I am still trying to understand the benefit to local residents of hosting APEC in Sydney. Sydneysiders have been effectively told that they won’t be welcome in their own city for over a week — so thoughtfully extended by two days by our good friend George W. Bush (God bless his soul!).
What have we got in return? With the CBD strangulated and transport crippled, there are certainly no economic benefits. In fact, The NSW Business Chamber of Commerce estimates a loss to the NSW economy of between $300 million and $1 billion.
For ordinary workers, we got just one measly day off, in return for over a week of inconvenience. I don’t understand how people of privilege such as John Howard and Jeff Kennett can refer to ordinary Australians in such disparaging (and ironic) terms as ‘the Chardonnay set’. As far as I am (and evidently much of Sydney is) concerned, there is no benefit from this exercise, either in the short- or longer- terms. And no, I don’t count ‘international prestige’ or any such wankiness as a real benefit.
Has it been worth it, to bend over backwards for someone so stupid that even other world leaders laugh at him?
By the way, has anybody else noticed that the official APEC 2007 Web site does not work properly in Firefox? Probably because their ‘exclusive technology partner’ (read: government-authorised monopolist) is our good friend, Microsoft. What else would you expect from a mob that rules the words ‘Linux’ and ‘Unix’ to be ‘inappropriate language’? I have tested this myself, and it does appear to be deliberate: you can’t even fool it with simple alterations like adding spaces or dashes between the letters.