Colonic irritations

Something troubles me, though in a way that causes laughter rather than tears.

Why is it that outright racists with more money than sense – especially the nominally “respectable” element who support UKIP – always have to drive Jaguars? I’ve noticed several locally in recent months, so there must be something in it.

The first one I was prepared to write off as an unfortunate coincidence. A boorish Rotarian and small business owner ran one 1970’s Jaguar and had two 1980’s ones he planned to restore. But he was also a professional Yorkshireman, a puzzling enigma with a mix of illogical loves and hates which defies all explanation.

Plus, as any car buff knows, 1970’s and 1980’s Jaguars were an embarrassment to the badge, so badly made they couldn’t get through a full petrol tank without a breakdown (which wasn’t far at 18 miles to the gallon). Duped owners (who usually bought them as company cars for a tax break) could hardly give them away, and I suspect even a scrap dealer would hide one behind a pile of Morris Marinas.

The latest such Jag owner I observed (and who caused me to finally turn a vague suspicion into a firm proposition) walks around with a permanently open mouth and raised eyebrows, rather like a character in a bad US sit-com trying to signal a “zany” or “wacky” remark to a studio audience. Quite disturbing and, even apart from its ill informed social views, not a staggering advertisement for evolution. The Jaguar it chose to own was one of the new breed, apart from the badge hardly distinguishable from any European executive sedan favoured by middle managers, so again, hardly a classic.

Also, surely by now such dullards have sussed that, like other nominally British cars such as Minis and Range Rovers, they are not even British anyway. Or am I just assuming an ability to reason or gather hard evidence that is well beyond Daily Mail readers?

Whatever, the fact remains that a racist behind the wheel of a Jaguar is an insult to real English values like fair play and tolerance, rather like those BNP members who dress up in tweed like off-duty Guards officers when they go canvassing for votes. Being one of those people who quite likes properly crafted British goods (handmade shoes, Harris tweed, single malt whiskey…) I find this all rather distressing.

Being both a stickler for fashion detail and an active campaigner against clothing sweatshops, my only consolation is knowing that, whatever the British labelling, such racists actually sport brogues made in Poland or India, tweed woven in Japan, and shirts, blouses and suits made in Indonesia. Which makes their shrill plastic patriotism all the sillier.

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