Blog : How I hope things will be ‘on the other side’

If you’re here for car nostalgia, and to escape Coronavirus (COVID-19), this is probably one post you can skip. But if you accept that we’ll come out of the other side, and that we’ll all learn something from this, you’ll understand why I’ve written this one.

‘May we live in interesting times’. It’s an oft-quoted saying that seems to have been attributed to the Chinese. However, cleverer people than me have already researched this more fully than I ever could, and it’s most likely to have originated in Yorkshire. A report in a 1936 edition of The Yorkshire Post is said to be the most likely source in a fairly innocuous event report.

‘Sir Austen Chamberlain, addressing the annual meeting of Birmingham Unionist Association last night, spoke of the “grave injury” to collective security by Germany’s violation of the Treaty of Locarno. Sir Austen, who referred to himself as “a very old Parliamentarian,” said: “It is not so long ago that a member of the Diplomatic Body in London, who had spent some years of his service in China, told me that there was a Chinese curse which took the form of saying, ‘May you live in interesting times.’ There is no doubt that the curse has fallen on us”.’

Whatever, the source of this quotation, it’s clear that we are indeed living in interesting, tragic and unprecedented times. The world economy has been in a partial state of shutdown for weeks now, with the UK being almost completely locked down since 23 March 2020. As I write this, more than 2000 people have succumbed to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK, with approaching a million confirmed (and many, many more unconfirmed) cases globally. What is clear is that this virus is public enemy number one, and the growing pandemic is proving hugely challenging to get under control.

Right now, it’s difficult to see the end of it. But we must all hold on to the hope that there is an end in sight and, if it’s not quite in view yet, at least the green shoots of recovery in China and South Korea prove that it can at least be brought under some semblance of control. However, even as the numbers are rising, and the death toll increases, I really do hope that we’re all beginning to think about how the world will look when we finally do recover from the pandemic. That’s why I’ve put my fingers to my keyboard to spell out my own hopes – a list of hopes and aspirations for what the world has learned from this creation, transmission and our response to this virus.

Here’s my list of what I hope are the things we’ve learned from Coronavirus (COVID-19):

