Sunday, 7 October 2012

Autoworld Brussels - not a place for crusties or Young Shinners

Ireland has never been a motoring nation.  Apart from bolting together VW Beatles which arrived in crates from Germany between 1950 and 1980.  That was Ireland's car industry.

Cars have always been treated with suspicion in Ireland, a place whose inhabitants still - subliminally or otherwise - hanker after donkeys and carts, piebalds and sulkies.  I think it goes back to Dev and the rest of the statelet's founders, who treated urbanisation, technology and modernity as threats.

When young American guys were motoring off to the drive-in movies with their broads by their sides, young Paddy and Mary could only aspire to a bit of chaste stick-fighting, bogball or camogie at the local crossroads. Strictly segregated, and supervised by a priest.

It is no surprise that the only car assembled in Ireland - as far as I know, but am open to correction on this detail - was designed for a nationalist dictator whose vision (if not his interest in technological innovation) was a reactionary myth-based one.  Just to clarify - I am talking about Hitler here, not Dev.

I had a look at one of the Irish Internet forums recently  - Boards I think - on which a debate about VRT raged.  VRT is the government's punitive "vehicle registration tax" which makes we Paddies pay over 40% more for our wheels, in some cases, than our lucky neighbours up north.

Some arsehole young Shinner (for they are young, and they are the future of this little shithole, natural forces save us) on Boards defended the tax on the basis that money spent on cars was "money flowing out of the country spent on luxuries".

 I'm sure Dev would have approved.  I hope the same poster uses public transport or, if he lives in the majority of places in Ireland with no such thing, uses his sturdy Gaelic feet to move about the crust of dear old Erin while denigrating the trappings of modernity and materialism.   Gobshite.

Anyway.  I've just come back from a visit to Autoworld in Brussels and have a few nice pics from automotive history for your delectation.  

Young Shinners, crusties and Devonians look away now.




The Gombeen Man said...

Apologies to commenters.

Due to over-zealous spam filtering - and a state of extreme distraction on my part - I accidentally deleted comments from this post. And some of them were bloody good.

Unfortunately there appears to be no means for recovering unintentionally deleted comments on Blogger.

If anyone knows a way of getting deleted comments back through other means, please let me know.

Again, sincere apologies!

The Gombeen Man said...


Anonymous said...

As a"Deorai" living in the US for almost 33 years (thankfully not in poverty and suffering as per the oul' cathecism), I must thank you for the many chuckles you give me and always remind me I'm a product of the oul' sod or "as Gaeilge" - Eire.

7 October 2012 19:28
illuminati1111 said...

It seems things are indeed better elsewhere. There is wealth outside of the shithole indeed. No chance of bringing in one of these porches with the VRT we would have to pay. I like your comment on the shinners being the future of this place. I would say they will be in Govt next time out. I suppose they will tell the Troika to F**k off . There will be some satisfaction in that if nothing else. Keep up the good work.
7 October 2012 21:10
pony and trap boy said...

7 October 2012 22:31
Anonymous said...

Well there was Ford in Cork after all, also in the assembly business. Some figures I see for numbers include:

1949: 11,007
1973: 61,276

Of course the plant has been closed since 1984. Interesting history here (though as it's a PhD thesis it's basically a book):

Of course VRT like VAT rises/fuel excise is the goverenment's cowardly way of raising taxes and then claiming we live in a "low tax" economy. In reality they don't have the balls to put 1% of either tax band but knowing that no one complain they'll stick it on VAT.

Of course VRT is used to fund "Local Authority Fund" if you look at local spending on road maintenance it's at most 20% of the receipts the rest is spent making sure 32~ county/city managers earn over 190k+ a year.

8 October 2012 15:45
Dakota said...

I don't know what's worse, an individual thinking that a car is a luxury in Ireland, or the concept of VRT? There is just no answer to such profound intellect. Ouh and grand to think the future of this confusing island is going to be up to SF. Maybe VOODOO will be the new STATE religion?
8 October 2012 19:49
The Gombeen Man said...

@ KD. Glad you like it... at least you don't have to suffer it! ;-) Thanks for the feedback, and keep tuning in.

@ illuminati. Dread to think what such a car - or their modern equivalents - would cost here after VRT. It used to make me sick reading the Sunday Times motoring section, and you saw how much cheaper good wheels were in the UK. As for the Shinners, watch the slippery shits change their tune one they get in... as they have in Northern Ireland.

@ Pony and Trap Boy. Thanks, my man.

@ Paul. Wasn't aware of that. Cheers for the info. And yes, VRT is a scandal - and one lacking any hint of transparency, with Revenue's cooked-up Open Market Selling Price deciding a car's value. I'd sack the lot of them, the time-serving bastards.

@ Dakata. Yes, hard to say, isn't it? Paddy and Mary don't seem to perturbed by it though, which makes me realise how little we have in common with our fellow countrypeople, on this and other issues.

The Gombeen Man said...

Just recovered some deleted comments via Google cache... I've duly posted them above.