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Tuesday, 23 September 2008

image for Letter to Chancellor Mr Dahling And this is one of the better intercities

Dear Mr Dahling (sic)

Trusting this letter finds you and the Government keeping well.

One can only sit back and hope that the Exchequer enjoys the millions of pounds it receives each day from the Great British Motorist, who, as time marches on, becomes more and more disenfranchised with successive Governments. You may have ended 14 years of Tory rule the same (well approximately the same) number of years ago, but we motorists haven't noticed. In fact, most of us treat you all with equal contempt, regardless of which party you are a member of (the only honourable exception being Screaming Lord Sutch - now there's a man who knows a thing or two about politics - not necessarily in the correct order, but nevertheless, a thing or two - shame he's dead).

Now further rumour-mongering would have us lead to believe that you intend to tax the motorist even more, just for a change, of course. I can appreciate that it is a hard act to follow, that is, us with the most expensive petrol in Europe, and the pundits expect it to be £10 a gallon in no time, given that you intend to continue to increase its price by an above inflation rate each budget (Budget? ha! One feels that you think the budget is a misspilt, er missplte er spelt-wrong cage bird).

However, what is of concern is the further stealth tax you intend to introduce indirectly to motoring - road tax tolls, city tax tolls and parking tax tolls. Now I for one appreciate that the cities in this country are generally gridlocked, and that people who bring their car into town first thing in the morning, for it to sit there unattended all day, well, they're perhaps a little selfish.

But then again, those who need their car to get to town because public transport stinks, well fair enough. If you were to make it easy for them to get to their place of work by public transport, they'll use it. It really is that simple, a fact no one in successive Governments over the past few decades has remotely even thought of, even while in bed with someone else's wife.

However, this tax on parking spaces at work. Unless this refers to a company based in the centre of town with the car sitting there all day, this is downright ridiculous. Are you going to give up your car and travel to Westminster by train or bus? And while your position in Government may preclude you from travelling by public transport, there's nothing to stop you buying a small diesel saloon, now is there?

However (blimey, all these "howevers" on the trot), where your idea falls flat on its face, and will do nothing but help get you out of office more speedily, is for people like me.

I remember back some years ago, when I had a meeting in Luton, a 160 mile trip from home down the M1. I, like a fool, took the train. While the journey down was direct, convenient and relatively speedy, at a cost of £93, I did not expect it to have to take from 3pm until 11.15pm to get me back home that evening! I had to change trains twice, the first entailing a half hour wait for a train stopping at every station and more besides, while the second connection (again, with a substantial wait on a windy and exceptionally filthy platform) took almost two hours. This was completed on an old, filthy, pre-Christian diesel push-me-pull-you which seemed to stop for breath at every available opportunity.

One doesn't expect to pay such expensive prices (yes, I know the train fares have to be expensive in order to pay the greedy grubby suits' troughing, following that incredibly dim-witted privatisation all those years ago) to be treated like cattle! I know that I will certainly never treat myself to an eight and a quarter hour train journey when I could do it far more cheaply in the comfort of my own car. And without Yuppies, Nimbys, Flombies and Wretchies glued to their phones telling their loved ones that they're, er, on the train.

So come off it Al (may I call you Al? I do, after all, contribute to your salary and excessive expenses). Don't be a pillock and further help vote yourself out of office on this one (er, what made me say that? We'd be safer in the hands of the Peter Sutcliffe Appreciation Party, let alone Noo Labour). Your Government's transport policies really are incredibly stupid, as well as being unjust and, well, parsimonious.

Set the example yourself (and not just for a PR-orientated and spin-doctored day). I need my car if I away from home, and make other visits by car from my place of work.

I have a laptop, briefcase, overnight bag and bag of Marks and Spencer sandwiches because Lehmann Brothers have collapsed so I can't afford the mortgage for the expensive, substandard train fare (train fare, oh what an play on words, eh?) which frankly, would be unreasonable for me to schlep all over the place by what is by and large completely unreliable and totally inconvenient, filthy, dank, noisy and expensive public transport.

There is no reason to tax my parking space at work. I have no alternative. It's all very well for you and your fellow Govern-mentals! You get taken everywhere at no expense to anyone except we, the taxpaying mugs.

So for a change. Break the mould (Yes, I know, it will only grow back again). Give us a break.

Warm salutations
Mr Angry Voter

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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