  1. Be nicer to each other
    There’s been an encouraging amount of positivity among people in the wake of this pandemic’s spread. Communities applauding the NHS Heroes, neighbours looking after neighbours, and others rallying around the weak and vulnerable. Increasingly, more people are connected than ever before, and are checking in with their friends and relatives more often. It would be good if we all continued that. I know I will.
  2. Properly invest in the NHS
    Perhaps if we’d not been underinvesting in this vitally-important service, the resolve and ingenuity of the system wouldn’t be put under such a stern test as it has been in the past few weeks. We’re short of nurses, ventilators, beds – and, although being better funded wouldn’t have made this problem go away, it would have certainly meant we’d have been more prepared…
  3. Start buying and producing more locally
    I don’t suggest for a moment that we should go back to the era of Baird TVs and Austin Allegros, but an evolution of that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Currently, our world’s economy is powered by the free flow of goods, which has inevitably seen so much production transferred into a low-wage economies. That’s all well and good if you’d rather spend £300 instead of £800 on a television, or £200 instead of £1000 for an HVAC or Infotainment system in that European-built car, but low-wage economies generally mean the people who’ve made all this stuff have far fewer rights than us – and there’s an ethical question that urgently needs addressing. Especially around living standards, food regulations, human rights and safety in these low-wage economies. We’ll all have to pay for it, but it’s probably a small overall price – which leads me on to…
  4. Reset the world’s finances
    With the world economy in stasis, countries across the globe are having to support businesses and individuals. This is costing each country mind-bending amounts of money – or more correctly, each economy is committing to borrowing mind-bending sums of money. If the UK is frozen until June, it’s going to cost something like £600bn to see us through in terms of employee payouts, tax freezes, additional investment in the NHS and the like. And that’s just the UK. This isn’t 2008, Part 2. This is far bigger, and is a sum of money that’s absolutely unprecedented. And the likelihood is that we’ll be paying back this borrowing for 50 years or more – maybe 100. Multiply this acceleration of debt across the globe, and it’s a game-changing shift in financial thinking. So, maybe it’s time to reset the banks’ chronometers and reset all the counters to zero. You know, cancel all world debt. Imagine if China did that for one. How different things would be. I doubt that’s even possible – but considering what’s been achieved in the past few weeks, much of which was considered impossible before, you never know.
  5. Know that we can achieve more than we ever thought possible
    The speed in which things have been accomplished in response to the pandemic has been astonishing. Hospitals have been built, communities have reconnected, companies saved from bankruptcy and the list goes on. Now we’ve established a new level of pace for what mankind can achieve, it will be difficult to go back to how things were before. Car companies are gearing up to build medical ventilators a matter of days – yes, days – since they stopped churning out cars, and that’s a heartening lesson. Things that used to take months and years to be done, can now be done in days and weeks. Let’s hope we can maintain this on the other side.
  6. Live on a cleaner planet
    I’m sure you’ve all been enjoying those quiet walks in once busy places, and really appreciating how much noise modern mankind made before the pandemic. Will we end up reappraising how we use our resources? With so much of the UK now working from home, will it ever be the same again? Will these employers who sent their workers home consider making this a more permanent set-up in the future? For those who have no choice but be somewhere else to earn their living, the quieter roads should be easier to commute on, while those who are now working at their computers at home – and probably never thought they could – have their lives improved as a consequence? With all those commuters off the road, how much cleaner is our air, and how much quieter our villages, towns and cities?
  7. Be more prepared
    The world’s Governments have learned a lot from the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Let’s hope that the next time a pandemic looks to be heading our way, we all lockdown earlier, react more quickly, and treat the threat a whole more seriously. And, yes, let’s hope the shops stop people panic-buying much sooner than they did before.
  8. Do we need so much rampant consumerism?
    I suspect the way in which we all buy our good might be taken out of our hands somewhat. So far, with the shops closed and online deliveries slowing right down, we’re learning to live on less, and live a little more thoughtfully. The world’s economy, of course, is powered by growth, and once we’re out the other side, we’ll be once again encouraged to get back on the horse and buy, buy, buy. But will be need to? Will be be able to afford to? Will we want to? Maybe it’s time to learn how to maintain our cars, keep hold of them longer and feel less inclined to have the newest, shiniest motor on the block. And manufacturers of white goods and tech – it’s time to make them fixable and upgradable again…
  9. Realise the importance of people
    By this I mean stop paying low wages to warehouse workers, delivery drivers, postal workers, carers and all of those people who’s jobs have assumed such importance in recent days and weeks. Without them, the country would literally grind to a halt. They all need to be treated better and be paid a wage commensurate to their contribution to society. I suggest capping bankers wages to make that one work. Sounds like Socialism? Perhaps, but I see it more as humanism – and, besides, the current Government bailout of so many companies and workers right now shows that centralised intervention can be a very good thing. We are a civilised society, after all.
  10. Adopt a different approach to national boundaries
    Although borders are closed right now, and it feels we’re all fighting this on a country-by-country basis, there’s a great deal of international cooperation going on at the moment. This is not a war as some politicians like to say. We’re fighting a common enemy, and the whole of mankind is united in defeating it. Hopefully, when it’s over, we will be closer as a species, and more willing to cooperate more closely in the future. The virus hasn’t respected borders, and I hope, in time, our attitude to crossing them will be different – it’s a privilege to enjoy freedom of travel, and we should never forget it.

Stay safe out there, remain indoors, and keep your distance!

Apologies for that – normal service will be resumed now. Here’s a picture of a 1970s petrol station.

Keith Adams

40 Comments

  1. I wish I could share your optimism, but I suspect things will return to normal.
    The current crisis has exposed us as being vain, self centred creatures and I suspect that in areas where the virus has not hit hard like Norfolk, adherence to the government restrictions will begin to disintegrate, perhaps by Easter.
    There is still too much road traffic here and I suspect Easter will bring an invasion of idiots from urban areas out to their holiday homes.
    World governments are effectively trashing the global economy to save the lives of a small minority of the population and they may not be thanked by future generations enduring financial hardship, for this.
    I suspect all the borrowed money may originate in China, which would be ironic.
    Cancelling world debt would be a brilliant idea, as it would be wrong for someone to profit out of the deaths of innocents, but is it possible?

