End of the Road?, Gideon Haigh, Pengiun Specials, 2013
It’s a tough life taking an interest in your country. Traditionally the main sources of information for most people has been the media. In the last decade this source has become totally corrupted, especially the mainstream media and the ABC.
When it comes to the rhetoric around the car industry in Australia, the ideological arguments that are trotted out do nothing but harm and mislead. Thank god (or whoever is out there) Penguin has these ‘Penguin Specials’ and thank you to Gideon for his research and information that goes a long way to providing a reality check on where the country is at when it comes to having a car industry.
I suggest that you cease listening to our politicians, the industry specialists and people such as the Institute of Public Affairs, until you have read this book.
Gideon does not present the definitive answer. He does present a host of facts, a lot of the history of the industry and the context in which it operates today. It has been a complex and intriguing story. Apparently Australians have a huge choice of vehicles. In total it is 360 models by 60 makers in this small market? This choice, and the expectation of having such a range of choice, is possibly one of the factors leading to destruction of the Australian industry.
The rhetoric from our ‘free market’ friends within the so-called independent think tanks, such as the infamous Institute of Public Affairs, remains a force to be reckoned with given the current Commonwealth Government’s conservative nature. These people currently have many platforms from which they influence debates. For some reason the ABC uses their representatives constantly to provide ‘balance’. (more on this ‘balance ‘later)
This book is totally recommended for anyone with an interest in politics, in the future of the country and how decisions are made. You may or may not have an interest in cars to enjoy this book.
From the publicity:
Australia is one of just thirteen countries in the world equipped to take a car from design concept all the way to a showroom – a remarkable achievement in a market so small. Yet the industry has few friends, and many vociferous critics who argue that the country should not make cars at all. In this engaging and insightful analysis for the lay reader, Gideon Haigh explains why the industry has become an ideological battleground, and reveals the more complex and surprising truth behind the partisan rhetoric.
and you get all that for $10. and yes it is just the thing for a quick read – take it on a plane.
Recommended: Rating 9/10