*Ok, I’m honestly a little scared of posting this as I don’t want any more harassment from the wrong people… The above picture pretty much sums up how I feel today. I’m exh…
New rules on VED car tax come into effect on April 1st 2017 and the government has played a blinder. More tax, more complication over emissions bands, plus the sneaky rule on `sorry no refunds this month’ when you sell your car applies. But the new owner must tax the car immediately, so in effect the SAME car is being taxed twice over for up to 30 days.
That really is a wizard wheeze by the UK Treasury. Others might call it fraud, but let’s not get bogged down in who conned who…or spent the VED tax on providing Spice Girls bands in Somalia…
Now, at this point I would love to sum up the new VED tax rules in a few pithy sentences, but I can’t and neither can any motoring journo, government spokesperson or consumer expert. Why? Because they’ve created a Monopoly board game out of car tax – it’s so complex that nobody can understand it, which I guess is the whole point. Baffled people tend to simply pay up, grumble a bit, and then drive to a Toby Carvery to drown their sorrows in cancer-inducing roast spuds and gravy.
Mmmm, sounds well tasty. But here some 2017 VED tax rate highlights for you, just for fun.
New cars will now have a massive VED tax premium slapped on them. So previously a low emissions (99g/Km) Suzuki Shopper, or a Nissan Nibbler owner might pay a measly £30 a year. This is going up to about £140 a year. If you choose a typical hatchback like a Peugeot 208 with a 1.6 petrol engine, it will cost you £160 a year, instead of being free for the first year and £110 thereafter.
See, told you it was a Monopoly game.
Now if you run a big company car, the tax on anything costing over £40,000 is an extra £310 for the first 5 years, on top of the emissions related tax. So let’s say your name is Jason, you run a data grabbing & sales company and drive an Audi A5 2.0 Sportback. You will have to pay £200 a year, plus £310 surcharge for 5 years of PCP contract hire on your German posing pouch on wheels. But that’s OK, your company pays, so ultimately…your customers pay the tax. Magic.
Owners of older cars will also have to stump up about £200 a year on average, depending on the emissions ranking of their engine of course. Some classic car owners – pre 2001 models – will find that the new system has cut their VED bills quite dramatically.
For example, a big Alfa V6 3.0 will now cost just £200 a year to tax, instead of the £515 current rate. That’s a win, but as you drive an Alfa V6, you will have to spend the savings on water pumps and variator gear belts etc. Plus bushes. Oh and some wonky door locks too.
TAX BANDS ARE A `GREEN’ JOKE – PUT VED ON FUEL
All this tinkering with VED rates is a game – and a nice earner – for the government, but it’s more box-ticking and online kerfuffle for the millions of law-abiding car owners who actually bother to pay VED tax. Plus there’s nothing green about owning a car; they all pollute, cost a fortune to build new in terms of resources – yes, even electric cars.
You also need to build lots of power stations to charge up electric cars. Plus rape the heck out of Bolivia, mining all their lithium for the re-chargeable batteries. Yeah, bit pants really isn’t it Prius owners?
Here’s a fact; diesel cars are the biggest green motoring con trick of the last 15 years.
There’s nothing green about a diesel turbo, it just recycles its own exhaust gases three times, before shoving them out of the silencer. Manufacturers lie blatantly when it comes to fuel consumption; most 1.6 diesels struggle to do more than 35mpg in traffic. A small petrol engine can also do 35mpg in busy traffic.
Diesels clog up their EGR valves, emissions pipework etc, which requires extra maintenance. More spare parts couriered around the UK, simply to keep choked up diesel cars on the road.
Used diesels are green cars? Don’t make me laugh. As the strangled, soot-clogged, oily-gunked up, shitty 50-70K diesel engine tries to keep chugging along in traffic, emitting a vile grey-black cloud of smoke when the driver boots the accelerator, it is literally spewing particulates into every cyclist and pedestrians’s lungs.
Thanks motoring journo Chris Goffey – YOU were the chief twat who promoted diesels on TV in the 1990s, and dickheads in the government believed you. Cheers mate. Here’s a clip where smug Chris brags about clean, 90mpg diesel cars.In reality, VW were cheating the emissions tests – and so were all the other car makers. One big con trick.
