Tuesday 8th September 2009

I enjoy the odd contradiction now and again. Whilst the Government is busy trying to persuade everyone to trade their old cars in and buy new ones, road congestion has fallen for the first time in the last twenty years. Apparently, this is mainly around commuting times and is the result of so many people having lost their jobs. Of course, that will give them the opportunity to sit at home and admire the new cars that they now can’t afford to drive. They could even spend some of their spare time polishing those cars.

Maybe the Government would have been even more successful if it had been willing to pay people simply to scrap their old cars without buying a new one. Then they might have had the added advantage of reducing the congestion of parked cars along the edges of every side-street in Britain.

I know what you’re thinking. This would have done nothing to boost the car industry in Britain, but what is the point of artificially boosting the overproduction of a means of transport that the Government would like to discourage in the first place? When you start to think about it, humans really are very strange animals indeed. In many cases ‘progress’ might have slightly gone to their heads. It might now have become for its own sake rather than because it provides a real advancement in civilisation.

All we need now is for the drop in demand to drive everywhere to lead to a drop in the price of oil and the cycle of demand can begin all over again. People would then be able to afford to travel more and the congestion can increase. They could start using their brand new cars to go to job interviews for car companies.