As a Porsche-driving socialist whose constant co-driver is a BMW driving conservative (“Peter Malinauskas … Greek-sounding name but not a bad Premier for a communist”), I feel entitled to bring to your attention more of the motorist-hating mania that has infected all levels of what passes for government in this once-great country that initially rode to glory on the backs of Holden, Ford and Peter Brock.
You and I are the magic pudding for state and federal governments. For those less fortunate in the kiddies’ reading caper, The Magic Pudding is a children’s book written by artist Stormin’ Norman Lindsay. While he wrote a few bestsellers, it was his painting, that much like my BMW-driving conservative friend, made him a big name. Like the Sultan, Norm was a painter of women and others with not much kit on. The similarities are uncanny. Norm “infused the Australian landscape with erotic pagan elements and he was deemed by his critics to be anti-Christian, anti-social and degenerate” and that’s how Mick’s bar mates at the Kensi describe him.
Anyway, in Norm’s book, no matter how much of the pudding you ate, it kept coming back as a whole pudding. So, politicians and their (metaphoric) spoons, the public servants, gouge us for tolls, rego, petrol, electricity, hydrogen, parking fines, speeding fines, loan repayments, licences and insurance, while the prices of parts, new and used cars keep skyrocketing and we continue to pay up.
But 20 readers, one friend and one family member, our ruling class has hit new heights of creativity that even Norm and our old pal, Andy Warhola, would give their best brush for if they weren’t brown bread. In a world exclusive, our own Jim O’Doherty, from that bugle of truth in the soundproof room of spin, The Daily Telegraph, revealed that NSW Roads Minister, Adelaide-born Natalie Ward, 49, of the Kowloon side of Sydney, had commissioned market research agency, Kantar Public Australia, to ask punters a question for the ages. Yup, the good folks at Kantar were to be paid $156,000 (the price of a new Corvette – if you haven’t ordered one yet and are using poverty as an excuse, then sell the kids and send the Gregory Peck to GM) to ask motorists if they like speed cameras!
Look, as you all are painfully aware, I don’t know a lot but I do know that in NSW “secret mobile speed cameras raked in more than $46m in fines for drivers going less than 10km over the limit last year, an extraordinary 750 per cent increase on fines issued in 2020.
“The total amount of money raised by mobile speed cameras last year topped $73.6m.
“The record amount of money raised in 2021 comes despite Sydney and much of regional NSW spending 108 days in lockdown.”
So, as Jim says, why doesn’t Natalie and her numbie pals at the Department of Lack of Decent Roads also add in questions like: Do you like parking fines? Should you pay more tax? And do you like waiting in queues? My only concern in bringing this lunacy to your attention is that pollies and their spoons in other states will read this and think it’s a great idea. But, let me give you a steer: it won’t happen in the state of bewilderment under the watch of our favourite socialist Irish person Pete Malinauskas. Pete has brought back the Adelaide Motorsport Festival, the Adelaide 500 and holding hands in the dark, all events banned under the previous anti-motorist party.
Talking of motorists, there were only two winners at last weekend’s Formula 1 Gran Premio de España 2022. First up, the conditions were, well, Spanish. The air temp was about one million degrees with the track twice as hot and the wind was so strong it blew equal favourite Mad Max and non-favourite Chuck Sainz off the track but not together. Then Max’s Red Bull team had put his car on a diet to make it go faster but that stopped the DRS working. Like your Weekend Australian Racing Team (WART) coach, Phil Alexander, the super-caffeine soft drink company tech had a super suggestion to fix the problem: “Max, press your DRS button.” Now it’s hard to imagine that a person who has been racing since he was four years old, won his first race when he was seven, won his first national championship at nine and has had 64 F1 podiums in the most technologically advanced machine known to person, didn’t know that you had to push the DRS button to make the DRS work. “There is nothing you can do because, I mean, I’m not stupid, once you get the light and the activation beep, then you press the paddle. If it doesn’t open, there’s clearly an issue,” Max replied.
Anyway, Hamo and Kev Magnussen touched body parts on the first lap, leaving Lou with a flat tyre. It also left him wanting to pack up his toys and go home but his coach said don’t be a wuss, you can still come in eighth. Well that little talk was all Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton MBE Hon FREng needed. He went from dead last to near fourth when his Merc overheated and he had to nurse it to fifth. Chuck Leclerc’s Feezer also needed repairs under warranty so he pulled out. The other less famous Mercster, Georgie Russell, came third. Bottom line: Mercedes and Hamo are back! Tomorrow’s Grand Prix de Monaco 2022 should be outstanding.
Taking his responsibilities very seriously, our VP Operations, Adelaide Branch went to his local school to vote. The AEC official immediately recognised him. “I’m reader No.7. How do you let that John Connolly write all those terrible things about you?.” Isn’t fame wonderful?
Last week’s auction sale of a one-of-two 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupés for $200m was a lazy $130m more than the next best auto at auction, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO and the next best Merc, the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R at $41m. But don’t be jealous.