I know it's a lot of money, but you can't do this crap for nothing. Nor can you expect Ministers of the Crown to stay in 2 star dives.
But inevitably you get the league tables, and the ridiculous questions.
The latest being about the cost of Copenhagen. The two mad terriers, Matt and Dave, in their last program for the year on Friday last had a good go at Penny Wong the Minister for Climate Change. I found myself getting enraged at their worrying at the legs of the good Senator. To be fair she dealt patiently with them. I am not sure if the transcript is available, but she gave a good rationale for why Australia benefits from having many people present. In particular she drew attention to multi-layered presences, from bureaucratic exchanges to region-region negotiation. Our own Premier is co-chair of this important multi local government exchange.
Wong stands out as a fierce and rigorous negotiator( see here for example)
Th truth is that Matt and Dave were adopting the cheap spin of the Opposition. It's easy to say it all costs too much. But what is the alternative? Do we not go?
In truth Australia has often, perhaps always, has punched above its weight. This is the privilege of being a small rich country. Were not our involvement in both wars, and the Vietnam war, perhaps these two latter awful wars, and our many jaunts with UN forces, and in many international fora; all examples of being privileged and indeed required to 'punch above our weight'
Our sporting prowess no less is supported in the same sort of way, strange that you don't find Mr Abbott suggesting that the government spends too much on sport. Ahhhh but Mr Abbott that would be not as cheap to sell to the electorate!!!