If you really want to be green, buy a bicycle or a horse and cart; everything else is just pub banter. It’s bollocks.
A much fairer system, which would see ALL road users pay VED tax, would be to place the levy on fuel. We already pay about 75p per litre as tax, so just add on 5p – the more miles you do, the more you pay.
So gas guzzler 3.0 litre owners pay more tax than a granny nipping out to Asda once a week in a Citroen Berlingo. Those who live in Kent, Essex, or Wiltshire and commute to London for their well paid job in the Capital, would pay more car tax than say, an 18K call centre worker in Newcastle who lives just down the road, as the rents are more affordable than inside the M25.
Best of all, there’s no dodging the fuel/VED tax. The oil companies flogging petrol and diesel actually collect the tax, so more DVLA workers can be laid off!
Hang on, you say, if we abolish VED tax then we won’t know who owns the vehicles on the roads. OK, all we need is a vehicle reg fee for new/used cars, of say £20, paid annually. No reg fee paid on database, car is seized and crushed. No MoT or insurance? Car seized and crushed.
Two consecutive cases of driving with no documents? Licence revoked and benefits/wages docked by £1000 minimum. You want safer roads? Let’s drive the dodgers off the streets, once and for all.
It’s a cliche repeated in every creative writing group, or Eng Lit class, from here to Timbuktu; a great novel needs a gripping, intriguing, killer opening line.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a fortune, is in want of a wife.
Those are three outstanding examples that not only set the tone, and offer the reader a clue as to the nature of the tale to be told, but are well-crafted, concise and almost poetic. There are lessons in Shakespeare for every writer, and the sheer balance, the timbre, the lyrical finesse that Shakespeare had are always worth reaching for. Aim high, even if your writing doesn’t quite hit the peaks that the true greats could scale with ease.
But there is a lot more to writing than one perfect line and for me it’s the power of the novel to illuminate truth, touch the core of what makes us human, that really matters. A story that stretches out over say 80,000-100,000 words needs more than one or two brilliant fireworks to light the imagination.
For example, the subtle, complex examination of what makes a man lose his moral compass, Graham Greene’s Heart of The Matter, opens with the following;
Wilson sat on the balcony of the Bedford Hotel, with his bald pink knees thrust against the ironwork.
Is it a great line? I’d argue it’s fairly average, faintly comical in fact, which is the exact opposite of this gloomy book. But the novel itself is profound, moving and draws you into a world that has no real meaning left, no moments of sweetness, no crumbs of love to comfort a lost soul. Heart of The Matter is a 20th century classic and it doesn’t need a balletic twirl of the author’s pen to set the scene right from the get-go. It just chugs relentlessly onwards, becoming more Turneresque, almost Moby Dick, as the tale unfolds.
Here’s the opening line from one of the biggest selling novels of the 1970s – it sold over 15 million copies
There is something very exciting about the beginning of the evening – well, the beginning of my evening, usually about ten-thirty, eleven o’clock.
Not overwhelming is it? A bit dull, workmanlike perhaps?
Well that book was The Bitch by Jackie Collins. Not great art, but you know what, it helped buy her a mansion in California and a ticket to global fame as a writer and film producer. Not every great novel needs an opener that captivates the reader instantly, or fascinates your senses with its deft, clever touch. Sometimes, writers can just tap into the moments, the life that’s around them, or define the times they live in through the feel, dialogue and culture that the characters inhabit.
A bestseller doesn’t always have to be something as moving, life-changing or brilliant as the finest work from Jane Austen, Dickens, Graham Greene, F Scott-Fitzgerald or Mary Shelley.
Never knock popularity too much, because not every great book is a fantastic work of literature. Writing a perfect piece of candy floss entertainment starts with a simple tap-tap-tap upon the keyboard. You don’t need a witty one-liner to grab the reader by the eyelids – novels ain’t Instagram baby. And who is to judge what makes a great story; you, the readers, or critics 100 years from now?
What does it matter? Just keep writing.
Those who defend free speech are to be admired, for it is a concept repeatedly under attack today. Especially from the self-righteous left, who recently staked a claim to the moral high ground by defending Leslie Jones against Milo’s more obnoxious followers on Twitter and calling for Milo’s book to be banned.
