Thank goodness for a sensible arbitration system. Goodness knows what continuing misery Australian air travelers would have gone through were it not for the safety net of having industrial disputes settled by arbitration when all else fails. Qantas as a company would have suffered by continuing harassment by trade unions and so would have fliers. It is possible to quibble about whether Qantas should have been quite so precipitous in bringing its operations to a halt but the end result is clearly one it is pleased with.

The arbitrating body Fair Work Australia is most unlikely to interfere with the company’s management plans for staffing levels and it certainly shouldn’t. Questions of safety like how long pilots should fly for and how many engineers need to be employed to ensure safe operation should be left to the government air transport regulators.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard can rest satisfied knowing that the industrial relations system she devised worked as planned and it is Qantas not the Labor Government that might end up suffering when it comes to reputation for having left passengers stranded.

The blame game. The Sydney Daily Telegraph just cannot resist playing the blame game.

I notice there has been a considerable reluctance from the paper to admit that it was all a complete untruth, despite denials of the beatup from the Qantas boss and the prime minister but what else would you expect?

Don’t publish the club. Back in their Oxford university days the British Prime Minister David Cameron and the Lord Mayor of London Boris Johnson were members of the Bullingdon Club immortalized as the Bollinger Club by Evelyn Waugh, and best known for throwing exclusive yet rambunctious parties.

The rather aristocratic institution does not fit in so well with political ambitions in a democratic society which led the Oxford-based company Gillman and Soame to withhold the further permission to publish a  picture, for which it holds the copyright, of Messrs Cameron and Johnson and other Bullers in their full evening regalia.

Not wishing to infringe copyright law I have fudged the faces in this reproduction of the real thing that is published on the Iconic Photos website.

Susie Quirke, a 19-year-old classicist at Oxford, wanting to promote a production of Laura Wade’s controversial play Posh, which the undergraduate will be directing at the Oxford Union next month, has taken a different approach and lovingly recreated the photograph — as reproduced in London’s Daily Telegraph. 

The great pretenders. Another three deaths in Afghanistan and 0ur leaders keep on pretending that we are so clearly winning that the mission will soon be accomplished and a withdrawal possible. Full details of Australia’s Afghan war dead are on The Stump.

The death toll for allied troops so far:

“If any question why we died, 
Tell them, because our fathers lied.”

— Rudyard Kipling