Petrol £6 a gallon...? But apparently itís on the cards
ďOh Tony, oh Tony, Tony, TonyĒ.
I canít be the only person to notice that the Government current thinking on the personal motor vehicle question stinks like a Mercedes catalytic Converter in the height of summer.
According to Tony and his cronies, the way to clear traffic congestion in the 21st Century, presumably to make way for his Cabinetís fleet of black Jaguars, is to tax the living daylights out of people for the privilege of driving. According to Tony, anyone who earns less than £45,000 a year doesnít deserve his or her own transport. According to Tony, anyone earning less is obviously a plebe and should therefore be banished to a lifetime of bus use with all the other plebes and no hopers!
As you can possibly imagine, I, and thousands like me, take exception to this arrogant and rather pig-ignorant attitude. Being a connoisseur of the classic shape Saab 900ís, I rather enjoy driving. It relaxes me, de-stresses me, makes the trials and the tribulations of the working day float off in the light misty haze that is the wake of my Saab GLi. Truth be told, if I had to endure the pleasures of modern life without my Saab 900 stress release valve, I would undoubtedly end up on a downward psychological spiral that would culminate with me firebombing the Houses of Parliament, preferably while Tony & Co were still there.
To have Tony, or one of his plethora of eagits, telling me that I have to spend an additional 99 minutes with sweaty commuters in an uncomfortable and depressing Eastern Counties Bus purely because I donít earn enough to pay his hideously unfair fuel taxes, road taxes, makes me angry, very angry.
It makes me feel like hurling eggs, pig-poo, and anything else that comes to hand, at him, John Prescott, and any other Cabinet unfortunate who happens to be with them at the time. It even prompted me to vote Tory at the last election, for all the good it did me. Just stood outside No 10, with his barrister Martian wife and his children. Paddington, Rupert & Pooh, looking so smug that even the Pope would smash him in the face with a spade.
The quintessential problems with their policies are that:
(a) there is absolutely no point forcing people out of their cars and on to a public transport system that cannot cope with the passengers it has now, let alone a few hundred thousand more.
there is no real investment going into the public transport network from the companies that run it. In fact they are trying to cut cost via cutting routes, workers and services purely to prop up their profits.
cars are no longer the luxury that they were back in the 40ís and 50ís. To thousands or millions of people they are an absolute necessity for business and mobility without which jobs would go and revenue for said Government would be lost, never to be regained.
But wait, thereís more! Youíve probably heard by now of the heavier road taxes for bigger engine cars but what you may not know, is that the Hair Blair Bunch are considering the compulsory scrapping of every car on itsí fifteenth birthday. Thus putting an end to the notion that any new car could one day be deemed a classic. No, instead, rest assured that every single brand new car will one day be a cube of rusting metal.
The thing is that not only has Mr Blair got no interest in driving but he hasnít got any taste as to what he drives either. He drives a Ford Galaxy for Godís sake. How, therefore, could he possibly understand the pleasure we Saab enthusiasts, or any other car enthusiasts for that matter, get from our cars when he fully intends for the throw away society ethos to be extended to encompass cars as a whole.
It might work well with Vauxhalls and Fords (theyíre falling to bits after 15 years anyway) but for Saabs, BMWís, Audiís, Jaguars & Mercedes, not to mention, TVRís, Lotusís, etc etc. these are all cars that, if looked after, will run and run. They could all see 25 years, no problem.
So, OK, Mr Blair, if you want the old heaps off the road, make the MOT Test more stringent. If you want to stimulate the economy and get a few more heaps off the road in the process, then increase the minimum tyre tread depth from 1.6 to 3.5 mm. If you want public transport to actually work and take on more passengers, then buy it back and run it as a non-profit making organisation and, if you want people to use their cars less then offer tax incentives for people who donít do many miles in a year (as long as they can prove it).
Your current system of tax people to death and then tax them again, just in case, is ludicrous and grossly unfair as it hits the people who can afford it least.
As for me, well, Iíll carry on driving until I canít afford food. But in the meantime if you ever see live on television, Tony Blair, John Prescott and Gordon Brown being pelted with eggs, pig poo and wet editions of the Radio Times, think of three words by Sting: ďItís probably me!!!Ē