08 September 2009

Odd, very odd

I'm not usually one to harp on about BBC slants, but I was puzzled by this entry to their magazine:

Could the UK drive on the right?

This is in response to Samoa changing from the right to the left

Some could argue it's somewhat inclined towards EU integration, most would I think, see it as the usual oddball stuff that comes out of magazine - they are just engaging in debate after all, and they have to apply it to Britain after all - there's not much point in asking, 'should France move to the left?'

But I was bemused by this:

And cars with steering wheels on the left could be cheaper.

Barely, if at all - one of the reasons Samoa changed was because of Japan's influence - obviously they make right-hand drive cars (that's Japan, the world leader in car and electronics manufacturing) - most of the Pacific rim countries drive on the left, as we do

So if we were to change we would be the same as the EU - it would mean European cars wouldn't have to be altered for us, but we would instead receive altered cars from Japan (the no.1 producer of cars) - and bear in mind we get a fair bit of employment from people like Nissan, we would lose that were we to go 'continental'

Plenty of the world still drives on the left, there is still a big market out there and the differences are well entrenched in car manufacture - I doubt to make us another outpost of the EU would change anything when we already have a market of 50 million (inc. Ireland) for the Japanese, who also have India and the petrol-heads of Australia to export to

It might make your Citroens, VWs and Peugeots slightly cheaper but who really cares? It's a very minor change to make - the parts are still the same, and Japanese cars are much cheaper in maintenance despite us being next to the blooming continent

We don't have American cars, and we don't want them, so that's out too - so what exactly do we gain?

Bugger all is what, the pretence behind this article is really that if all the world drove on the right it would be better - but is that going to happen? I don't think so, unless Japan, India and Australia are forced right then nothing will change economically - all that will happen is we pay billions (4 billion is a very conservative estimate apparently) and probably cause some needless deaths to pointlessly change the traffic direction and come out of the Chunnel on the right side...

Fortunately the article does end with a 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' but it does seem to be a little too pro-Europe on this, are they just coming from the point of view of the booze cruise?

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