Monday, 31 August 2009

The ubiquitous one speaks

AA president Edmund King said: "With family budgets under the cosh from rising pump prices, it defies all logic for the Government to increase fuel duty.

"Drivers will pay the higher pump prices to go about their daily lives but have to find other ways to reduce costs.

Let’s unpack the ubiquitous one's latest idiocy, shall we?

It’s a bizarre mixed metaphor to talk about a budget being “under the cosh”. To use analogies with violence is particularly stupid, since less car use means less road violence. And needless to say King’s homely reference to “family budgets” excludes all those households which don’t have a car and won’t therefore be affected by a tiny rise in fuel prices.

The underlying thesis is that car use is a necessity, which of course we know it isn’t, not with most car journeys in Britain being less than five miles.

Far from it defying all logic, it makes perfect sense to raise fuel duty. It’s the fairest form of motor taxation, since it hits hardest those who use their cars most. Secondly, it’s fair because it hurts gas guzzlers more than it hurts those with fuel-efficient cars. Thirdly, it hurts the accelerate-and-slam-on-the-brake brigade more than it hurts the careful driver, since how you drive affects how much fuel you use. And finally it makes perfect logic in terms of impending climate catastrophe and the need to restrain car use.

As usual, Edmund King is spouting car supremacist rubbish – but it’s rubbish which all sections of the media are keen to publicise.