Are there terrorists on board Telstra Flight T3? And is there anything the federal government can do to stop them blowing up the plane?

Probably not. Even though the alarms ring every time a senior Telstra executive walks through the metal detectors, the government on Friday announced the boarding call for Flight T3 while effectively advising passengers they’ll be flying at their own risk (with a few extra cushions provided to soften the discomfort). Which, given the turbulence of Flights T1 and T2, suggests a bumpy ride ahead.

Did the government have a choice? Short of an intelligent strategy to break up Telstra — hardly an option for a government without a coherent communications policy — the flight had to depart this year. Even if the security system can’t be trusted.

Of course there’s a price at which the Telstra offering will take off. That won’t guarantee a pleasant flight or ensure there won’t be rough headwinds, but at least when the aircraft finally lands it will have ditched its peskiest passengers, the Australian Government. Then, at last, the captain and crew can get on with the job we’ve been told they are trained to do.

Late this morning Telstra shares were down 5 cents on high volume. Welcome aboard.