How My Spivvy, Unsuitable New Motor Brought Out My Inner Clarkson

2001 Golf V6 Four Motion

A bit late, I know, to put in a bid for Jeremy Clarkson’s old job. But I think I might just accidentally have rediscovered my inner petrolhead.

What happened was this. We’d just replaced our old sensible family car (a Ford Mondeo) with another sensible family car (a Skoda Yeti), only to realise that it just wasn’t enough. If you live in the country you really need at least two cars. The question was: what type should it be?

Well, there are all sorts of cars I would like to own — the one I covet most of all being one of those evil-bastard Range Rovers, preferably the sport model with Kenneth Noye-style tinted windows, because I borrowed one once and it was totally amazing. Not only can they go unfeasibly fast for a car so big but if you hit anything it doesn’t matter because you’re the King Tiger and everything else on the road is a Sherman at best. Problem is, I don’t run a hedge fund.

My budget, I reckoned, should be about £4,000 max. Spend anything less than that on a second-hand motor and you’re courting disaster. Or so I ignorantly imagined until I consulted my mate Gary who, besides being a QC (probably the only one called Gary), also happens to fancy himself as a used-car expert.

‘Don’t bother with garages. Just see what there is on eBay,’ he said.

‘But how will I know if it’s any good?’ I said, appalled at the sheer recklessness of it all.

‘You won’t. It’s a punt. But I’ve bought six cars that way and only one has been a lemon. What kind of thing are you after?’

I’d been dreading that question because cars aren’t something I’ve thought about for the past 25 years. Sure, they mattered in my youth: I had a bright red Opel Manta, which I used to race against my spivvy friend Tom Purton’s Golf GTi. But as you get older, I find, boy-racer toys inevitably tend to join the lengthening list of things you must learn to do without, alongside Class As, clubbing, rock-solid erections, energetic games of squash, styleable hair and so on.

Obviously, though, it would have to be something safe, roomy and practical, capable of fitting the kids comfortably in the back and with good fuel economy. And cheap to maintain. Something German, probably. ‘Golf?’ suggested Gary, which sounded a bit on the small side. But then I remembered how Purton’s GTi used to cream my Manta. ‘A Golf, yeah, why not?’

A few clicks later, Gary had found a Golf not at all far from where I live. Jolly reasonably priced too at just £2,200. It wasn’t a model I recognised: not a GTI but something called a V6 Four Motion. Quite old — 2001 — but with just 85,000 miles on the clock. So I did a quick Google to see what the reviewers said. None of them went into much detail about its practicality or fuel economy, it must be said. But they did mention that it has a top speed of 134 miles an hour, grips corners like glue, and can take out anything from a standing start short of a Ferrari. I gave an edited version of this to Fawn, focusing on the fact that it was nearby, excellent value and a fraction of what we’d been expecting to pay.

When we went to pick up the car it was like going back to an older, better age: an age when the wife stayed in the house making small talk with the vendor’s girlfriend while the men got down to business with that all-important test drive. We settled into the cream leather seats. The car smelt of vanilla. ‘Check out the noise of the V6 engine,’ said the man. He turned the ignition. It was a rich, throaty burble you just don’t hear on a Ford Mondeo. And how fast does it go, I asked. He smiled. ‘Like a stabbed rat!’ he said. And proceeded to demonstrate.

So now I have, sitting outside my house, exactly the opposite of the car we needed. It burns up fuel. There’s not nearly enough boot space. It’s quite cramped in the back. It hates going straight on motorways because it’s much more designed for hairpin bends on the Nürburgring. The kids loathe it because the music system is so old that it hasn’t got an adaptor for their iPods. The Fawn is deeply suspicious that I may have sold her a pup and that I’m probably going to end up killing myself.

And me? I totally agree with all the above but am helpless to do much about it. It’s like this. You’re away on some business trip and you get chatting to a supermodel. She’s 23. She makes £5 million a year. She says, ‘I’m really sorry but I’ve got this thing about middle-aged Spectator journos with big teeth, glasses and receding hairlines and I know you say you love your wife, but can we just agree to have this totally no-strings-attached affair with loads of meaningless sex in lots of exotic locations?’ Well, that, I’m afraid, is how I feel about this car.

Really, I’d say, it’s absolutely useless for anything but fun. But the fun is so much fun I’m not sure I care. There’s something ineffably satisfying when some little tosser in his pimped-up spivmobile thinks he can out-accelerate you from the lights and you leave him sniffing your exhaust fumes. And I don’t think I’ll ever quite get over the thrill of being able comfortably to take, at 70 mph, country bends which in the Skoda would be lethal at 40 mph. Just so long as I remember not to get my cars mixed up when I’m doing it, that’s the important thing.

