Choosing who to vote for is like choosing a new car (Written on May 17th 2017)

‘Good morning sir – what kind of vehicle are you after?’
‘Well, I want something very fast, very reliable and extremely economical.’
‘I see … any children sir?’
‘Seven. And three Labradors.’
‘And when are you looking to buy sir, going forward?’
‘Quite soon, we’ve got to choose one by June 8th.’
‘Right … let’s see what we’ve got in stock …’
‘That one looks very smart, the large blue one over there in the showroom window.’
‘Ah yes, a good choice sir! That’s the new Mayflower V8. They claim a top speed of 190mph, 100mpg, 12 seats, self-parking, Connolly hide seats, brandy glass holders and four cigar lighters.’
‘And how much is the Mayflower?’
‘From around £95,000 sir. Plus extras.’
‘What do you mean ‘extras’?’
‘Well the manufacturer doesn’t actually service the car, that’s up to the owner to purchase from somewhere else.’
‘Sadly, no. But you do have complete freedom to buy warranty from other companies. Novel price structure too – the more you earn, the bigger the discount!’
‘I don’t like the sound of that. How about the big red one in the corner, hiding behind the pillar?’
‘That one sir? Ah yes, the Corbus 1000. That’s an interesting vehicle, with some very attractive features.’
‘Air con, 7 speed, cruise control, seating for 12, dog baskets with harnesses, free education up to age 95 for the whole family while you still own the car, free rail travel if it breaks down, and lots more.’
‘That sounds absolutely perfect!’
‘Just a couple of other things I should tell you about though … the Corbus 1000 has TWO engines.’
‘That’s right! One engine for driving forwards and when you engage reverse, the other engine starts up and drives you backwards. Very clever design, developed in the old USSR I think.’
‘But don’t the engines fight against each other?’
‘That can be a bit of problem, yes, you are quite right sir. But people say they get used to it in the end. One customer of ours drives only in reverse now.’
‘I don’t think we’d like that.’
‘Oh and there is the ‘ACC’ system that comes as standard with the Corbus.’
‘What’s ACC?’
‘Automatic Cost Contribution. It doesn’t have a key, you just put your credit card in that slot in the dashboard and whenever the manufacturer needs to raise more revenue for one of their in-house projects, like free crèches for its employees globally, it just debits your card. Clever isn’t it?’
‘Er, no, I don’t think it is. Hold on, the smart yellow coupe over there – is that worth looking at?’
‘Where? Oh, I’d forgotten all about that car! It’s a Liberace 1.4 – do you like that curved grill, always smiling!’
‘Is it worth considering?’
‘Well, it’s a very NICE car sir. Top speed 35mph, 3 gears, average fuel economy, seats and things like that, windows, an exhaust, lights. To be honest sir, I don’t know much about it. And it’s only left hand drive.’
‘Well that’s no good, I’m only driving in the UK.’
Ah, but you never know sir, you may need to drive in Europe and then you’d be really glad. Look, there, on the windscreen – see that label: ‘EU-ready’.
‘I’m sorry, I really haven’t seen anything I like yet.’
‘Well let’s keep trying sir! How about the Verdi, the bright green people carrier by the door?’
‘Looks nice. Economical?’
‘Oh very economical sir, in fact practically cost-free to operate!’
‘Really? But what are those pedals under the dash?’
‘They are in fact, as you say, pedals sir. The Verdi Ecopush is entirely driver and passenger-powered. They have dispensed with an engine which MUST be a good thing for the environment, don’t you think?’
‘Well it would be except that my wife has only one leg and I have a heart condition.’
‘Right, moving on sir, can I show you the Kipper – the purple saloon by the toilets, with the union flag roof?’
‘It’s called a ‘Kipper’?
‘I know, I know sir, something in their past made them call it that, no idea why. Anyway, it’s a bit of a maverick if you ask me.’
‘In what way?’
‘It doesn’t have a key!’
‘So how do you open the door?’
‘See that slot? You just push in a British passport, it scans it and bingo! The door opens. Clever isn’t it?’
‘My wife is Latvian.’
‘Would you like a coffee sir, just over here.’
‘Hold on – what’s the little beige car behind those boxes?’
‘Oh that’s nothing sir, bit of fun our Regional Sales Manager was having when he went to Moscow on holiday last year.’
‘What is it?’
‘A Trabant.’
‘Never heard of one. Does it go OK?’
‘Sort of, if you’re not in a hurry.’
‘How much is it?’
‘That one sir? 300 miles on the clock and I’m sure we could find a windscreen from somewhere … £200?
‘I’ll take it.’
‘Excellent sir – I’ll have those holes filled, the rust polished and ready for collection on June 8th.’

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