  2. I had had some of the same thoughts myself, and agree with the others. Good article, and hopefully some of these things will happen.

  3. Comforting article thank you. I really hope some of your key points are addressed especially the importance of medical, delivery and municipal workers. Growing up people would always say “if you don’t work hard you’ll end up on the bins or stacking shelves”. I hope those very people are now eating their words. The wage imbalance has always bothered me. The very fabric of society relies on essential services and some are very poorly paid or appreciated. Here’s to the future!

  4. I wanted to LIKE this article YouTube style but found no thumb icon . I think it would be a great addition.

  5. Maybe football will face its day of reckoning after coronavirus, as while everything else sports wise has shut down, it’s still droning on about how important it is to finish the season. In reality broadcasters are terrified about losing the billions they waste on this sport every year and players are fretting that they might not be getting 200 k a week for the next few months. People are starting to see this sport as a money obsessed, overkilled bore and hopefully it won’t be the life or death thing it was before the crisis.

      • Just seen on the news they are worried about when they can start the football league again!!! I hope these grossly over paid men sitting in there £2-3 million pound houses feel ashamed of them selves with these wonderful LOW paid people putting there lives at risk to save all of us. When this is all over and money is going to be tight I hope these footballers come down to earth with a great big crash.

        • Oh dear, they might have to struggle on 200k a week instead of 300 k a week for a few months. No doubt they’ll be inventing another tax dodge to see themselves through the hard times and the WAGs worrying when the high class hairdressers and beauty salons will be reopening in Wilmslow. Meanwhile people in the real world like staff at Debenhams will be wondering if they will have jobs to go back to when the crisis ends.

  6. Your point 10 (open borders/ less national borders) is appalling globalist nonsense Keith, which undermines 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9!!!

    Globalism (aka liberal or free market capitalism) may not have started the virus, but it got us in this weakened state across the Western world (and in 3rd world nations). Allowing supply chains and manufacturing to be outsourced to 3rd world slave sweatshops has been proven to be a nightmare, with China’s Communist Party as the worst totalitarian regime we rely upon for medical and other supplies, including cars increasingly (Geely own Lotus and Volvo, SAIC have MG Rover, etc).

    Ironically, MG Rover offers an excellent counter example to the ‘wisdom’ of open borders and outsourced production. Every partnership they undertook (Honda, BMW, SAIC) consumed vast amounts of cash and time & energy in negotiating deals and then royalties, and left MG more dependant on those partners for bodyshells etc. When firms like BMW sold MG, they took all the profitable parts of the firm (MINI, Range Rover plans yielding X3/5 etc) leaving MG in ever more impossible situations, having to reset operations based on the remnant older cars.

    And you yourself have noted how astutely the Chinese ‘investors’ stalled negotiations until MG went bust, so they could scoop the tech and skilled staff. Same with Geely waiting patiently to buy Volvo and Lotus – now they plan to bring the tech & skills further into Chinese manufacture, leaving European factories in further doubtful future.

    Besides, you can only achieve the cleaner environment (point 6), higher wages (point 9), slower consumption (point 8) if we return to local production (point 3), both cars and other items, and that helps rebalance global finances too (point 4). Britain and other ‘1st world’ nations cannot survive financially by continuing to spend on our credit cards to buy Chinese slave made cars/goods, for the profit of a few globalist wealthy elite who have grown fat on globalism.

    Let’s build a better future on the other side of this virus, by rebuilding our own manufacturing. That builds local well paid jobs with manufacturing that doesn’t just dump waste in nearby rivers, and the higher prices that go with local production means the cars/goods are valued more and kept longer (like up to the 1980s), giving less frequent consumption. China and India will remain vast markets for our exports or their local production – we just don’t have to hand them our skills an ideas so they can exploit their own people for obscene profits.

    Oh, and there will be reckoning with the CCP after this (quoting Senator Tom Cotton of US) – they will have to pay for the world’s refinancing, and the CCP should be overthrown, freeing the Chinese people to be democratic like the Hong Kong people have been protesting for. The mechanisms for this are global isolation through tariffs and quotas – the opposite of your point 10’s open borders.

