On The Radar Screen - Turbulance Ahead

This is your captain speaking.


Welcome aboard this around-the-world flight, visiting some of the globe's economic and political hot-spots.


Fasten your seat belts. There is turbulence ahead.


We can and will ride it out, but it will be a bit bumpy. It may be necessary to reset our course several times to negotiate the conditions which lie ahead.


Be advised, we will be changing altitudes at various times in an endeavour to find the smoothest possible passage.


Our route on this trip has us tracking north and west. We do not anticipate any tailwinds. Therefore, the engines will need to work at full power and there will be no early arrivals.


Late in the flight do keep your eyes open, because we will probably see the sun setting on a number of countries, as we have known them.


European air-traffic control has issued a warning. There is a heavy flight of capital out of Greece to Germany, creating some congestion and its own slipstream. We will remain mindful of this. However, it should not cause us any major concern or delays. The impact will be relative(s) and should be limited to certain suburbs in metropolitan Melbourne.


Our instruments are showing a drag on the left wing and we expect that to increase over France. We are monitoring the situation closely. The atmosphere in Spain and Portugal may exacerbate conditions.


The global forecast is for a series of storm fronts to gather and stay over Europe for around a decade. There will be flooding in specific localities and businesses will bear substantial costs, many will incur damage (to revenue, sales and growth) and some will be washed out to sea. Analysis at this time has identified much structural damage and the re-building program will be long, complex and costly.


In most instances, there is no insurance cover to off-set the costs and premiums will be regraded. That appears to be a prudent policy, with little risk that it will not occur.


National business, political and economic lexicons will witness additions. Already, there is widespread and conspicuous evidence that the Greeks, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Irish are experiencing difficulty comprehending, articulating and applying simple words like austerity.


We have received word that the volcanic Mt Etna in Italy is active, which is in stark contrast to the national government. The former Prime Minister has been found to be a “Little Emperor” without clothes. He has given up his political party in favour of another bunga-bunga party. Advice is that we should avoid that airspace as a precaution to possible fallout.


A large depression has been identified over Ireland. Yes, that is correct and confirmed... to-be-sure, to-be-sure.


Here is an interesting aside. European business schools, political science facilities and universities are offering new and refresher courses on profits, costs, margin risk and capital management. At this time interest and enrolments are sparse. It seems many of the potential students are otherwise engaged in reclaiming and Occupying The Streets of cities throughout the continent.


The worst of the storms across the Atlantic Ocean over the North America continent have passed and dissipated. A lot of rebuilding is needed, not the least of which is confidence. This will be no tea party.


Regrettably, no one is showing or paying any interest. We will be avoiding that area because wind-shear and down-draughts will make it hard for us to take off and achieve any uplift for some time.


Reports have been received that China is experiencing an unseasonal cold chill, which is affecting the local atmosphere. Movement and air-traffic have slowed appreciably.


There are fears of a pending avalanche which will affect Beijing. We are assured that the Central Communist Party is drafting a most positive forecast...


Our scheduled stopover in India has been cancelled. We have received advice there has been another earthquake which has shaken the country. Five more cricketers have been found to be negotiating to cheat with the bowling of no-balls, wides and donkey-drops.


Hold on. Disregard that advice. It seems the situation is normal. Oh, my goodness!


We have been able to connect with the Australian-owned and sited Jindalee Over The Horizon Radar System and can report we are tracking what appears to be a significant number of well-heeled Australian consumer refugees, who appear to be trekking overseas for relief from high prices, appallingly bad customer service and an incompetent Federal Government.


Ladies, gentleman and children, we anticipate a relatively soft-landing after a somewhat “bumpy” ride.


And so, please sit back, enjoy the spartan service (with due deference to the Greeks) and have faith. There is only one way, and that is up. And at the moment the First Officer is in full flight using the sextant trying to conclude which way that is.