• Method in his madness.

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    Above, Linda Lusardi – who is now just past her fifth decade.

    In the Scottish play (Act 2 Scene 2), Polinius makes an aside to Hamlet, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t.”

    Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is probably unique amongst the World’s politicians in the way he plays the buffoon. I don’t know of any other politician who has deliberately worked on a veneer of self deprecation so assiduously as he. Of course, as the BG has said before, we – and the world’s politicians – know that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is an educated and intelligent man and not a blundering dimwit. As such the PM will be very familiar with the words contained in the first sentence of today’s post.

    One of the seeming – repeat seeming – lunacies indulged in by the government has been the ridiculous move to eliminate the sale of new “fossil fuel” vehicles after 2030.
    NB: It is to be noted that existing vehicles using fuels that give such as Ms Lucas an attack of the exhaust vapours will be allowed to continue to be on the roads.
    And therein lies a clue!
    You see, one of the things about being Linda’s age (and like this blogger, older) is that one can remember driving a motor vehicle on Britain’s roads in the 1970s. I remember driving my employer’s Cortina and observing that apart from luxury cars such as Rolls Royce the cars that were still on the road and over 6 years old were generally Saabs and Volvos. Today one sees cars that are twenty years old on the roads. The difference is of course down to one word: rust!

    Old cars rusted away. New cars still do but at a much slower rate.

    Now those of us including Linda above will remember the term used to describe this tendency of what we used to call “rust buckets” – built in obsolescence!

    Today the modern motor car has built in obsolescence – but in a different and more socially responsible and user friendly way. Instead of making the cars structurally dangerous and thus run the risk of killing their own customers, the manufacturers today contrive to make it uneconomic to keep a car on the road. This is by careful design of the many computers used on cars today. These computers are specially designed to perform a limited number of tasks and the biggest cost involved in their manufacture are the prodigious fees charged by the intellectual property lawyers retained by the manufacturers to ensure that substitutes cannot be used!

    You see these computers – which actually only cost a few US $ – are sold for hundreds of US $ and the car dealers who are party to the rip-off charge extortionate amounts of money to replace. Thus, if one had a car that is worth US $2,000 and the cost of replacing the computer is US $4,000 there is no sense in spending the money so the car is scrapped!

    There is actually a low cost solution to this problem! It is to remove the car’s computers and to replace with connectors to connect to a hi-powered laptop computer which does not run the normal Windows software but industrial software designed to replace the software in the numerous OEM computers. The laptop could be fitted in the car’s cabin under the dashboard.

    The problem with this is those very expensive lawyers!

    And the motor manufacturers who, unlike the individual car owner, can afford to spend vast quantities of money on litigation.

    The solution to expensive lawyers and very wealthy litigants of course is legislation!

    The problem is that were the UK to legislate to allow UK car owners to replace their ludicrously expensive rip-off computers with alternatives it would infuriate whoever happens to be the US Secretary of State at the time! You see, US industry spends a lot of money on their politicians – almost as much as they do on their lawyers – and for that money they expect something in return. Which is of course to do their bidding! Thus the Foreign Secretary in any UK government legislating to allow British car drivers to put affordable replacement computers in their cars can bet his or her bottom US $ on the prospect that they will very soon be summoned to face a very angry US Secretary of State!

    Now of course the traditional response (since 1970) of UK Foreign Secretaries to an angry US Secretary of State has been to throw themselves prostrate before the angry American and grovel! And promise never ever to do anything that could possibly upset the USA again!

    That Mr Johnson is prepared to annoy President Biden over Ireland is a GOOD SIGN!

    You see, it was all very well to have “gone on the stump” back in 2016 shouting about “taking back control” but if when one does and the EU and/or USA objects one immediately rolls over and as the Americans say, “cry Uncle”, there’s no point!

    You see, if British car owners can purchase replacement computers for their old cars, UK garages and specialist restorers can keep the cars on the road for years to come!

    • One fact that you may be aware of is that within the Motor Trade there are a growing number of specialist Auto Electronic repair workshops. These workshops are at the moment small businesses from one man bands or small businesses with up to 10 employees. My daughters car recently had an ECU failure and we were able to source an exchange unit for £200.with a turnround of 3 days. A dealer replacement ECU which would also take 3 days would have cost £2,000 plus VAT. The approximate value of the car. So you can see the ingenuity that exists within the British Motor Trade has already solved this problem.

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