    All the best for a recovered car industry, and publications based on that!

    • I wasn’t saying open borders, and have tweaked Point 10 to reflect that. Maybe when we do away with money, we’ll be ready for that – but certainly not yet!

      • Fair enough Keith, and while I am blunt in my response, please note I am not attacking you – I think your article here is timely. We need to look ahead to when this is over, and how we reshape and rebuild our nations, including the motor industry.

        But a cashless society has its own risks, as this virus pandemic proves. My local bank branch told me they were shutting for the pandemic (there are banking options available now), so I kept cash to hand for if plastic cards experienced a hiccup. Plus, it is worrying how readily police forces globally are tracking people to ensure they comply with lockdown requirements (Taiwan, NZ, UK I think, at least) – cash can’t be tracked 😉

        Re: car industry rebuilding post pandemic – perhaps the key to getting a BL type independent car maker is to start with just one model, say MG ZR 3/5 dr hatch, that expands body types into 4 dr sedan, 5 dr estate similar to how the R8 Rover 200 did in the 1990s. Who owns the rights to the T-series and L series diesel? And the Buick V8? Did they go to SAIC or Roewe?

        I’m thinking an establish minor manufacturer (like GTM with their Libra, or similar) could develop a similar small car range based on just 1 platform and engine. That mimnimises development costs and they can start with small production numbers and more hand made assembly than the usual high cost robots production line. Possible? Particularly if govt gives post-pandemic restart help…

          • The rights to the Rover V8 engine are still owned by Land Rover who in 2004 gave an engineering company called MCT based in Weston super Mare, a licence to continue building it for those vehicle owners wanting to buy a replacement new engine.

    • What the BMW X5 would be had been signed off long before BNW took over Rover, the X3 took nothing from Rover either other than hill descent.

      The Mini was a initiated by BMW, and the design came from BMW own studio, Rover input was the absurd Spiritual. Every part of the Mini project was funded by BMW money and once they saw what a mess Rover had made of the 75, BMW took the project in house, so any success that the Mini has and will be, is because of BMW and nothing to do with Rover.

      You also overlook that BMW left Land Rover with a state of the art production facility for the Freelander (without BMW, input the bodyshell would have been built in Finland) and the planned BMW X7, was gifted to Rover to become the basis for the 3rd Generation Range Rover. Let us remember that BMW was pouring some 300 million a year into Rover during its ownership. The real issue is that given this opportunity how did the “numpties” at Rover manage to mess it up!

  7. Good article but like every single pandemic or epidemic book it misses the point.

    Money.

    Every. Single. Time. This sort of thing happens its “it costs too much” yet to protect us against pandemics costs $1 per person per year (End of Epidemics, Quick).

    We don’t need to “reset” finance, we need to put it out of our misery. It’s as an insane system as burning witches for central heating and village entertainment. It’s an international psychosis.

    If there is no “value” then there is no cost – no cost – there is no excuse not to have the right gear or training. You’ll still have dribbling political idiots but they’ll have one less excuse.

    My partner, Comfort, is currently in Accra, Ghana. They have 150 cases. 5 deaths. 31 recoveries. Because the government locked things down quickly. We have 2 THOUSAND deaths and we are an advanced country…? The president said “we know how to fix the economy, what we don’t know is how to bring people back to life, we will therefore protect people’s lives”. He was wearing a African fabric called anisuo “tracks of tears” in my partners language, twi.

    It comes down to money and greed. No money no greed. Please think about this.

    Yebehyia bio* friends

    *see you later/we’ll meet again.

    • It is easy to transfer the blame for the state of our health service to others but ultimately we live in a democracy. If we truly wanted a better healthcare system, we could have it. However, there is a catch, it will cost each of us more money.

      It is no good demanding that Amazon, Google or billionaire tax dodgers should cover the cost. Even if we could get them to pay up, some of the cost will fall on ordinary members of the public. Countries that have better health systems than the UK, either have a form of state backed health insurance or higher taxes on most of the population.

      The NHS is facing increasing demand due to an ageing population. The underfunding of social cares in a particular, is a scandal. You can’t having better healthcare, with increasing demand, without spending more.