Let’s be clear about very important thing here kids; Leslie Jones doesn’t need any help from white Trustafarians, Buzzfeed beard-stroking readers or Maomentum brick-throwers, keen to emphasise how important an inquiry into Orgreave is, whilst tweeting violent threats to Blairites. No, you see Hollywood star Leslie has her own powerful voice, easy access to the mainstream media – who support her cause 100% – and Leslie has a profile higher than any Shoreditch Content Manager bus wanker, matched by the intelligence to stand her corner against all critics. Of whatever colour, creed or sexual preference.
Leslie Jones doesn’t need the Terror-Latte Army on Twitter to ride to her rescue. In fact her criticism of Simon & Schuster raises useful points about the limits of free speech, and more interestingly, highlights the modern interpretation of what is permitted, and what is No Platformed by all right-thinking, liberal-minded public figures…and their lickspittle hangers-on, mostly hiding behind fake names and avatars online.
DOES BOYCOTTING FREE SPEECH REALLY ERADICATE HATE SPEECH?
No, of course not. And no sitting on the fence here; I say that whoever demands to boycott Simon & Schuster, because they have the audacity to want to make money, by publishing Milo’s camp rants and satirical alt-right theories are pitiful, petty-minded arbiters of political debate.
What is it that you all are so scared of? Maybe Milo might have a point, Ghostbusters 2 was a bit pants? Or is it that Milo’s call-to-arms for Trump, his restatement that democracy and free speech rule supreme – irrefutable and immutable – regardless of who might be offended, is a terrifying idea to those on the Left, who seek to control, manage and edit, EVERYTHING, that is published. Print and online.
If you are FOR censorship, then you’re with Castro, Putin and Erdogan. Tyrants all. If you cannot debate, but only hate and shout down opposing viewpoints, then you side with sinister `anti-fascists’ like Michael Sheen, Lily Allen, Brendan Cox or John McDonnell. Control freaks basically, who cannot abide the idea that ordinary working class people might have REAL power, and a chance to make their voice heard, in our elitist, corporate, tax-dodger dominated political bubble of patronage and chumocracy.
But opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, so get over it and stop trying to organise hysterical, McCarthyist witch-hunts against anyone who argues against your cosy, globalist view. The plain fact is that Milo has the right to promulgate his worldview as much as Bonnie Greer does. You can buy their books on Amazon, or some of the titles below – it’s your choice.
So we should revel in our time of plenty when it comes to books – over seven million on Amazon alone – and celebrate that we actually HAVE that incredible range of opinion, ideas, fiction, controversial histories, or devilish satire. We have a glorious, golden age of choice, of true enlightenment.
Never lose it, never let one minority opinion dominate, or curtail, our depth and breadth of literature, essays, news and broadcast media. Otherwise, the real book burning will really get going…
SOME OFFENSIVE AUTHORS FROM THE PAST – STILL IN PRINT. OMG!
As a footnote, here are some more authors/publishers whose work should be immediately banned, shredded and stamped on by righteous SJWs in Doc Martens, as it no doubt encourages Hate Speech, Fascism, Gender Stereotypes, CSE, Misogynist Oppression of Women and lots of other isms.
Mein Kampf – Adolf Hitler. Published by Jaico in India. So get on a plane, and organise a book burning, because that would be the perfect way to protest against Jaico printing Hitler’s book, wouldn’t it?
Tar Baby and Other Rhymes, Applewood Books. Yes, you can still buy a book about tar babies and that evil Brer Rabbit dude. Come on people, put down your vegan mung bean lattes and boycott these white supremacists!
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov. Just filth basically. Why are Penguin Classics getting away with publishing this porn?
Any childrens books by Harry Horse. Step forward Penguin once again, who publish the works of Harry Horse, who was really author Richard Horne. Horne stabbed his MS suffering wife to death, then stabbed their pets, before finally killing himself.
And finally, anything by Nazi hagiographer, historian David Irving.
So there you have it, a bonfire of the SJW vanities, a hit list of bad books by culturally unacceptable authors. If you really can’t stand the thought of Milo being published, then surely it’s time to mount your high horse and have a tilt at these other windmills of wordsmithery too?
Or can you accept that we all have a choice?