Related posts:

  1. The Great Diesel Scandal
  2. Glorious send-up
  3. Why losing Clarkson is the BBC’s biggest mistake since keeping Jimmy Savile
  4. “I gladly fell prey to a cougar”

 

Why Losing Clarkson Is the BBC’s Biggest Mistake Since Keeping Jimmy Savile – James Delingpole

March 28, 2015

This isn’t so much a piece about Jeremy Clarkson as about all the other celebrities the BBC employs who aren’t Jeremy Clarkson. I call them the “Wankerati.”
Here are some examples:

Ian Hislop; Dara O’Briaiaiaan; Brian “PermaSmile Astro Boy” Cox; Bill Oddie; Russell Howard; Simon Singh; Noel Fielding; Marcus Brigstocke; Jeremy Hardy; everyone else on the News Quiz; the unfunny has-beens from the Now Show whose names I can’t be bothered to look up; Chris Packham; Rick Edwards; Graham Linehan; Lenny Henry; Emily Maitlis; Ian Katz; David Mitchell; Russell Howard; Bill Bailey; Jo Brand; Monty Don; Simon Schama; Russell Howard….

As you can see, the list is by no means complete because it needs to include more or less everyone at the BBC who isn’t Jeremy Clarkson. Some of you may be concerned at the fact that Russell Howard doesn’t appear nearly often enough for one so lame and annoying. Others may be perturbed by the presence of presenters they admire – such as, maybe, Ian Hislop who, I’d quite agree, is really, really good at fronting programmes on Victorian hymns, World War I or railway timetables.

But this isn’t about talent – or lack of – it’s about personal politics. Everyone on that list ranges in outlook from the nauseatingly bien-pensant to the rabidly left-wing, to the point where you could fairly confidently predict their position on any number of topics from Nigel Farage, Israel/Palestine and global warming all the way through to mildly racist jokes, foxhunting, bankers, positive discrimination and the European Union. Oh, and Jeremy Clarkson, of course. Few, if any of the people on that list would be able to find much good to say about Jeremy Clarkson. Which, of course, is one of the reasons why the BBC’s sacking of Clarkson is going to turn out to be such a massive mistake. He was the one major talent in the entire organisation who wasn’t like all the others…

And till Clarkson’s nemesis BBC Controller of TV Danny Cohen came along, the BBC appears instinctively to have understood his value. Not his commercial value (the BBC likes to think it’s above such vulgarities) but rather his propaganda value. Top Gear was the BBC’s equivalent of a Potemkin Village or – a bit of Clarksonesque bad taste here, why not? – those films the Nazis used to make of jolly, well-fed Jews playing in orchestras and sitting in cafes near their delightful new living quarters in the Warsaw Ghetto. Any time unhelpful people started banging on about the BBC’s entrenched left-wing bias and maddening political correctness, all the Beeb had to do was point at the self-evidently notleft-wing and not PC Top Gear as proof of the contrary.

Till the BBC sacked Clarkson, my view was that they were going to get away this game for many years hence. But now I am not so sure.

Over a million people signed that petition urging the BBC to reinstate Clarkson. A fair proportion of them, I suspect, will belong to precisely that demographic the BBC finds most embarrassing: white, obviously; probably Thatcherite in outlook, but quite fond of Nigel Farage; highly sceptical of “global warming”; petrolheads, again obviously; not averse to telling the odd racist joke when they’re with their mates, not so much because they have anything against “coloured” people (as they probably call them, not knowing the correct term) but more as a reaction against political correctness; might not have gone to “uni” because they could tell it was a complete waste of time. People who – at least in the BBC’s Weltanschauung – are pretty much beyond the pale.

Unfortunately for the BBC, however, these disgusting, frightful people, very few of whom live anywhere civilised like North London or have ever knowingly eaten cavolo nero, represent a much larger percentage of the population than any of the worthy groups it would prefer to cater to (the “Asian” community; gay people; disabled people; Roma; environmentalists; activists; etc). While Top Gear was on – the modern equivalent of “bread and circuses” – this mob were kept at bay. But with Top Gear gone, they may incline to feel that they have been cheated – like a serially abused child whose one and only toy has finally snatched away from him by his prissy, unloving, perma-stubbled, tofu-eating stepfather.

