For me this would be the last straw. Most of the money I have earned in my life has been spent either on necessities or on goods for my family. My children's education (my finest investment, I am not complaining) has cost more than my pension fund. The only personal motivation to get me out of bed and into harness every morning has been my motor car.
I am not alone. "Top Gear" is one of the BBC's biggest international money earners, with a worldwide audience of more than 350 million, despite what one might expect to be the offputting "blokeyness" and colloquial English of the presenters. There are more than 5 million viewers per show in the UK alone. Compare and contrast the 300,000 circulation of the Guardian. We love our cars.
All I really have to show for having worked longer hours and endured greater stresses than any of my school friends is "Claudia II". She is my Mercedes AMG convertible. I love her passionately. I derive enormous pleasure merely from the memory of the sight of her deeply imposing 5.5 litre engine. She and I are going on holiday to the South of France next week, a journey set up entirely to show off her attributes.
I could easily fly to the Cote d'Azur from Moscow, but instead I am flying to England to pick her up and drive her for 16 hours from our pied a terre in the rotten boroughs of the Labour North to the sun. My wife and her mother are coming with us. They will chat amiably and enjoy the ride, while Claudia and I commune in silent, noble, ecstasy.
She produces her own weight in carbon every year (at least she would if she were driven every day). But she produces less than the 1.5 litre car I drove in my youth - and uses about the same amount of fuel, thanks to the ever-advancing technology which has always been (and will always be) the solution to Man's problems.
She doesn't just motivate me. Every time she moves, Claudia motivates passing young boys to strive for success. Even when parked, she attracts them and starts them thinking how they can achieve in order, one day, to afford something so beautiful. I can read in their eyes the feelings I had as a teenager when I first saw a Ferrari. "One day..." I thought.
Did a Toyota Prius ever have such an effect? Did a ****ing Ford KA ever inspire anyone to anything but sloth? God help us, go on "the disability" and Nanny will buy you one of those!
The effect still works on me. At the Geneva Motor Show three years ago I sat in a Bentley Continental. I shall not cease from mental fight, nor shall my sword sleep in my hand until I possess one. And every flex of my professional sinews towards that goal will create wealth and jobs. Dozens work in - and feed their families from - businesses I have built, not because I cared for them (although I liked almost all of them a bit and some of them a lot) but because I was striving towards Claudia.
The Greens who promote punitive taxes on such glorious creations as Claudia are falling - every day - for a stupid logical fallacy. They are assuming that everything bad will continue to get worse at a constant rate, while nothing good will improve. They are the same Puritans who have dogged the English speaking world and been a brake on our progress since Hengest and Horsa first set us on our path to glory.
In the great history of the Anglosphere, name me one hero who advanced humanity's cause while holding back its technological advance. Such people are not worth remembering. They are the ultimate reactionaries and we should despise them with all the force that our waning race can muster.
God rot all Luddites. Had Ned Lud's terrorists succeeded during the Industrial Revolution, millions who have lived and loved and died would never have known this Earth. Who among us honestly wants to live the life of a Plains Indian, as advocated by these nutcases? Why do we keep rewarding them by voting for politicians who gesture towards their insane ideas?
'Gas guzzlers should pay £1,800 a year car tax' | the Daily Mail