Holden on no more.

After August, Holden will exist no more. GM, true to form, accepted billions in dosh before turning tail and running. A number of Australians complained about that. They should not be surprised. After American taxpayers bailed them out, they simply moved production to China to boost their profits and cut costs — the long-struggling Michigan and Ohio economies be damned.

Naturally, various excuses were made. The most pitiful one was that Holden struggled due to the fragmentation of right-hand-drive vehicle markets. Sure, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are no more geographically remote from each other than, say, North America, continental Europe and Brazil. Another slightly pitiful excuse was that it was difficult to keep a brand going when it only exited in two markets — Australia and New Zealand. That point is fairer, but it ignores the basic premise that Holden had, for a long time, been a repackaged Opel/Vauxhall with some Australian features.

Whatever one thinks, it’s a blow. Holden was well and truly an Australian icon. With the years, there is less and less that makes countries, societies distinct, that makes a region feel like a region. Holden was Australian, it was a part of Australian life and society. Now, it’s the same Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Hyundai or Lexus you can find anywhere.

The Trouble with Celts

The Celts have, once again, managed to make the news. A few days ago Derek Mackay, formerly Wee Krankie’s right-hand man and an SNP cabinet member was forced out of the SNP and the cabinet after getting caught pesting a 16-year-old schoolboy. This is horrifying, but not entirely unexpected for the SNP. They have rather a history of dodgy members. A pity, really. Scotland is a beautiful country and I have a deep reserve of goodwill for many Scots.

Now, the Irish have managed to make headlines for their seeming embrace of Sinn Fein. Fine Gael and Fiona Fail, after generations of dominance, have been marginalised. Fiona Fail have never recovered from the damage they took as a consequence of Lesser Britain’s severe economic turmoil some 10-12 year ago. Fine Gael have done little to endear themselves to the Irish public. Sinn Fein, a vile mob of terrorists, have capitalised on the general uselessness of the traditional ruling parties. Whilst I personally have no interest either way in what happens in the southern 26 counties of the Lesser Britain, I do worry that this will have a spill-on effect in Ulster.

Another New Year

I woke up this morning, which is always a good start.  Brought to a state resembling full functionality by liberal caffeine intake, I turned on the TV and watched part of the Tournament of Roses Parade from Pasadena, California.  Quite a spectacle it always is (they’ve been doing it for the past 131 years), with floats decorated exclusively with vegetable matter and many horses.  This year there was a flotilla of miniature horses, which are increasingly used as service animals.  The Budweiser (beer) Clydesdales were there, of course, a team of eight (8) posing even more of a challenge to manage than those drawing the Chariot.

Let’s see, now, what shall I do for the rest of the day?  Eat and drink.  Maybe even declare war on whichever group or country displeases me most at the moment.

But first, before I get too immersed in such things, I want to wish the Charioteers (and any others who haven’t offended me recently) a pleasant and prosperous 2020.

There goes your weekend

Not being much of a political animal I steer clear of the circus that is British politics. However, a comment by the current PM, Boris Johnson, comparing Jeremy Corbyn with Stalin made me pause for thought.

Labour propose to introduce a 4 day working week in the next ten years. All good and well but are they imitatating one of the Soviet Dictator’s doctrines.

In 1929 Stalin had a calendar moment and eradicated Saturdays and Sundays from a normal week. And then there were five, as it were. Workers worked four days a week on different rotas and got one day off. That’s one way to boost productivity.

Labour aren’t saying but does this mean, in the near future we must proclaim…
Saturdays no more.
Sundays no more.