morning was beautiful. The sun slanted through the Norfolk pines as
I tailed my target through Manly towards his 8 a.m. appointment with
the ferry. From all directions a stream of lawyers, stockbrokers, executives,
currency dealers and spin doctors drifted towards the wharf.
above, a little plane was writing TOYOTA in a clear blue sky. and I
wondered whether the Toyota people hadn't already reorganised their
advertising budget in anticipation of John Laws spending time planting
Pinus radiata seedlings on some bleak windswept hillside near Oberon.
Oh, what a feeling that would be, if only it happened!
it probably wouldn't, I thought. Lawsie may theoretically be facing
seven years but he'll most likely get a community service order, or
a fine and a good behaviour bond ... previous good character and all
At the newsagent on the wharf, I queued up behind the merchant banker
I was tailing for the Casino Inquiry and bought a Herald. I looked for
a rubbish bin to stow the wad of advertising junk that comes with it,
but all the bins had been removed so terrorists couldn't hide bombs
Olympic preparations are in full swing, and the bracing competition
between Third World terrorists and the burgeoning ranks of 'security
specialists' is just one aspect of the pursuit of excellence. Across
the globe, armies of industrial chemists, physiologists, bio-mechanical
experts and other fabulously paid bozos have worked overtime concocting
industrial-strength steroids, human growth hormones and exotic chemicals
to make athletes go higher, faster, stronger. Their role is winding
down now, but hundreds of 'sports medicine' experts at dozens of training
camps have swung into action, carefully overseeing the dosages so that
these things are virtually undetectable when the time comes.
all this to stay pretty much in the same place. All this investment
to break records in ever-decreasing increments. They need laser-triggered
stopwatches now; devices that slice seconds into Einsteinian slivers,
just to tell the difference. Inevitably, the medal tally will be dominated
by a tiny handful of the richest countries.
you're talking about is a hard lesson from the science of ecology that
gets ignored because it doesn't square with the corporate mythology
of our times", Old Possum said when I raised the matter with him
back to the café that afternoon. Joadja flipped the top off another
cider and slid it down the bar into his waiting paw.
gibbers on about competition, but the end result of all sustained competition
in the same niche is monopoly. The only way to retain some semblance
of competition is an agreement not to really compete", he continued.
four airline thing is a wonderful example. We've been through this lunacy
twice before with the Compass fiasco. The only way they were ever able
to keep two airlines flying the same domestic routes was with a finely-tuned
agreement to 'compete' only within strict guidelines.
price wars have a dumb logic of their own. The airlines lose a fortune
on every bum they put on a seat and they burn up their profits. The
public are well aware it can't last long, so they rush the cheap fares.
All at once, people do all the travelling they'd planned to do and sooner
or later the whole cheap travel niche collapses. The last suckers holding
tickets do their dough when one of the airlines goes broke, and then
the business reverts to something more sustainable.
the end Virgin and Impulse will either go out of business or they'll
gravitate to unoccupied niche markets at the edge of the main game.
Whichever way you cut it, you can't run an airliner with the same fare
structure as bus. The numbers just don't work.
the more things change, the more they remain the same", I said,
feeling that the second cider was tasting better than the first.