      So the question becomes, who pays? Now that is not an easy question. Younger workers have been hit hard by austerity and pay which is has been stagnating in this country for years. Not a uniquely British phenomenon. The middles classes are getting hollowed out in many countries. Should they pay?

      One of the big economic trends is the transfer of wealth from earnings, to assets. The big gainers in our economy are those who are house owners or multiple house owners. So should we tax the wealth gains created by those assets?

      May tried to do this, when she suggested taxing the assets of those needed long term care, after their death. That plan for an asset tax probably cost her a majority at that election.

      So it is all very well demanding better healthcare but if you do that, you need to tell us how you’re going to pay for it.

  8. Gemma, the population of Accra is about 2 million, the population of Great Britain is 63 million. Is this not relevant to your figures?
    Keith. Thank you for the article – it looks at what could be possible if humanity is not as selfish as they have been in the past. We can all at least try to make the world better. It’s the trying that matters!
    On the ‘noise’ issue – forthcoming electric vehicles will cut noise globally – although tyre noise will still be an issue. When we are away we strive to find places where it is silent. Even in remote parts of the country we still hear aircraft and road traffic noise from a main road or motorway, miles away. The pre-industrial revolution people experienced an almost totally quiet world. What bliss. We are all selfish though. In my youth I’ve had a 1440cc mini that could be heard almost a mile away – now we live in a 30 limit and a car going past our cottage at 30 is insignificant. If one cars past at 50 we really know about it! The problem is that we humans have very little empathy with each other. The guy on a noisy motorbike is having his fun – the fact that 300 people in the town he’s just roared through at 50mph have been negatively affected doesn’t matter to him. Urban limits are primarily for safety but few realise the additional impacts of breaking them. I’m just using speed as an indicator – we as humans have little real concern for others, yet – we show extroadinary concern for others in certain areas – giving to charity being the most obvious.
    We have great hope for the future and believe we can make it better – but it will only be accomplished everyone – those who don’t believe it, won’t do it – so it won’t work, at least for them.

    • The figures are for the whole country – they locked things down when they had 5 cases. The army are on the ground – carrying assault rifles chambered for 5.56 Nato and 7.62 Russian Short. People are observing the lockdown and wearing masks. UK people aren’t even doing that now, even when if you take current UK govt figures the death rate is 7.9% as of this morning.
      There is some limited evidence for a 2 month infective cv19 in China – let’s call it cv19cl (Chinese Long). If that gets into the population we in SOOOOO much trouble. Potential cv19cl pandemic could infect as many as smallpox, just over a longer period.
      A person can be intelligent, people are gormless chimpanzees with delusions of grandeur.

      And money is an utterly pointless and dangerous concept. We give bits of paper or metal arbitrary values and those values cost lives. The price for vaccination in the US has gone up 68x in a decade (Quick) – yet even measles can be a pandemic disease without vaccination. People won’t stop doing anything, or advancing without money it’ll just be fair. You can’t have haves or have nots when there’s nothing to have. Assume the planet is a big desert island. We can’t eat money.

  9. On your point about producing more locally, the decline of British industry hasn’t just been about low wage competition. We will never be able to compete with India when it comes to textiles, China for cheap consumer electronics or low cost countries for producing cargo ships.

    However there are things we should be making, which we don’t. We were offered a production line by Airbus and BAE turned it down. Our car industry is a shadow of what it should be, with far too much oversea content in what we do make. France, Germany and Spain still produce plenty of trains, our train making industry has simply died.

    This has all been a deliberate policy choice by our government and elite. Including the civil servant, the national media, the economic elite in London and politicians themselves. I think it is no co-incidence that we still have the divide between stem and the arts in this country. With engineering in particular, still being treated as a little bit too much like a trade. Contrast with the German attitude to engineers.

    Having an economy that makes things has to be a policy aim. Industry requires long term stable investment and support. Unlike services it can’t be short term, can’t operate over time scales of a year or next the quarter.

    The question that those who support our service economies neglect of manufacturing never answer, is that of the trade deficit. We have a huge deficit, in total and percentage terms. If our service economy is such a success, why can’t we pay our way in the world?

