depth?

  3. Token

    Interesting to see the Red Underpants super powers had no effect on strata body corporates.

  4. C.L.

    LIKE Tarzan, the feral child raised by the Mangani apes, Stephen Conroy ended his term as communications minister barely able to speak intelligible English.

    Go easy, Sinclair.

    He comes across as retarded because of his traumatic encounter with nuclear milk.

    Funniest photo of 2011.

  5. Sinclair Davidson

    Well I hope to Conroy’s declared their exposure to nuclear milk before they emigrated to Australia – we don’t want them to be a burden on the health system.

  6. Up The Workers!

    That’s what happens when you put some buffoon from Footscray Council, in charge of the nation’s telecommunications.

    For God’s sake, members of the A.L.P. have not yet worked out how to spell their own party name correctly – DESPITE 100 years of trying. Whoever thought that putting these low-browed, knuckle-dragging illiterates in charge of anything more taxing than running union protection rackets, could possibly end happily?

    Red underpants? Plastic-lined incontinence pants over Conjob’s head, might be more appropriate.

  7. H B Bear

    In a different world without Maggie Thatcher Conroy would be lucky to be a shop steward in a Morris Minor factory. Now he will be responsible for the greatest waste of Australian taxpayer funds in history.

  8. I just saw Anna Burke on TV from Parliament House welcoming the new crop of MP’s. She seemed often confused – kept referring to Mal Brough who smiled through it all – most of the Govt side were regarding her as if she was from some distant galaxy. Beyond surreal. It will take them a full term to get a handle on repairing the mess.

  9. Rafe

    Remember that the NBN was very popular with the voting masses!:) So much for the information provided by the love media.
    Translate the waste into staffed hospital beds, roads and rail, and disability services, put a human face on the mega billions.
    And dont forget the role of Kevin Rudd.

  10. .

    When is the NBN Co 2013 Annual Report coming?

  11. Rabz

    Too funny.

    But yes, as people have noted, the poor member’s behaviour is a terrible tribute to the long delayed effects of the incidental exposure of carbon based lifeforms to irradiated bovine mammary fluids (IBMFs).

  12. Bruce

    The 94 billion dollar napkin man? Never was so much owed by so many because of so few brains.

  13. handjive

    It is often said that multiple bureaucratic use of T.L.A’s will lead to F.L.A’s. through overuse, which can confuse & confound the purpose for which they were intended.
    (T.L.A: three letter acronym – not to be confused with a two letter acronym, but which can be interchanged & described when necessary according to the s.o.p.)

  14. Bill

    That photo of Senator Milksob superb, maybe the best of the last Parliament?

    How can even the Labore party take a human like that seriously?

  15. Tinta

    Translate the waste into staffed hospital beds, roads and rail, and disability services, put a human face on the mega billions.

    That’s the reality Rafe, and it’s the people less able to change their lives or their circumstances who will bear the brunt of the wasted mega billions.

  16. johno

    That is genuinely laugh out loud stuff until you realise how much of our money was being spent on the NBN.

    Conjob is yesterday’s man. Who cares about him now. The real question is what is Turnbull doing about this great waste of money. When will he sell it. Betcha, the government will still own this monstrosity when this government falls. Betcha they never do the right thing and get out of this game.

  17. Token

    That’s the reality Rafe, and it’s the people less able to change their lives or their circumstances who will bear the brunt of the wasted mega billions.

    This was always about stealing from the future generations to indulge the hubris of that useless bunch of spivs, union leaders & ambulance chasing lawyers.

    Ps: I I know that was a tautology.

  18. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Don’t forget that Conroy’s also pensioned off now, on our money.

  19. Leigh Lowe

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Don’t forget that Conroy’s also pensioned off now, on our money.

    I thought crying milk-boy was still a Senator?

  20. Arrgh – then we’re STILL PAYING FOR HIM TO SPEAK.

  21. Leigh Lowe

    Arrgh – then we’re STILL PAYING FOR HIM TO SPEAK.

    But we have made it more difficult for him to piss away a lazy $40 bil on a wet Wednesday afternoon, which is useful.

  22. Ivan Denisovich

    That photo of Senator Milksob superb, maybe the best of the last Parliament?

    Captured by the lens – a kidult, irrefutably.

  23. boy on a bike

    Proof that Conroy is truly a WOFTAM. (Waste Of F*cking Time And Money).

  24. Fred Leni

    I love it! This nbn crap is a 200 kilogram steel anvil with chains welded on to it. comrade Bilbo Shortass has now secured it tightly around his neck,and the rest of the pardee are holding his hands “wewill all go down together Comrades,as a magnificent gesture to gaia,that will make the flannel guy and the geens so jealuos. Iy should have been them!

  25. Toiling Mass

    Slightly off topic, but Abbott is planning on repealing the CO2 tax before the end of this year and will be putting the draft legislation on a website today.

