10 June 2008

unpublished critics

Let's start with Ms Pants' comment on the last post about similarities between the early days of the Rudd and Blair governments. Of course Blair sent his emissaries to Oz to study the success of the Hawke/Keating era, just shortly before the Australian public decided it was far from similarly enchanted and got itself 11 years of whining and disdainful indifference, unless you happened to be a bit pigmented.

And Rudd has been sending people to the UK to study the success of the Blair, now Brown, government just before it plummets into England's green and pleasant land in a shower of spin and soundbites. Of such ephemera is government now constructed.

To which you can add the fascination with plans, Key Performance Indicators, critical objectives and 100 day statements of "success" or "progress", both of which serve as frail euphemisms for "activity."


Anyway Kevin has thrown several bucketloads of your cash at
Toyota to keep a bunch of Victorians in employment - and of course due to supply chains and just-in-time management, willing workers in other States and overseas too.

Does it make economic sense? Of course not, see a couple of posts ago. Should we be doing it?
Of course. We used to make aircraft, now we import them from Brazil of all places. Something else, like a predeliction for using knives as weapons, that happened while our backs were turned.

Are hybrid cars the answer? Probably not, but neither was the steam engine. You with me?

Anway, can the car fancier - the paid one - who reads this blog kindly impart some of his wisdom on the issue? Do we need a sophisticated engineering and design industry in this country and how much are we prepared to pay for it, or should we rest on our laurels as diggers of world class dirt and currency arbitragers?

Now for a good luck story. Because (temporary) pied a terre VVB doesn't have anywhere you can vacuum the car, I took the office chariot to the car wash to vacuum out a few weeks' worth of mud and crap.

Then, as I was there, I decided to wahs the car as well. I had $5, just enough for a wash, that stupid foaming brush that doesn't get the embedded bugs off, and a rinse.

I put $3 in, put the other $2 coin in my shirt pocket for easy acccess, and went to washing like a dervish.

Which resulted, almost inevitably, in the $2 coin jumping out at some stage and leaving me with a soapy car to drive home. Embarrassing.

But I drove the car forward and there was the $2, just on the edge of the grate. I nearly knocked it in when I bent down to pick it up, but good fortune smiled again.

We need all the good fortune we can get. Returning to the first theme, I recall the stumbles and sheer amateur ineptitude of the early Howard reign, but such was the disenchantment with Keating that he got a pretty easy run, Ministers' financial indiscretions aside (well, you sort of expect that with the Libs, eh?).

Now we have our Labor government back and they're proving a little embarrassing. They've got a year or so but they'd better get over it. And, at least our eyes are open, not an attribute I've noted in Howard-huggers.

That's enough rabid generalisations for one night.


indigoid said...

Re: hybrids:

I suspect that you recall my (substantial!) bias towards Toyota. With that disclaimer out of the way... ;-)

- One article hinted that Toyota was unaware of the $35m lump pre-decision

- Toyota aren't the (not so) big (anymore) three. They've proven repeatedly that they make wiser decisions than the three -- see revenue / profit / market share

- I wonder who they'll sell them to? Not UK/Europe (they like their diesels, and with good reason!), not the USA (they'd build locally), so that leaves... not much. Toyota already build lots of cars (Corollas IIRC) in South Africa as well. Maybe they'd export hybrid Camrys there. I suspect that relatively few in the other SE-Asia countries (Thailand, Phillipines, etc) could afford non-subsidised hybrid cars

phil said...

how does a KE70 hybrid suit you?

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