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Friday, 3 November 2017

"Amazon bid shows how far we've come" - Really?

The above headline for an Oct.30 article by Toronto Star's Royston James mentions, (discreetly, of course, like these brackets) that Toronto's response has been "composed, poised, level-headed and unruffled." James compares this with Toronto's sluttish efforts to win a previous Olympic Games. But the reality is everybody knows that Toronto, like most other cities during the continuing dominance of austerity-based investment withdrawal by Western governments, is desperate for private investment as a growth tool. That it is relatively tempered in the style of its desperation does not change the fact of the desperation itself. This is like a plain suitor stressing their plainness as a distinction over their half-naked and panting competitors. However superficially controlled, the suitor is involved in the same game, whose name will  be withheld here to comply with Toronto's level headedness.

Stating what Amazon should do to clean up its act if it wants to impress the city with its offerings would be a more honourable approach but in these times of market triumphalism honour is a concept so old-fashioned as to be almost quaint.Now there's an idea for that might work with the MBAs in charge of such things: modesty as the fairest seduction of them all. We will be be "unruffled" enough here to ignore what in a former age would have been called a contradiction:profit v. probity. Setting some progressive standards for Amazon of the kind embodied in different ways by the enterprises listed in the TorontotheBetter directory is an idea that seems not to have occurred to the City's oh so composed representatives. Pre-nuptial demands in the service of  a better life are not the same as acceptance of the suitor as is, with the by no means honourable baggage of Amazon owner Jeff Bezos.

Honourable or not, the objective of the City is to win a groom and to provide the post-coital flattery, unstated but slavish, that must and will follow if the advertised financial benefits are to be more than short-term titillation. James has played his uncritical part, we must assume, unwittingly.                     

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