In short, for many years the BBC has been living a lie. It has pretended – as its Charter requires of it – that it’s for everyone when really it has continually and ruthlessly shut out any presenters, programmes or opinions which don’t fit into its narrow, metropolitan, left-liberal narrative. And what the Clarkson sacking has done is brought this issue to a head. Also – a bit like Gamergate did for gamers – it has woken large numbers of people who hadn’t hitherto thought of themselves as particularly political into an appreciation of how badly they’ve been conned and abused by a narrow, self-selecting and very political elite who despise them.

Read the brilliant pay-off at Breitbart London

Related posts:

  1. Jeremy Clarkson’s critics should be taken out and shot
  2. Clarkson, the Baronet’s granddaughter and a pile of poo
  3. How my spivvy, unsuitable new motor brought out my inner Clarkson
  4. What the liberal elite feel you should know about ‘Climate Change’

Clarkson, the Baronet’s granddaughter and a pile of poo | James Delingpole

September 19th, 2009

“I’m dumping dung at Clarkson’s gates so he might understand that his attitude will land us all in the —-,” said Westminster- and Cambridge-educated Tamsin Omond, baronet’s granddaughter, yesterday, as she danced up and down on the pile of horse manure she’d dumped on the Top Gear presenter’s doorstep while dressed as a suffragette.

Her parents must be so proud. But I ruddy well wouldn’t be if I’d forked out £9,172 a term for my daughter’s education.  That’s how much the current Westminster boarding fees are. If you’re a day pupil they are a mere £6,352 a term. I dare say things were slightly less expensive when little Tammy was there. But it’s still a fair bet it cost Mr and Mrs Omond an arm and a leg to educate their feisty and fearless young agitator.

What is it about privately educated, toffy rich kids and the modern green movement? Obviously there’s none quite so grand as Old Etonian the Hon Sir Jonathon Porritt (both a baronet and the son of a Lord), but billionaire’s son (and Old Etonian, natch) Zac Goldsmith is hardly what you’d call a smelly prole; nor is eco-columnist Charles Clover (a Wet – ie an old boy of Tamsy Wamsy’s alma mater Westminster), nor is George Monbiot (who went to Palladian finishing school for the nice but dim Stowe); nor of course is desperately WASP-establishment Climate Fear Promoter Al Gore. Then of course there’s Prince Charles, who, though something of a Hanoverian arriviste still knows enough not to eat the peas off his fish knife or drop too many aitches when he goes to dinner with his upmarket chum Sir Jonathon.

As for the Plane Stupid and Climate Camp lot – it is said that even if you went to a good grammar school, they still rag you for being a despicable  little oik, rather as George Osborne was by the Old Etonians during in his time with the Bullingdon Club. Even their protest banners are made from 100 per cent Egyptian cotton percale sheets from John Lewis (bought at full price, not in the sale).

But back to that private school question. I am currently making enquiries as to how I might best get my own offspring into decent public schools. Not being born to the purple like most members of the modern green movement, I may have to do so via a bursary. But from what I can see of the alumni of our great schools I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s worth it.

Surely, the point of sending your child to private school is give them a better education than they would have had in the state sector. They would emerge, you would hope, with a capacity for original thinking, an ability to look at the world empirically and understand the difference between objective truth and the mere clamour of the times and the ranting of the mob.

But apparently not. There is nothing clever or original or indeed counter-cultural about the modern green movement. They are protesters pushing against an open door. Any fool can go to Jeremy Clarkson’s house dressed in frills and chant drivel. What takes far, far more courage and originality of thought is to look at the world, see how much money is being made from the “climate-change” industry, see how much taxpayers’ money is being wasted in the name of environmental righteousness, see how much of our beautiful countryside is going to be destroyed in the name of ’saving’ it, then to take a stand and enunciate with your impeccable, public school diction: “Enough is jolly well enough! Up with this I will not put!”

Related posts:

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  4. Climategate 2.0

Two Responses to “Clarkson, the Baronet’s granddaughter and a pile of poo”

  1. dilandinga says:October 5, 2009 at 10:13 amuhtC82 I bookmarked this link. Thank you for good job!
  2. ramspace says:October 5, 2009 at 10:23 amThese miserable thugs are celebrating at their website: IdiotMedia.UK They talk of “direct action” against “climate criminals.” They justify their criminal behavior by pointing to the dire state of the Arctic: “The Arctic is expected to be ice free in the summertime sometime between 2011 and 2015.” HA! Utter fools. I hope Clarkson goes on to make a billion dollars with an even BIGGER program that burns even MORE fuel.