I had occasion to drive through the suburbs of Ashford Town recently and was struck by the number of expensive new vehicles outside relatively inexpensive properties.

My research shows that there are several ways to finance the purchase of a new car – 1) cash, 2) personal loans, 3) Hire Purchase, 4) leasing, 5) personal contract hire, 6) credit card. With the exception of item 1, all the other methods have been devised by the finance companies and the vehicle manufacturers to promote and increase the quantity of new vehicles being sold. Judging by the number of quality one to three year old cars being sold through Ashford Market, it is becoming patently obvious that consumers are being encouraged to gain “ownership” of a new vehicle by whatever means suits his/her particular circumstances, but when the time for settlement arrives the financial position becomes less attractive.

We are now in a situation where the motor manufacturers are blaming Brexit and emission controls for the damage they have done to future sales, whereas I believe the recent level of sales has only been achieved on the back of credit, and quite frankly far too many new vehicles being manufactured in the first place. Modern diesels are good for 200,000 miles and, yes, they may emit more carbon monoxide than a petrol vehicle, but then what quantity of emissions and pollutants are derived from the mere manufacture and delivery of a new of a vehicle? By the way – my three year old 2.2 litre diesel saloon with ‘adblue’ technology does 55 miles to the gallon on a motorway journey!

Our government is running out of time to come up with a deal that will appeal to all sides of Brexit, and I am running out of time to pass any further opinion, but would just mention the following: Greece, Italy and Spain all have economies some way up the creek. The German economy has just entered the creek and the European Central Bank has a negative balance sheet 30% bigger than the Federal Reserve in America despite the Eurozone economy being 25% smaller than that of the US. The ECB owes Germany €1,000 billion for bailing out failing economics, with Italy owing €500 billion alone.
One sobering thought – youth unemployment in Spain and Italy is over 30%, in Greece nearly 40% and in Germany only 5%– no wonder they are whinging about the lack of car sales!
The European project is unhealthy, unnecessary and certainly undemocratic.

Donald Tusk remarked that there would be a special place in hell for those of us who are Brexiteers. Well, I would happily go there if PETA reserved their place first. They actually believe that shearing sheep is cruel! Is there anybody in that rag-bag collection of out of work actors and Z list celebrities who has the faintest clue how nature works?

While writing this article on Monday morning in the kitchen, I spotted the remains of Sunday night’s pork belly – enough for four meals for £4 the lot and a couple of quids worth of vegetables. We did think that having nut cutlets might save the planet, but remembered in the nick of time that the nuts would have travelled at least 1,000 miles to get here!