“Highly engineered racing car” or Leyland P76?

It was Peter Costello who claimed that you didn’t want an “L plate driver” behind the wheel of the economy, though that was before it started racing into a tsunami. Very difficult to keep up with all the metaphors… Anyway, round at the Centre for Policy Development, we’ve been roadtesting the major parties’ policy vehicles. (Come on, you have to admit it’s more original than putting out “score cards”…). Read them all here. Mine is on Work and family balance, which I think will continue to be a barbeque stopper no matter who wins (I’m assuming the chances of getting people together for a bbq might improve if WorkChoices is binned).

Cross-posted at PollieGraph.

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Posted in federal election '07, sociology
4 comments on ““Highly engineered racing car” or Leyland P76?
  1. […] Cross-posted at LP in Exile. […]

  2. anthony says:

    It was back in the last election that Shoji Tachikawa came up to me and said that there was only one way to get past the Yamaha domination and that was a 180 degree big bang engine called the LATHAM. While the horsepower was there, rumour had it at the workshop was that while it was fine in the tight confines of the chassis and it was moving along, if you shut the throttle down mid-corner it was prone to chucking riders over the highside. Chequered flag or a trip in an ambulance and likely amputation. We went with the LATHAM, what other choice did we have?

  3. anthony says:

    So any way we worked on it and though reversing crank rotation in 07 had solved front-end lift, it hadn’t totally exorcised single-crank voodoo.

    After they changed the rotation the bike would lift the rear when you accelerated, so you’d have the back tire spinning and the rear would lift, making the wheelspin worse. At the same time it pushed the front down, messing up the steering”. The Big Bang eradicated the voodoo purely by chance, because the extra vibration produced by the close firing order required a counter-balance shaft that damped out the gyro effect.

    This time it was gloriously sunny and I got an hour or so on the ’07 Big Bang. The bike had changed from enemy to friend, you could get on the throttle so much sooner it was stupid. Pulling a big wheelie exiting Spoon Curve while still well cranked over will always be one of my best biking memories.

    Meanwhile the wheels were falling off Yamaha. Forced into catch up and checked at every corner as it tried to stuff through and get the intiative it was forced into more desperate plays. With the gap staying constant, there was only ever one outcome and the rest is history.

  4. David Rubie says:

    The CPD obviously don’t read many motoring magazines. Where’s the passion? Where are the gratuitous sexual references? Plus, you need lots of really wanky photographs of tiny bits of the car but never a photo of the whole car. You want motoring writing?

    The Liberal and Labor car companies, having recently revamped their entire range, go head to head in the battle of hearts, minds and wallets. I go in search of a Hummer.

    Environment
    A retro vs. new model test that really came unstuck. The Liberal motor vehicle was a VB Commodore, red motor sitting in it’s own pool of oil, unchanged since release in 1979. The Liberal company had tried to replace the VB in the early nineties with a pushbike, but found the seat uncomfortable. The VB commodore runs on a mixture of oil and coal, and is a rubber floor mat, poverty pack version that only has a heater. We were declined a test drive as it apparently hasn’t left the garage since the company director parked it in 1996 and broke off the key in the ignition, leaving it to run in a toxic cloud of nitrous monoxide. There is a dead figure slumped over the wheel that looks a bit like Andrew Peacock.
    The Labor company entry looks for all the world like a runout model 1998 EL Falcon. It is at least progress, although somebody needs to clean the soot from the tailpipe and it appears to be running on coal like the VB. The smiling company chairman told us that, in theory, it was the best vehicle in the segment we could have without blowing the budget. It was noted that the drivers seat is just about worn out and very uncomfortable and the air conditioner seems to be completely broken. Not really much to choose, but at last the Labor company vehicle appears to move under it’s own power. Out of nowhere, from the back seat, an incredibly excited bald man covered up my eyes and exclaimed he had a better version hidden away at home, but he was quickly slapped down. I still didn’t get a hummer.

    Education
    An exciting segment. The Liberal company has two cars in this segment, one is a model T ford in black, the other a diamond encrusted Rolls Royce. I liked the Rolls Royce a lot, especially with the head of marketing in the passenger seat showing a nice bit of leg from her pleated skirt, but imagine most people can only afford the model T. When queried, the head of marketing Ms. Bishop explained that the Rolls Royce was the preferred mode of delivery and the Model T is being phased out. Her disconcerting stare was enough to stop me asking questions.
    The Labor company are still apparently busy in the skunkworks, building a revolution. They showed some high concept artwork. I’ll stick with the Model T until they’ve finished. Asking for a hummer I received a punch to the groin from the Labor company. I can’t ask the Liberal company after that.

    Work and family balance:
    Both companies don’t make much in the way of home grown vehicles in this market, choosing to import SUV’s from overseas. The Liberal entry, WorkChoices is a rebadged Hummer (WOOHOO!). Unfortunately, it’s not the crazy kind that you get from a $1000 hooker with too much lipstick and plastic boobs, but the motoring kind. In fact, worse than that, it’s not the original Hummer which is related to the military kind, it’s a Hummer H2. It’s fat, it looks like it has purpose in a military style way, but underneath it’s not that different from every other suburban four wheel drive. It’s wasteful – all noise and excitement and fairness tests and shiny surfaces, but ultimately involves more public servants and paperwork. Test driving the WorkChoices vehicle is hard work – you can’t park it anywhere, the turning circle is enormous, the service costs are astronomical and it’s only real purpose is running down trade unionists in the middle of the night.
    Rather surprisingly, the Labor company entry in this category is the same vehicle with a different paintjob, a set of roof racks and a cow catcher attached to the front, so the unionists are gently nudged to the flanks while you’re driving.
    The real question is: are either really comparable to the kind of hummer I prefer? To test out the theory, obviously the only real way was to pick up an actual hooker for $1000 and get a Hummer while reading the brochures. Let me tell you, it was the best money I ever spent, although I did have to explain what a hummer was which kind of spoiled the effect.

    Winner overall: the hooker. Labor would have won if they didn’t punch me.

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