I'm in the south of France for a few days and spent yesterday lounging around in a café on the Corniche in Cannes watching the world go by. It's one of the great people-watching places of the world, with fabulously wealthy people in unbelievably expensive cars cruising past.
It was in my Pernod-induced state that I read about Porsche possibly taking Ken Livingstone to court for his extortionate £25 congestion charge on gas-guzzlers daring to drive around London. If you tried that down here the place would go mental. Livingstone would find himself frog-marched (arf-arf) to a huge raised dais in the Vieux Port. There, to the sound of elderly 'tricoteuses' making knock-off Lacoste tops as quickly as their leathery old hands could manage, he'd have his head cut off in front of a baying crowd.
I'm actually getting quite excited just imagining the scene. I'm not a huge fan of Livingstone and it would be a wonderful way of making yet another sorry political career end in inexorable failure – except, maybe, for Castro who seems to have been the exception to the rule – discuss...
I love the way the French demonstrate about stuff. If they don't like something they start burning sheep and closing down every motorway in the country. I do sometimes wonder why they didn't do this when the Germans were invading in the Second World War, but I digress.
Weirdly, I don't actually mind Livingstone picking on Porsche drivers – not because I think he's correct about them being environmentally unsound; I think it's a drop in the ocean – but because pretty much everyone who owns one is a twat. I should know – I was one of them.
It all started when two students wrote off my beloved BMW by smashing into it near Oxford. Instead of just getting another one I started wandering around weird sports car showrooms in some sort of elaborate mid-life crisis. I ended up in the Porsche showroom in Swindon – how much lower can a man go?
Within about 20 minutes I had purchased my motorised penis extension and driven it off into what goes for a sunset in the land of roundabouts. I still don't know why I did it. I hate sports cars and Porsche was the symbol of every City moron that I hated back in the late-Eighties. It was the symbol that you'd "made it", that you were now a fully fledged cock, with your thick pinstripe shirts, Ray-Ban sunglasses and bulging Filofax.
Not much has changed. The moment you drive a Porsche you become an unwilling member of this appalling club. Every time you stop at traffic lights and another one pulls up beside you, you are expected to give each other a thumbs up and a bit of a wink. It's a kind of "you and me, we've made it, aren't we clever and better than the rest of the scum? Now. Let's race each other through that crowd of schoolkids."
All the other members of my new club were the same idiots from back in the Eighties, except now they all had a lot less hair and were going through a severe mid-life crisis having been fleeced by their wives in punishing divorce settlements. All that they are left with are the clothes they're standing up in and the Porsche.
Whatever, I had to sell my Porsche after just two months of ownership – I just couldn't take the shame. That's when I bought my current set of "wheels", a pick-up truck that Ken won't let into the capital either. Maybe I should get a tank. They're not liable for the congestion charge, so I could drive into town, approach City Hall and hammer the hideous place to pieces with my cannon before having a slap-up lunch at Sheekey's. I'm fantasising again, but the French would do it.Reuse content