Wednesday 22 November 2017

Don't blame euro for economic woes

The idea of ditching the common currency is a laughable diversion from how we ourselves messed up, says Marc Coleman

Marc Coleman

Marc Coleman

Hilarious, ludicrous and -- at the same time deadly serious -- an old anecdote given by Peter Ustinov at a comedy night in Dublin some years ago shows the strange paradoxes life throws at us from time to time.

One of many stories that the great man gathered in his rich life -- and told at such events around the world to raise funds for Unesco -- was about the famous marine explorer and documentarian Jacques Cousteau. Diving into the blue one day, Cousteau's boat hit a rock and started to sink. "Jacques, Jacques, come up, we're sinking!", ordered the captain. Already underwater, Cousteau was being ordered to climb on board a ship already on its way back down into the deep. With his genius for story, Ustinov used the paradox beautifully and had the audience in Dublin's Gaiety theatre roaring with laughter.

The cold facts, of course, show the captain -- however laughable his order -- was right: without the ship's oxygen supply Cousteau was a goner and by clambering on board he would at least join his mates on a lifeboat in the precious minutes before it went under. The ship's crew survived and Cousteau went on to make many more documentaries.

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