Seems to me we have a lot of problems right now.
I would say that the majority of that is down to inconsistency in selections.
1) Batsmen. Nick Compton was dropped for seemingly being too inconsistent at the top of the order, he was also going slow - but it now seems like that may not have been Compton's fault and just the fact (as I said at the time) that Cook has drained all positiveness out of these batsmen and they all seem scared to give their wickets away. Replaced by Joe Root, who, asides from scoring one hundred (Compton scored two), didn't seem to do a lot right either, who was in turn replaced by Carberry at the top of the order. Root dropped down to six, so perhaps England felt that he wasn't good enough against the new ball (otherwise why would you drop him from opening in the first place?).
So after one test match when Trott goes home, Root is instantly promoted back to number three, where he could (and has) faced a ball before the opener at the other end has faced a ball - does that make sense considering he was dropped from this spot just one match before? In the first test Root scored 2 and 26*. Is that enough to get you your place back at the top of the order? Seems so according to England.
2) Bowlers. In a seemingly similar situtation Steven Finn was dropped after the first test match at Trent Bridge in the summer, Cook refused to turn to Finn on that final morning when it looked like we were going to lose the game. Since then Finn didn't do anything of note for Middlesex yet instantly regained his position in the squad ahead of other quick bowlers (Onions) - and also when we had two "tall" bowlers in the squad.
Tremlett - purely picked on a hunch and the fact he was decent down under last time. 32 wickets at an average of 33 for Surrey in Championship Cricket yet he was picked ahead of Onions, Jordan, Rushworth, Anyon, Sidebottom etc. etc.. (all whom took more wickets than him in Championship Cricket).
3) Wicketkeeper. When the squad was selected in was said that "there is no back up keeper" "oh it doesn't matter unless Prior breaks a finger we won't need one". I think it was ahead of the first test (might have been the second) when Prior had a leg injury (?) and was a doubt for the test. At that point we should have called up whoever was a proper wicketkeeper batsmen. Whether that was Davies, Buttler, Kieswetter, Read, Foster etc. etc.. just a proper wicketkeeper.
Again Bairstow - dropped in the summer for not scoring enough runs he regained his place in the side by doing NOTHING.
Does this show that England is a closed shop? Finn, Bairstow and Tremlett for me do not deserve to be in Australia let alone around the team. Root can bat at six but he did nothing to get up to number three?
I think the consistent issue is the leadership, the selection policy obviously isn't based on form and just based on whose face fits Flower & Cooks world.
My first selection would be to remove Cook as captain, I don't care about people saying "who replaces him". Cook is not a good leader. Oh he won in India, I would say that was down to very poor Indian batting against Monty & Swann with good support from Jimmy and the other quicks. Very few of the wickets were down to good captaincy, more bowled and LBWS that planning. We won the Ashes at home but had wickets that suited us but the reality is we have been going downhill in Test Cricket since the New Zealand away series, we have gone back to the olden days in ODI Cricket with Cook, Bell & Trott the top 3 in ODI Cricket nudging it around at snails pace.
In the space of two years we have gone from this agressive, winning side who take no sh*t to a defensive, negative, frail team, batting at a snail pace which means the opposition is ALWAYS in the game, we never get away from them and put them under pressure.
Who is the best captain in County Cricket? Collingwood won the Championship didn't he but he has been and gone. Who are the other English captains? Gale, Read, Troughton, Trescothick, Foster, Adams, Tredwell, Chappel, Peters, Mitchell?
Do we do what South Africa did with Smith and say to a young lad - there's the captaincy, we trust in you and will support you for the next five years?
I haven't got all the answers but the inconsistencies wind me up, this team is going nowhere except backwards and the players we are picking, selecting - doesn't make sense. For me something has to change and the leadership of the team has to be that.