Richard Pratt – wiping the ends that meet

Industrialist packaging maker Richard Pratt became the darling of the social set for a while there. His worrying about his factory losing 5 hours of work a week must have been inspiring. “They lost five hours this week,” he said to a journalist when checking a computer program that must have listed time lost by his workers.”I’ll get to the bottom of that.” Is that dialogue impressive? Basically he sounds like a perfectionist neurotic who’s working for a man she respects for his parsimony.

And how many trees he needed for his cardboard and paper have contributed to global warming? Not that he worries about that sort of stuff. He’s a big man who manages footballers (those disadvantaged athletes who are drug riddled and greedy) for an outlet from the pressure of his petty work practices.

So now he has to cough up 36 million odd and face the legal wrath of many (perhaps tens of thousands) whose businesses he ruined by his price fixing of his boxes for fruit and veg et al. He’s pleading guilty to price fixing, although he says he didn’t realise the extent of it. How could anyone forget that because of price fixing they could charge 20% more for packaging.

From memory there was another man who made a fortune by being the first to colour toilet paper pink. Not sure I’m impressed. But these two men manufacture much the same stuff. One is for wiping our end, and the other, because of the huge output, is wiping the end of the planet.

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