Latest from the Editor’s keyboard;
The news that the UK government plans to consult on introducing green coloured number plates for electric vehicles – plus a handful of hydrogen cars – is a trivial piece of motoring law admin on the surface. But in the long run, you can bet that special green traffic lanes (not the fun ones where you can still ride a DRZ400) will be allocated for those cars approved by virtue-signallers everywhere.
Oh yes, I can see the future now; green plated cars will be allowed into city centres anytime, but low class drivers in petrol or diesel cars will be rationed to windy days only, between the hours of 11am and 2.30pm, so as not to upset the skateboarding jugglers on the latest XR demo. Green plated cars, swimming along in reserved lanes with EV taxis and buses, will by-pass rush hour gridlock, and their drivers will receive a free vegan Greggs sausage roll as they pick up their latest i-Phone charger at Currys, plus reward points for a special Mother’s Day salt n caramel mud treatment at Center Parcs. You can see it coming a mile away.
For what this little badge of holier-than-thou motoring confers on its owners is total immunity from criticism on social media, plus brownie points in the car park at County Hall or the Uni campus, where public sector workers will gather like joyful unicorns around the latest electric BMW/Merc/Jag, proclaiming it to be a landmark icon in the fight against climate change. Expect Alfa Romeo to replace the Giulietta 2.0 diesel with the new electric Greta – genius! Company is saved from oblivion and new factory opened in Sweden, with the cars bodyshells made from recycled CD cases and chewing gum.
Meanwhile, the poor people who do all the rubbish jobs in society, will struggle to work in battered old Peugeot 308s or Vauxhall Astra diesels, forking out £10 a day to get into a city centre, suffer in jams, as green badge vehicles glide by on reserved routes, and bear the sneering smirks of well-off drivers as they park in a specially marked off ghetto area at Aldi’s car park.
You may well think this Clarkson style rant is pure satire, a flight of fancy. But the segregation of the wealthy from the poor on UK roads is underway, and in truth, the less affluent drivers don ‘t deserve the moral kicking – and the extra taxation – that is going to be dished out to them over the next decade or so. We were all told that diesels were `cleaner and greener,’ and many commuters, especially in semi-rural areas, simply cannot get to work in under two hours using public transport. When you earn minimum wage and your household partly runs on benefits, buying a 30K electric car is as likely as buying a Space X rocket.
The notion that being able to afford to choose environmentally friendly consumer goods inherently makes you a `better,’ therefore superior person, is total nonsense. Only an Orwellian world of petty hate crime and smug public shaming would promote green number plates as a good thing, but perhaps that’s where we are now?
Whatever happened to equality?