James Packer has often been touched gently by Australian journalists. They've tacitly understood that one day they might just need a job from his family. Recent news coverage has been reiterating that he has, in fact, quit casinos operator Crown Resorts' board due to mental health. Accompanying this information we saw footage of his mother being wheeled on to a Qantas plane like Dr Strangelove, off to comfort her sweet boy in California. The international man of misery is currently receiving the very best treatment available. Possibly in a coleman tent, listening to echoes of whale song.
The AJ Soprano of Australian business has bragged that Crown in Melbourne is one the country's biggest 'tourist attractions'. But that's an odd way of describing a monopoly protected by government enforced gaming license laws. If James Packer was a great businessman he'd be producing in open markets with fair competition. Instead he runs things more like a cartel. Overseas he's been tied to the corruption of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And in China 19 of his staff have been arrested for criminal activity. Back in Australia his capodecina use poker machines to rape the financial independence of the elderly and socially isolated.
While failing to get his father's DNA for commerce he did inherit the obesity gene. A few years back he had lap band surgery and lost the weight. Then he managed to get morbidly fat all over again - combining 2 litre bottles of lukewarm Fanta with hourly osmosis skin rubs of Big Mac sauce. Right back to where he was before, looking like Shrek if Shrek was the villain. Never enough food and never enough money. People could stop pretending that they respect James Packer and admit that they just fear the wealth he oars about the place. Maybe he is unwell but it's an iota of pain compared to what he inflicts on broader society - specifically people who were never afforded the entitlement his father’s fortune coddled him in. Maybe his health will improve. But he'll probably never choose to be a kinder person.