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Sunday, 24 November 2013


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Both links bring me to the same WSJ piece.

"monstrous, queer, dope-addict, 'Rev.' Flowers": oh Duffers, you omitted the suspicion of expenses fraud.

And, oh horror, you referred to the Rev Flowers instead of the Rev Paul Flowers: there's no need to let standards of propriety drop just because of the context.

Oh, by the by, we've been told that though our car remains safe to drive, it will not get through its "MoT" test next summer. Any advice on car-buying will be gratefully accepted, yer 'onour, yer 'ighness, etc.

Sorry, DM, I'm not to up on the finer points of Church propriety, or any sort of propriety, come to that!

As to your car problem, I think that first of all you should give your car to an enemy! But, no, let me try to be serious. First of all decide what sort of car your need - big/medium/small; 2-door,/4-door/5-door/estate/4x4; manual/auto; and perhaps most important - petrol/diesel? I mention the 'bleedin' obvious' because I used to be constantly surprised at how many people bought cars because they loved the style/colour/leather upholstery, etc, which somehow I don't see impressing you too much!

Don't buy a NEW car! You 'do your brains in' the moment you drive it out of the showroom and the value drops by several grand! Best of allis something late-ish, low mileage and, MOST IMPORTANT, with full makers service history all stamped up, *genuinely*, in the service book. If you buy from a main-dealer you should be quite safe because I am amazed these days, now that they are all plc companies how prim and proper they are! If you buy from an independent dealer make sure he shows you his HPI report - this is a check on the car's history as to whether or not there is money owing on it, or whether is had had any accidental damage repairs - also it should include the MoT history which will give you a mileage check! If you buy an older car make sure the dealer MoTs it before you take it. (It might have 6-months MoT but they are only good for the day on which they are done - after that anything could have happened to it!)

As to the type or make of car, that is a personal decision. My main pre-occupation when it comes to cars these days is the fuel consumption. Up until recently I was driving a Merc 'A'-class, petrol auto. Nice enough car but I could only get 38 mpg from it which gave me severe indigestion! I chopped it in for a slightly *older* and not such a good quality car (a Toyota Yaris auto) which gives me 63 mpg even if it is on the more expensive diesel. I kiss its little bonnet every day which is giving me something of a reputation with the neighbours!

I forgot to add, always get one those warranty insurances from the dealer for as long as possible - I have one for three years which takes some of the worry out of things.

Thanks, Duffers. We don't much care about the mpg because we drive few miles anyway. We want a high driving position, with ease of getting in and out too. Must be plenty of headroom and legroom in the front, and room for three old dears in the back. So maybe a 4x4. We want petrol (because diesel's no use for low mileage duties), automatic gearbox, 5 doors, and NO stop-start system. As you say, we'd really like young second-hand, and from a reliable make.

Budget isn't too tight, but does rule out Range Rover madness and the like.

P.S. Your Hurth link took me straight to Hannan.

The Donald Boudreaux piece: it reminds me of the time that my father told me that he'd been pressed several times to stand for the Town Council, and his revulsion from the very thought of it.

Too long out of the game to recommend any one make but by and large - a Jap job - Honda are pretty good! But if you frequently have elderly passengers, as you say, check the ease of getting them in and out!

Link fixed - thanks.

Your Dad was quite right, apart from anything else at local council level there's not enough money in it! Now, at POTUS-level, you're talking . . .

Not like the Brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

I do so wish there was some free place left on this planet where immigrants could go to prove, for the second time, because it seems that some people take more than one go to get it, that immigrants, like all human beings, create something from nothing, and for every job they take, they make one and a bit more.


I have had great success with Toyotas over the years.

Do you know the RAV 4, Andra? Any good?

No, DM, not the RAV4. I'm not a 4-wheel drive sort of person, I'm more your Celica/Corolla type of lady (and I use the term loosely).
I am currently driving a Holden Astra (your Vauxhall Vectra or something) and it's OK but pretty ordinary.
I am looking at a little 4 door Yaris for my next car, they seem to be pretty good.

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