God it’s shite finding yourself on the same side as Bob Carr. The sinister little gollum is in the Oz today, whining about the PIR campaign he helped lose.

A director of Dymocks and the ‘face’ of their front-group the Coalition for Cheaper Books’, Carr lost to a motley bunch of basketweavers and it shits him.

His piece demonstrates in miniature all the arrogance and mendacity of the big chains participation in this campaign.

Even if you oppose PIR (as I do) you can’t pretend that the savings will be 30% or more on most books.

‘Cheap the precious books’ the Gollum mumbles, arguing that…

the hardback of Anthony Beevor’s D-Day can be got for $A30 online, while it’s $65 here. fair nuff, but there is no regime under which D-Day would be anywhere near $30 in an Oz bookstore  $50, maybe  presuming the chains pass on their savings, which is a big presume.

Carr’s also wrong about bookshop attitudes to PIR – the independent bookshops support it, because local editions mean it’s easier to restock backlist in small volumes. I don’t think that of itself is a compelling reason to keep PIR, but let’s not pretend PIR abolition would save retail jobs.

And finally there’s the opening line. ‘Forget Australian authors’. yeah, Bob and that has been the failure of the anti-PIR campaign right thru – the idea that readers are just Pavlovian consumers who don’t care what happens to local authors.

Wow – public hospitals, roads, now books – you’re really quite bad at all this aren’t you?