‘No decision has been made’

by Aaron Wherry

If last night’s sketch did not sufficiently enlighten, the full transcript of last night’s inquiry into government’s defence policies—including the surrealist zen sentence that is this post’s title—is now online. Of all the exchanges contained therein, this was perhaps most entertaining.

Matthew Kellway: Madam Chair, that is two times the government made a decision to purchase the F-35 that we all know about. However, there is a third one, at least, that goes back to July 15, 2010. I know. I have seen pictures of the Minister of National Defence hopping in and out of the cockpit of the F-35 jet and announcing at a press conference on that very day that the government had made a decision to buy the F-35, 65 of them in fact. Could the government please confirm that actually happened?

Julian Fantino: Madam Chair, if I may again, I would like to remind the member that no decision has been taken. We are awaiting, as recommended by the Auditor General, the response to his concerns with regard to various issues. A secretariat has been put in place to develop independent response and validate those answers. No decision has been taken. I do not know how many more times I have to keep repeating that.




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‘No decision has been made’

  1. Kellway Is this the right room for an argument?
    Fantino I’ve told you once.
    Kellway No you haven’t.
    Fantino Yes I have.
    Kellway When?
    Fantino Just now!
    Kellway No you didn’t.
    Fantino Yes I did!
    Kellway Didn’t.
    Fantino Did.
    Kellway Didn’t.
    Fantino I’m telling you I did!
    Kellway You did not!
    Fantino I’m sorry, is this a five minute argument, or the full half hour?
    Kellway Oh … Just a five-minute one.
    Fantino Fine thank you. Anyway, I did.
    Kellway You most certainly did not.
    Fantino Now, let’s get one thing quite clear. I most definitely told you!
    Kellway You did not.
    Fantino Yes I did.
    Kellway Didn’t.
    Fantino Yes I did.
    Kellway Didn’t.
    Fantino Yes I did!!
    Kellway Look, this isn’t an argument.
    Fantino Yes it is.
    Kellway No it isn’t, it’s just contradiction.
    Fantino No it isn’t.
    Kellway Yes it is.
    Fantino It is not.
    Kellway It is. You just contradicted me.
    Fantino No I didn’t.
    Kellway Ooh, you did!
    Fantino No, no, no, no, no.
    Kellway You did, just then.
    Fantino No, nonsense!
    Kellway Oh, look this is futile.
    Fantino No it isn’t.
    Kellway I came here for a good argument.
    Fantino No you didn’t, you came here for an argument.
    Kellway Well, an argument’s not the same as contradiction.
    Fantino It can be.
    Kellway No it can’t. An argument is a connected series of statements to establish a definite proposition.
    Fantino No it isn’t.
    Kellway Yes it is. It isn’t just contradiction.
    Fantino Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    Kellway But it isn’t just saying ‘No it isn’t’.
    Fantino Yes it is.
    Kellway No it isn’t, Argument is an intellectual process … contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.
    Fantino No it isn’t.
    Kellway Yes it is.
    Fantino Not at all.
    Kellway Now look!
    Fantino (pressing the bell on his desk) That’s it. Good morning.
    Kellway But I was just getting interested.
    Fantino Sorry the five minutes is up.
    Kellway That was never five minutes just now!
    Fantino I’m afraid it was.
    Kellway No it wasn’t.
    Fantino I’m sorry, I’m not allowed to argue any more.
    Kellway What!?
    Fantino If you want me to go on arguing you’ll have to pay for another five minutes.
    Kellway But that was never five minutes just now … oh Come on! (Fantino looks round as though Kellway was not there) This is ridiculous.
    Fantino I’m very sorry, but I told you I’m not allowed to argue unless you’ve paid.
    Kellway Oh. all right. (pays) There you are.
    Fantino Thank you.
    Kellway Well?.
    Fantino Well what?
    Kellway That was never five minutes just now.
    Fantino I told you I’m not allowed to argue unless you’ve paid!
    Kellway I’ve just paid.
    Fantino No you didn’t.
    Kellway I did! I did! I did!
    Fantino No you didn’t.
    Kellway Look I don’t want to argue about that.
    Fantino Well I’m very sorry but you didn’t pay.
    Kellway Aha! Well if I didn’t pay, why are you arguing … got you!
    Fantino No you haven’t.
    Kellway Yes I have … if you’re arguing I must have paid.
    Fantino Not necessarily. I could be arguing in my spare time.

  2. Franz Kafka would be bemused that life has imitated his art.

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