  10. Dear Keith, thanks for the post. By it I could appreciate mankind priorities are now the same worldwide. This means “no turning back” approach will be necessary: if we deserve a better future, tasks to build it will be in our own hands. No deputation allowed. No delays. This is even most evident in Italy where I live (every activity stopped as 5th march, 100.000 dead toll so far) and a weaker economy is about to breath for the last time. Thanks.

  11. Nice to see a philosophical perspective against the current sea of science overload.

    I certainly believe on an individual basis we should be taking stock of what is happening around us, realising the value of life and having good friends and neighbours, and supporting many of those in our respective countries at a time when there is great uncertainty. And while we’re at it – let’s realise that a quality of life isn’t about how much money you have or what brand labels you flaunt to give you superficial ‘status’.

    Housing – We really should realise that while there is a moral right to have a roof over our heads, it doesn’t necessarily mean we have to own it. Sadly the Buy to Let problem and lack of truly affordable housing and rented social housing have further exasperated the problem. For me, areas of lovely green open space which actually brought people together through recreational pastimes, such as children playing or walking the dog, have been lost to a tide of characterless concrete and bricks, while greedy property developers are continuing to milk the planning system to maximise their profits. That is certainly the case here in Devon. Once green open space is gone we can’t replace it with ‘new’. House builders and smaller property developers should show more social compassion and less motivation towards self greed – that certainly isn’t the case in neighbouring Torbay. Most European countries have multi-generational families living together or who rent, so are fascinated by our obsession with the property market, the desire to own multiple ‘second’ properties and rising property prices which we are then able to borrow against to fund our ‘lifestyles’.

    Investments – Investing in stocks and shares and alternative investment markets should be more about long term commitment than making a quick buck. But then, this has long been a problem with a lot of UK investors – they’re not in it for the long haul. Is this another sign of greed?

    Cars – Admittedly the majority of UK buyers tend to care more about price and/or badge status than where something is assembled. The troubled days of British Leyland are long behind us (as they are for other manufacturers who experienced similar problems which weren’t as prominently exposed). Serious investment goes into producing some fantastic cars built in the UK and training the right people to assemble them. We should be looking to try and support these jobs in the UK. If not, then expect a repeat of what happened with MG Rover Group in 2005 and also what is going to happen when Honda shuts its doors – large job losses. Buying a prestigious German of Italian badge isn’t making you stand out; it is making you a conformist alongside others with similar attitudes who ultimately only care about their own job not the wider job security in the UK. Perhaps Whitehall itself should be aware of this and stop ‘slapping British jobs in the face’ by giving some of its cabinet minsters BMWs to ride around in when we have Jaguars, Land Rovers, some Vauxhalls, Nissans and Toyotas being produced here.

    Shopping – Admittedly there are many British retailers with a poor reputation for customer service or PR shortcomings with the wider population. Then again, we still have a hive of small independent retailers and corner/village shops who don’t enjoy good economies of scale but do thrive on delivering good customer service. It seems the only time we use them is when we can’t get something in a supermarket or online. How many of these smaller shop keepers have heard the saying “I’m glad you’re still open as I couldn’t get this when I was shopping in ‘a big name supermarket’.” The reply “We are always here and regularly stock this item” seems to surprise the naïve shopper. The Coronavirus pandemic has certainly reaffirmed to me that small shops often have an ace up their sleeve when it comes to finding those items others have bought in great quantity from supermarkets, while at the same time you are also treated as a valued customer. I might be paying a little more, but I will certainly be carrying on supporting my local independent shops and petrol station.

    Neighbours – Sadly in my neighbourhood people move in their ‘new’ home and then keep themselves to themselves. Often the only time they speak to a neighbour is when there is an emergency or a loved one has passed away and they are now on their own. Neighbours should be looking out for each other and trying to show compassion and support rather than simply putting up a defensive barrier all the time. Even now there are still neighbours in my neighbourhood who are only out for themselves. It is a sad reflection of how neighbourhoods have changed in recent decades.

