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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