While for days I've mulled over the writing of a tirade about the sycophantic treatment of the Ponce's visit by all of the mainstream media, I've decided to keep it brief.
The things that I noticed:
- His 30 minute stop in Townsville to change flights probably isn't going to bring a flood of tourists
- His 1 hour stop in Cardwell must have been a real fizzer for the locals and the hundreds that drove up from Townsville for a gander
- That almost to a man (snide joke), Editors sent female journos to cover the visit
- All of the still and video pics we see of the Ponce are set-up to maximise the "thronging masses" effect - turning 20 into what could be thousands
- Most of those we see in those pics are women who seem to either be there for a perv or because they are trying to convince their little girls that yes a prince charming will really come along and make their life idyllic
- None of the pics I saw had a black face in them - none of the mob that I know in the Hinchinbrook were to be seen
- The BBC's coverage of this part of the Ponce's pre-wedding profile enhancing visit to the top disaster spots in the Commonwealth was brief, included the necessary happy snaps of the type mentioned above and was interspersed with dramatic file footage of the worst Yasi's rubble - not exactly the idyllic "back-in-business" images the Ponce boosters have been banging on about for the last couple of weeks.
Which of course got me thinking about the cost of all of this. Now, apparently, a VIP Jet costs $28,000 an hour...so to tie one up for the Ponce's 5-day visit of Oz's disaster highlights would cost something like $3.36 million!
And then there's the cost of the 3 Black Hawks for a day, and all of the security guys you see in the background, the coppers who are controlling traffic, the forward party who came through to check for terrorist danger spots and good camera angles, the Council crews that where were out the day before trimming the hedges, Anna taking a couple of days off work to hold his hand, etc, etc,
So... let's say the Ponce's publicity tour cost us $5,000,000 (conservatively I'd guess). Somehow, I don't think that the report I saw on the BBC is going to result in 1,840 poms deciding to come on their own tour of recent Oz disasters - staying for 27 nights and spending $2,717 each (the national average for international tourists).
However, I am quite sure that millions watching the meeja dribble in England will no doubt be seduced by the images of a kind and caring future ruler/saviour - just what you need in the lead up to once-in-a-lifetime souvenir sales opportunity.
The reality is folks - you and I have just been milked (as has always been the way of the Windsors) in order lift the Ponce's profile (and pre-wedding souvenir sales) back home.
Postscript: The Times has no mention of the Ponce or his Queensland visit on their site's front page and have aparently only published 4 stories about it in the last 7 days while The Sun (who make their money out of the celebrity con) has only published two!