Thursday, 19 June 2014

Ex Cathedra, Not Ex Chequer

Poor old Pope Francis. He's only infallible when he's teaching ex cathedra on matters of faith and morals.

And "matters of faith and morals" DON'T include economic theory.

But don't be too hard on him - there are very few Spanish translations available of good economic books like The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, The Road to Serfdom and Victory of Reason.

And even if you sent him a copy, he wouldn't have time to read it.

Anyway, don't worry - the next Pope will be an economic rationalist and hardline capitalist. Promise.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

I May As Well Admit It

OK. I am now willing to go public. Inspired by Lisa Curry-Kenny's brave admission, I too can admit that I suffer from Rushing Woman Syndrome. I just rush, rush, rush all day, and it makes me a bit of a cow sometimes.

The trouble is that I also suffer from a rare female form of Horizontal Couch-Related Imbibing Syndrome, recently identified by David Penberthy.

Tragically, this syndrome has caused me in the past to be unable to move from the couch, but because I am female, I have found that there is usually a packet of biscuits, a nice cup of tea and a good book, all within arm's reach. I have been spared most of the vocalisations described by Penberthy, unless the book happens to be by E F Benson, in which case I tend to laugh out loud for no apparent reason.

But the important thing to realise is that this is a medical condition, and so I am in no way to blame for any of this. It's genetic, and I am certain there are some nice drugs I can take that will make it go away, or at least make me a nicer person without having to make any effort to improve myself or overcome my laziness and tendency to nag.

I might even write a book about my battle with it, and make a few quid.

Monday, 9 June 2014


How can I not be a tiny bit sad at the passing of Rik Mayall at only 56, after a quad-bike accident left him with a seizure disorder?

Mayall made a wonderful and long-lasting contribution to my upbringing. Via the TV series The Young Ones, which I first watched during its very first run on ABC TV, late at night, while I was still in high school (I had read about it in the NME, which my brother bought faithfully), he brought me 'Rik', the loathsome, badge-studded, middle-class Trotskyite perpetual student.

On many occasions since - and notably during our recent public outbreak of sooky university student-ism - I have had recourse to Rik as a shorthand summary of everything that's wrong with the young Left in Australia.

I wonder how he and the hated 'Thatcher' will get on together in the afterlife ... May he rest in peace.

And now - some classic Rik moments, just so you can see what I'm talking about.