    Already embarrassing Shorten (who has just reiterated commitment to it) and taking away one of the policies Palmer would have been counting on to bargain for more favours.

  26. More from the Cater linked piece:

    It is surprising that Conroy failed to appreciate the MDU problem, since it was clearly spelt out in the KPMG/McKinsey implementation study he released before the 2010 election. “If cost overruns related to MDU installation are widespread, this would threaten the ability of NBN Co to achieve the coverage requirement within the government’s initial expenditure estimate,” the report found. It recommended that the fibre-to-the-premises policy be reviewed if the delivery began to go awry. Yet a problem anyone with practical knowledge of telecommunications delivery could see a mile away was simply swept under the carpet.

    Yes, there were problems anyone with even a basic understanding of telecommunications could see coming, but the arrogance with which politicians and love media dismissed any suggestion that there might be a more sensible mix of technologies and approaches to the build was something to behold. It was the same sort of crash-through, overbearing imposition of dogmatic group-think that we have seen too often.

    Conroy is not solely responsible, despite being an ardent front man for the debacle. All those who insisted that FTTH was the One And Only True Faith are jointly guilty, and are as bad in their way as the AGW-Gaia sect. Both have cost us heaps and delivered little.

  27. Greg James

    Frankly, in any properly functioning fascist dictatorship Conroy would by now have been marched out the back and shot against a back wall for his total incompetence.

    Thankfully for Conroy he lives in a liberal democracy, where he gets to receive an annual pension [the size of which would make most people weep in disbelief] for the rest of his life .

  28. Bons

    I was so excited by 4 Corners fearless expose of Australia’s greatest ever fraud – NBN.
    And to think that this courageous investigative foray followed so soon after the shocking revelations concerning union/construction company cartel manipulation of public projects.
    We just need to be so grateful that our public broadcaster is so in-touch with the national interest. Thank you Kerry – oops – plagiarism, that was TLS’s line.

  29. Leo G

    He comes across as retarded because of his traumatic encounter with nuclear milk.

    LIKE Tarzan, the feral child raised by the Mangani apes, Stephen Conroy ended his term as communications minister barely able to speak intelligible English.

    Tell him about the radioactive potassium in bananas- that might be the last we hear from him.

  30. Up The Workers!

    Are you absolutely SURE that it was Tarzan who was the : “…feral child raised by the Mangani apes…”?

    I could have sworn it was Sarah Halfwit-Bung!

    Oh well, they DO look similar, and both have a big following amongst simians.

  31. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Wiring up a Brownfields MDU (what we might call an old block of flats) generally requires the co-operation of a body corporate, an organisation pathologically incapable of replacing a light bulb in the lobby, let alone installing Fibre Access Network Architecture (FANA) from an Optical Distribution Frame (ODF).

    So he’d never thought of this?
    He’s never tried to get Foxtel into a heritage apartment block in the Eastern Suburbs then, with all the precious owners and their heritage consultants each having their own way of wanting to do it. It’s taken years and we are still not there. I could have saved the country billions by pointing this out to him and getting him to drop the NBN idea in MDU’s. My fees are very reasonable too.

  32. Pedro the Ignorant

    LIKE Tarzan, the feral child raised by the Mangani apes, Stephen Conroy ended his term as communications minister barely able to speak intelligible English.

    Nick Cater just just joined the smallish gang or “journalists” that I don’t want to see burned at the stake in Federation Square.

  33. Get his book, Pedro. It’s of a very high standard and explains a lot about things in Australia. For retread Pom he’s brilliant value!

  34. And even in the IT* Incompetence Olympics, Conroy can’t relax. He’s got some stiff competition dogging those Strontium 90-rotted heels of his.

    * = Information Technology, not Infidel Tiger. Just making that perfectly clear, to avoid any chance of a misunderstanding.

  35. one old bruce

    Something is wrong when mentally ill people are able to rise to the top of the political system.

  36. JohnA

    johno #1036654, posted on October 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    That is genuinely laugh out loud stuff until you realise how much of our money was being spent on the NBN.

    Conjob is yesterday’s man. Who cares about him now. The real question is what is Turnbull doing about this great waste of money. When will he sell it. Betcha, the government will still own this monstrosity when this government falls. Betcha they never do the right thing and get out of this game.

    Johno, you can’t just sell it off. You have to consider sunk costs (in this instance almost literally ), and whether there is any value in ripping up what has already been done – it may not be worth the effort.

    So the question becomes how to contain or mitigate the financial disaster, while salvaging something useful from the remains – upgraded infrastructure hopefully.

  37. JohnA

    To johnno, continued.

    The key problem is that the original Davidson Committee (sp?, name? memory failure here) made a terrible mistake in recommending the complete privatisation of Telecom. OR the government of the day made the mistake – either way this is what it has cost us.

    The infrastructure (backbone exchanges and CAN, plus the Aussat satellite/s) should never have been sold.

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