I’m surprised you didn’t hear the noise at your place.
On Thursday came the announcement that set the whole of South Australia off. The crescendo of approval and relief from every man, woman, child and other crow eater dwarfed the bang from the first atom bomb (Totem 1) to go off at Emu Field in 1953, caused a bigger shock than when the South Australian Electric Light and Motive Power Company turned on the first lights in 1899, and set more tongues wagging than when the Fiji-born premier Don Dunstan wore pink hot pants, a white T-shirt and long socks on the steps of Parliament House on November 22, 1972. (Of course you have just missed last night’s virtual Don Dunstan 50th anniversary celebration with Mike Rann — the British-born, New Zealand-raised 44th premier of a state so boring double-entry bookkeeping looks exciting — hosting the $45 Zoom dinner with the Dunstan Victory Gift Package which includes a limited edition Don Dunstan 50th Anniversary bottle of red wine, Labor hand sanitiser and Labor pen).
But friends and readers (now 15) don’t believe the Dunstan reforms have been forgotten. No siree. At every branch meeting of the South Australian ALP, glorious current leader Peter Bryden Malinauska checks every member’s clobber to make sure it’s pink hot pants, white T-shirt and long socks. Thongs are optional.
Anyway, as you would imagine in the City of Churches, Don’s shenanigans like reforms in sex discrimination, Aboriginal land rights, consumer protection, urban planning, heritage protection, anti-discrimination laws, abolition of capital punishment, environment protection and censorship went down like an Adelaide Crows training session at the Novotel Barossa Valley (relive the scandal — two nights in a spa room for $385). In fact, to the glee of the fun suckers, a clairvoyant predicted that Adelaide, having become Sodom and Gomorrah under Dunstan, would be wiped out by a tidal wave at noon on January 19, 1976. Luckily both Michael McMichael and Dr Tim Cooper rushed down to Glenelg beach at the appointed hour, putting their bodies on the line with Don to hold back the tide on behalf of their fellow citizens.
Back to the announcement that stopped a very small state.
Yes, despite the borders being patrolled night and day against any possible incursions by persons from the east, Premier Steve Marshall (no irony in a Lib holding the seat of Dunstan) has announced he will throw open the borders for four days in November for the running of the Classic Adelaide Rally. In what is billed as Australasia’s largest tarmac rally event, the 325 entrants will gently destroy the peace and quiet of local villages across the City of Churches and environs. And there’s a real treat in store for those who, two to a car, engines wound up like a Chinese watch, sprint across places whose names and landmarks sends shivers through what passes for the brains of navigators. Kingston, the home of “Larry” the Big Lobster; Gumeracha, where the Big Rocking Horse stands guard, and we can exclusively reveal that the far sighted Pinnaroo (gateway to the golden Mallee) Council, proudly led by Mayor Andrew Grieger, but with only one nod to diversity, Rebecca Boseley, making up the numbers, will launch its own big something as part of The Pinnaroo Village Green Masterplan put together by Adelaide-based architecture and planning company Wax Design.
As you well know, the motorcycle-riding boss here has banned me from running competitions on the flimsy excuse that my mates always won. Friends and reader, it’s only a rort if you’re not in on it. So we can’t run a comp for what big Andrew should create to make Pinnaroo the poster place for grey and other nomads who have put their mobile home back on the range PCV19. But Deputy Mayor Paul Ireland gave us a bit of a tip if you were thinking of having a small wager. “JC, we’re trying to work out something that captures the spirit of Pinnaroo, there’s been plenty of interest in a kangaroo, as a play on the town’s name Pinnaroo,” Paul whispered over the Zoom call with the compulsory bookcase behind him. “Keep it to yourself Johnny, but I’d be putting my money on the town’s big thing being a Mallee Fowl, a vanilla slice or big pie because the bakery here in town is great.”
Given the sort of welcome foreigners like yours truly will get in November, the old bloke and I are looking at Aston Martin’s new but old DB5 Goldfinger Continuation car. A special run of 25 Silver Birch painted Goldfinger DB5s are being hand-built at the same facility in Newport Pagnell that produced all 898 originals between 1963 and 1965. Best of all for a tour in the wilds of South Australia, standard kit includes rear smoke screen and oil slick delivery systems, twin front machine guns, battering rams and front and rear and tyre slasher. A snip at $5m.
Aston Martin, like many independent luxury carmakers, is in dire straits. CEO Andy Palmer has just got the flick after a 98 per cent collapse in the luxury car company’s share price since its IPO less than two years ago. Jaguar Land Rover is looking for close to $2bn from the government and another bill in tax breaks, research grants and other subsidies.
Jaguar Land Rover is owned by Indian conglomerate Tata which itself is looking for a $1bn loan from the government to support its Wales steelworks, McLaren has paid ex-boss Ron Dennis $70m in the final instalment of a 2017 $500m buyout agreement. But overall things are crook at the carmaker with shareholders tipping in $560m in equity.
British car production is down 99.7 per cent, the lowest output since WWII.
Next week: do women exist in Australian motorsport?