Braidwood writer Geoff Davies’ new book Desperately Seeking the Fair Go was launched at the Braidwood Library on Tuesday.
Davies, who has written extensively about economics since his first book Economia was published in 2004, has now switched his focus to social change. This is a call for a future Australia that is confident in its identity and holds fast to its traditions. Those traditions include the fair go: the notion that all of us are equal and have a equal chance at achieving goals.
Davies believes that, over the past two decades, Australian society has become weaker, not stronger. Those traditions that gave us our national identity through the early and mid-20th century and up to the 1980s have been eroded by the economic imperatives of unsustainable growth.
Speaking at his launch on Tuesday, Dr Davies reiterated the need for an inclusive society based on the values that gave Australia its identity and strength: “Values that have been systematically weakened through greater emphasis on economic growth and less on social progress.”
In introducing the book, Braidwood Times reporter Robin Tennant-Wood, a former ANU and UC political scientist, noted that the discontent within Australian society that Davies has described in his book did not occur overnight. They are the result of many tiny step changes.
“The erosion of civil liberties, the indefinite incarceration of refugees, the overzealous nanny state under the guise of safety – these would have horrified our forefathers,” she said. “It’s a bit like the frog in the saucepan analogy – the frog doesn’t notice as the heat is turned up and happily boils to death. We’ve allowed the heat to be turned up, only in this case, the result has been a society going backwards rather than progressing.”
Desperately Seeking the Fair Go is published by Better Nature, and available at the Visitors Information Centre.