And welcome to the magazine stall. The shop is open, even though it’s a public holiday. Does this mean I get time and a half?
So how’s your Easter going?
To open up the discussion, I’ve just read a couple of interesting articles. The first is one which may be of interest to the consumer activists amongst us, and details how the new head of consumer affairs watchdog, Nick Stace, plans to rattle a few cages here in Australia. Direct from the UK, where he previously worked as spin doctor for Gordon Brown, Nick Stace is here to give us a considered dose of reality…
Australia needs to get out of its comfort zone,” he says. “You pay more for your groceries than [people] in many other countries … The supermarkets here do not want to be transparent. That is incredibly irresponsible and incredibly worrying, yet there doesn’t appear to be the desire to have a competitive market.”
Nick Stace has been in the country little more than a month. But the differences he’s already observed between the British and Australian consumer psyche are enormous.
British consumers feel a fatalistic resignation about being ripped off and must be prodded to the point of anger before taking action, but Australians display a curious, complacent optimism.
The second topic, which is completely unrelated, but interesting nevertheless, is “How would you feel if your child was gay?” The author of this article confesses that even though hypothetically she would like to think of herself as being welcoming and accepting, she cannot escape the conclusion that she would be sad and dissapointed.
What would be far greater an injustice – a child who could not realise who he or she truly was and live a lie for fear of what the reality may mean for everyone around them?
A choreographed existence that pleased society but created an unbearable inner turmoil is something none of us would wish on our own flesh and blood.