    Fast fashion – Do we really need it? Choose carefully what you buy and it will never look out of kilter. Then again do you want to be a fast fashion follower and simply end up looking like a conformist to what everyone is wearing? And fast fashion is one industry where there is great exploitation of workers in terms of low pay, long working hours and poor working conditions. Think of the natural resources that are also used to produce garments. I am glad to have ditched this contentious aspect of my life.

    Life – I have often realised that my life isn’t going to be judged on how wealthy I wasn’t, my final position on the career ladder or what I owned. Hopefully it will be about what I did in life, how I helped others, enriched the lives of others through knowledge from my writing, research or teaching and wanting to do things for my neighbourhood and community.

    So the Coronavirus crisis is making me sit up and take notice of some of the things in my life I have taken for granted and never shown appreciation for. I am certainly not a socialist, but I care more than ever about equal opportunities and bringing all people together regardless of their age or status.

    Car Shows – When I next go to a car show I will continue to appreciate that we are all different and have different interests and levels of commitment to what we can afford to buy and maintain. Admittedly some makes I won’t like, but then if everyone drove something I have a passion for, it would become slightly predictable and narrow in its appeal. Faded paintwork and signs of rust aren’t about neglect, it’s about a car that has lived a life and has a story to tell. So let’s hear it and give the owner encouragement to keep bringing it along and feeling a valued member of the car scene.

    Just my thoughts…

  12. David, such a good read, so well balanced and lacking in angry diatribe. 100% with you on the housing development. Most people haven’t a clue as to the corruptness of our present system.

  13. I’ll add to the ranting!
    We live in a society where people want something for nothing.
    People want their children to go to university but expects other peoples kids to work for rock bottom wages in order to provide them with bargain basement priced services.
    People begrudge paying taxes to both local and central government which is why public services are underfunded. They would rather keep the money to spend on the latest smart phone, subscription TV and other crap. Many Britons begrudge paying for a TV licence yet have no qualms about stumping up for subscription TV.
    We live in the 5th largest economy in the world, yet everybody claims they have no spare cash.
    We all want a better country but expect someone else to pay for it.

  14. One thing that might be ending is the snarling hatred we’ve endured in politics since Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader and the Brexit vote. During the crisis, most of this has ended as the parties have tried to form a consensus and Boris has successfully reached out to previously hostile organisations like the TUC. Now with Corbyn gone and Labour electing a more mdderate leader and hopefully the extremists in retreat, we can hopefully look forward to an end to the nastiness and division that we’ve endured for the last 5 years.

    • Really?!

      The right wing needs to do a lot as well, if Boris is forced to resign due to health reasons & a moderate replaces him as PM & decides Brexit is a stupid waste of time & money as the Corona virus has already delivered just a big a hit to the economy then it might balance things out.

      A bonus if all the arch Brexiteers are banned from ,mainstream politics if not thrown into jail.

        • Freedom of speech is a very good thing. Besides, most of the UK car industry’s twists and turns have been irrevocably linked with politics, one way or another.

          • I am afraid that your idea of freedom of speech extending to the last paragraph of A Nonmus’ post of 6 April is not my idea of a proper use of such freedom. You need to think again if you are not to do lasting damage to your site’s reputation

          • Luckily, comments don’t contribute to the authority or reputation of any website. I read and monitor the comments myself, and ensure anything illegal, defamatory or downright provocative is removed – but the flipside is that there have been some wonderful contributions via the comments, and I think they add much-needed interaction to the site without the banality of social media. Ultimately, the comments are a safe place to vent opinions and feedback. I saw nothing reputation-damaging in a throwaway comment like that.

            ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’
            ― SG Tallentyre, The Friends of Voltaire

  15. Keith : Fair enough, it’s your site and you can do anything you want with it. But, I would point out that there is a strange tension between item 1 on your article ” Be nice to each other ” and the post to which i have taken objection. You may wish to reflect on this aspect of the matter

  16. I’m a moderator on an internet forum (nothing to do with motoring – it’s local history and nostalgia) so I have some direct experience of dealing with people who make objectionable remarks. We have a policy of leaving posts visible (unless really extreme) so that everyone can see what an idiot the poster actually is. People who make aggressive, controversial posts are their own worst enemies; they show what kind of a person they really are. Removing the post means removing the evidence which demonstrates the person is a moron.

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