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? emoticon

Can some­body please prove me wrong? All I see at the moment is a giant white ele­phant (par­tic­u­lar­ly giv­en the secu­ri­ty blun­ders), but sure­ly there must be more to it than that.

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.

 

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