Further Ruminations About the MOT Test

My car passed the test with flying colours. No problems. Mind you, that should not be surprising since I have only done 150 miles this last year. I really ought to sell the car. I am paying for the MOT, vehicle tax, insurance, and repairs. Yes, repairs. I went somewhere a few miles away for some reason and got a puncture. I had to replace the tyre. How many other people experience a puncture every 150 miles? The car is costing me a bomb and I hardly use it.

So why do I do it? Why do I keep the car against all rational thinking?

Let me think…..

I have had only a few cars ever since I passed the driving test around 1970. My first car was a Singer Chamois (a slightly  posher version of the Hillman Imp). It served us well when my kids were children. The next one was a Datsun. It was crap. The engine was OK, but the bodywork rotted like mad. After that, I bought a Capri 1300. Surprisingly, although it was only 13oo cc, it was a good motor. I never noticed any performance inadequacies. I had that for a few years before swapping it for a 2 litre Capri Sports. I loved that car. It had acceleration and power, but cruised quite economically. I kept it for about 20 years. I would have it now if it were not for the fact that the bodywork underneath had started to go. It was with great sadness that I said goodbye to it.

So I now have a Rover 216. It is a bit unusual because it does not have a Rover engine. It is a version which has a Hyundai engine. I have had it for about 10 years and it is still performing superbly well, even though it has done 93,000 miles. It is about 15 years old.

Is there not a common thread throughout the above history? Is it not pretty obvious that, apart from the Datsun, I HAVE ENJOYED MY CARS?  Actually, I was quite happy with the Datsun until I realised that the bodywork was crap. I enjoyed my cars.

I look at smoking in much the same way.

Did I worry about the differences in safety or performance when I drove about in my cars listening to the singing of the engine? I have never been one to have the radio on or use the music system. I am happy to listen to the music of the car engine. Even cruising down a motorway has lots of enjoyable noises, such as the sound of the wind brushing past the slightly open window. No, I do not give a toss or even know about the ‘Relative Risks’ of danger between one car compared with another. I simply enjoy driving.

But to be more precise, I suppose that there is a much greater risk of danger when you are driving than when you are walking. I mean in the sense of making a mistake. But that does not deter me from enjoying driving at all. If I was fearful of danger, then I would most certainly never board an aircraft. Oh, they say that, per mile, flying is safer than any other form of transport. Don’t make me laugh! If I were to jump off the Eiffel Tower, I would be in no danger at all until I hit the ground. The same applies to aircraft, except that danger of take-off is like the lift taking you to the top of the Eiffel Tower accelerating and then bursting through the top of the lift shaft.

I would say that the danger in every-day living is greater now than it has ever been in the history of mankind.

I enjoy smoking in much the same way that I enjoy driving. The danger is irrelevant. What will be, danger-wise, will be. What is important to me is the pleasure. If other people do not wish to indulge in driving, for fear of danger, that is their problem. Such people should also be aware that danger is ubiquitous and cannot be avoided.


It is weirdly true that ‘The Authorities’ have spent billions on ‘road safety’ – reducing danger risks. But, ever since around 1970, very, very little thought was given to reducing smoking risk. An attempt was made in Canada (and maybe elsewhere) when the Gov of Canada and TobComs jointly developed a programme to produce a tobacco plant with very little tar. They succeeded. Smokers were given a choice –  they could smoke ‘regular’ cigs or ‘lights’ (except that the word ‘regular’ did not appear). You could smoke, say, Players, or Player ‘lights’. But TobCoN, years later, managed somehow to turn the attempt to reduce tar in cigs into a deliberate attempt by TomComs to addict more and more children.

It beggars belief that such skulduggery could exist at Government and Legal level.

Health is a matter of FACT, and only fact. Propaganda and Prohibition form no part in Health. Only FACTS matter in Health.

There WILL come a time, and not in a very long time, when Trump, or someone like him, will realise that the UN’s purpose must be changed. It IS NOT AND NEVER WILL BE a World Government. I do not understand why such a Government would not provoke world-wide, and extremely bloody REVOLUTION sooner or later. Only the most brutal repression could prevent it.

But what else are we experiencing via Tobacco Control other than brutal repression? How can our elected representatives permit such brutal repression? Have they not noticed that the cost of tobacco products is causing massive inequalities between the poor and the better off?

I wonder what would happen if a political party appeared which championed those who are poor and ‘just managing’?

Oh, just a minute. Did not Theresa May say……



3 Responses to “Further Ruminations About the MOT Test”

  1. nisakiman Says:

    Crikey, Junican, only five cars since 1970? That’s truly impressive! I have no idea how many cars I’ve had since then. I long ago lost count.

    30? At least.

    50? More? I’ve no idea.

    Some I’ve enjoyed immensely, others have been an expensive millstone round my neck. Such is the lottery of second-hand motors. I’ve only ever bought one car brand new, and to be honest, I didn’t much like it, so sold it after a couple of years.

    But like you, I do enjoy driving. So much so that I did it professionally for years.

    And yes, your analogy with the ‘dangers’ of smoking is both valid and pertinent.

    • junican Says:

      “Crikey, Junican, only five cars since 1970?”

      Yes, I know. Maybe it suggests that I was lucky not to ever have been suckered – all my cars have been in good repair when I bought them. I have never bought a brand new car.
      I can understand how people (like yourself!) ‘fancy a change’, but, for some reason or other, I have never been that way inclined. Oddly enough, I would be more inclined to move home than change car, in the sense that I fancy a change. I have not done so, but that would be my most likely inclination.

  2. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    Re cars: Antismokers always love to rant ‘n rave about all the money smokers spend on their smokes, but they overlook just how much people spend on their cars. When you add ALL of their costs together: the gas, the insurance, the repairs, the taxes, the purchasing, the parking, the upkeep…. it’s a lot heftier than smoking!

    “Oh, but cars are NEEDED! And they’re so USEFUL!” say the Antis.

    Generally not so true. People have largely just adapted their lifestyles to cars. Rather than finding jobs near where they live or living near mass transit or within walking/cycling distance, it’s now a matter of course to drive an hour or two a day going to and from work. Finding a home near a good school or having your child travel on a school bus? Forget it: that’s what you need two cars in the family for! Shopping at the corner market? What corner? Is there a corner by the warehouse store ten miles away?

    What about when you get old and infirm? Well, yeah, even I’m not that keen on cycling the distances I used to cycle in the weather I used to laugh at… but nobody’s saying that motor vehicles have to disappear: I can call a cab if I’m not feeling up to dealing with my cycle or mass transit nowadays. Meanwhile I have likely saved somewhere on the order of $100,000 in my life that would normally have gone into my ownership/use of an automobile.

    Do I feel I have the right to force everyone else to give up their cars? Heh, back when I was the cycling equivalent of an Antismoker in the 1970s, that was exactly the sort of direction I was taking: see my Free Peoples Transit article from 1976 at: https://assortedtopics.quora.com/ (third article down) and you’ll see what I mean. And you’ll see why I understand the tricks and techniques of the Antismokers so well: I used to BE one… except my focus was on eradicating drivers rather than smokers!

    Re the lower tar cigs: Yep! You’ve got it right. The TComs were working on a tobacco leaf that would give more nicotine with less “tar solids.” It was called the Y-1 strain. The Antis went ballistic and claimed exactly what you said about it being an evil plot “to addict the children” and they were forced to stop. If they’d been allowed to proceed they might have developed “healthier” cigarettes… but of course that could never be accepted.

    – MJM

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