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[NEWS] Matt Prior: We must enjoy driving cars while we can

Matt Prior: We must enjoy driving cars while we can

matt driving

Elsewhere, our man considers the pros and cons of industry cheerleaders, via the medium of make-up

Celebrity make-up artist and retailer of high-end cosmetics Charlotte Tilbury has caused a minor stir in the tabloids for saying that her husband never sees her without make-up.

After the daily grind running her cosmetics empire, Tilbury says that late of an evening she’ll take off the day’s slap and do some skin care before applying eyeliner and mascara – her “bedroom eye” – before hitting the sack. I’m sure many among you, dear reader, do the same?

Some newspaper commentators are shocked by Tilbury’s admission. They’re disappointed about the apparently antiquated attitude, which, Tilbury says, “keeps the magic alive” in her marriage. To which I say: well, is it really so surprising? Make-up seller extols the virtues of always wearing make-up? What’s she meant to say? “I know how tiresome cosmetics can be, so give it a rest. Your partner and friends might even like to see your natural face.” I don’t think that’s likely.

Tilbury wears cosmetics 24/7 because she believes in cosmetics and makes cosmetics. She thinks they’re fab and thinks you should think so, too. More industries would benefit from cheerleaders like her.

Which makes me wonder why they don’t have them. Car manufacturers tell me at some length how much better their new products are than the old ones, but none will tell you or me that you should be driving them more and more; that after a hard day behind the wheel, a quick blast around the block before bed would actually be great for you.

Instead, car companies are thinking about transitioning to ‘mobility’ companies. They are, outwardly at least, onside with responsibility. And I fear I am the same. I don’t report for the industry but I am ostensibly championing the rights of the motorist. Yet frequently here I am, in this very column, trying to be understanding: we should drive less in towns and cities; it would be nice if trains were better; aren’t SUVs a bit daft. I’ll tell you that I, too, walk, cycle and use public transport. I am reasonable.

But to what end? There are people at the other end of the spectrum who are entirely anti-car. They’d like to see them banned. Not for them the compromise to acknowledge that this genius invention has changed the world and largely for the better. It has democratised mobility. They only see the car as a snarling, dirty, dangerous creation and that we should all be together, liberated, on the same bus.

Nonsense. And enough. Tilbury is my new inspiration. Drive cars. Drive them all, always. They are one of the greatest inventions. They’ve liberated us all, and long may they do so.

Consistency would be nice

The DVLA writes to tell me my photocard driving licence will expire late this year and that I “must renew it now”. The opening paragraph threatens that, if I don’t pay for a new card, I could “face a £1000 fine”, “prosecution” and “lose my entitlement to drive”.

The tone might be somewhat easier to stomach if the DVLA hadn’t been sitting on the paperwork of a family member left unable to drive because the DVLA has done nothing about their medical query for the past 10 months. I do not often get livid. But I am furious.

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