Long-standing readers will know that, even though I have little hair, I like to take the measure of a community by having a haircut. You may remember my encounter with a very camp curly-haired Cape-coloured crimper in Capetown. Well I’ve never found the right hairdresser in Perth until now – it’s in George Street, just up from the hotel. It has a kind of outer court with a big old-fashioned cash register. Inside, it’s a bit chappish with lots of chat and some Piskie connections. I was asked if I knew ‘hairy duke’.
Meanwhile euphoria continues. Yes I know he’s black. But just to hear the US government speak in sentences will be enough for me for a while. So even as I celebrate the triumph of the rational over the irrational, I also ponder the need to embrace the unconventional against the conventional.
Dominic Lawson in yesterdays Independent responded to the attacks on the banks for not instantly passing on the interest rate cut like this, ‘When the entire political class is united on a single issue, you can be sure that it is largely mistaken: the more conventional is the wisdom, the more certain it is to be based on ignorance or mere fashion.’
Which is in some measure the reason why we are in this mess. I like the idea that the best investment policy is simply to do the opposite of what everybody else is doing – sell when they buy and buy when they sell. Because of course what inflates a bubble is precisely the desire of [almost] everybody to join in. And the ones who join in last are the ones who get hurt the most.
Which brings us of course to the dangerous notion that the church – which presents itself as the most conventional body on earth, as it were – should actually be the most unconventional, counter-intuitive and faithful.