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At some point we seem to have accepted that, as peasants, if a bank or other large company imposes on us a penalty fee, for instance for paying a bill slower than they’d like, that as long as the company does it following the company’s own rules, we should find it fair for them to charge it. The historian of the future must see us as sufferers of Stockholm syndrome – as forlorn hostages who’ve somehow come to feel they owe something to their captors.

Have we forgotten how we got here? While you and Daisy ran hand-in-hand in the garden, ecstatic in the rain, they set about to laying claim to all the best flowerbeds and fencing them off. Now they charge you for the flowers and have convinced Daisy’s mother that if you don’t send seven a week, you don’t respect her. The Shamshiel they’ve posted at the gate doesn’t even have a flaming sword, just a valium of meaningless apologies. Continue reading

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      COLD COMFORT FARM Gibbons, Stella (Important Books, reprint July 2013, ISBN 978-8087830628) For some reason anything written in the era of the Jazz age kind of reads like a light hearted romp that could have been written in the 1980s. I suspect both eras were famously of unfettered youth getting their stockings off … Continue reading