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Monday, May 16, 2016

Greetings from a grumpy old man

I plan to upgrade my cap to a new inscription,
with the first adjective still ending in a 'Y' but starting with a 'D"

 

During yesterday's trip to Ulladulla I lost two things: my reading glasses and my political innocence. I don't know where I lost my glasses but I know I lost my political innocence when quite by chance I picked up Bob Ellis's book "First Abolish the Customer - 202 Arguments Against Economic Rationalism".

Already the backcover blurb had me hooked: "Economic rationalism at its heart is a refusal to spend money on the unnecessary... But what is unnecessary - and who decides? With eloquence, passion, wit and humour, Bob Ellis explodes the myths of economic rationalism. In this incendiary, life-affirming book, he reveals it to be, at best, little more than an empty fantasy which, as a guiding principle, has more flaws than a factory second. And, at worst, a self-serving and destructive strategy of greed. Along the way, he demonstrates: why the economy of unemployment simply doesn't work; why it is better to spend than save; why a level playing field won't help; and why economic rationalists never practise what they preach. With all this and much more, 'First Abolish the Customer' is a sweeping, swashbuckling account of why economic rationalism is not the answer for Australia."

Bob Ellis, who died last month from liver cancer at the age of 73, was a provocative left-wing author, political commentator and screen-writer. Unlike him, I have never been a "True Believer" and always eschewed Labor politics in favour of the Liberals but Bob's little book - one of more than twenty he wrote, including such bestsellers as "Goodbye Jerusalem" - makes such a convincing case against economic rationalism that I found it impossible not to agree with him. Go ahead and get your own copy and have your view of the world completely changed!

Indeed, on any number of topics your view of the world is likely to be challenged by Bob's long list of essays - see here - starting at the top of the list with "Why are we in Afghanistan?".

Having lost so much, I was in urgent need of some serious cheering up and what better way than to watch "George & Mildred" and "Grumpy Old Women", both on offer at my favourite op-shop for a gold coin.