In this column-writing game, any particularly bonkers development can be greeted with the hallowed phrase “you couldn't make it up.” Well, on this occasion I did. Read on . . .
Dan Hodges of the Mail on Sunday reports that plans for everyone attending the Cop26 summit in Glasgow to use an electric car have hit the buffers. Glasgow doesn't have enough charging points, “so they've been scrambling to find diesel generators to help boost the capacity.”
You may recall that I wrote on August 17: “The world needs a portable charging unit which can perk up your car without draining the national grid. I am working on a brilliant design. Pity it runs on diesel.” I was writing in jest but real life gets more laughable every day.
Still at the cutting edge of technology, from time to time I bang on about the ludicrous amount of gizmos stuffed into modern cars, from dozens of sensors to TV-screen assisted parking. The more gizmos you have, the more there is to go wrong and I suspect many of us would prefer simpler, cheaper technology. It seems the same argument is going on among farmers. My eye fell on an advert in a farming magazine for a new tractor with the unusual advertising slogan: “Back to basics with little or no electronics.” Just as with the Peasants' Revolt, will the next revolution begin not in the cities but on the land, with tractors leading the way? We could call it the KISS Revolt. Keep It Simple, Stupid.
I remarked yesterday on how politicians and experts tend to reply to any tricky question with: “That's a very good question.” A reader is reminded of the management-training course (let us call it the Wizkid course) he attended in the 1980s where one particular phrase was very much in fashion with the lecturers. It was a useful term because it put on record that you were listening to the other person, but without passing any judgment or opinion.
In the years that followed he said he could always recognise someone who had attended the Wizkid course because within minutes of a conversation starting, they would slip in this phrase. It was “I hear what you say.”
Strangely, “I hear what you say” seems to have gone out of fashion these days. You wonder why? That's a very good question.