It looks pretty good for a 20-year-old doesn’t it? Or at least it did until a couple of days ago when it acquired the dent next to the headlamp. On Friday evening, four weeks (almost to the hour) after the first incident, my car was attacked again on our drive by someone armed with a double brick removed from a nearby wall. Once again the noise of the impact was muffled by double glazing and by my slight deafness and, once again, no-one was to be seen when I looked out. The culprit escaped along a short footpath which connects the closed end of our cul-de-sac to a nearby road.
This time no glass was broken (which was pure luck) but a professional repair would cost even more than it would have done the first time. Presumably the method would depend on whether an original wing could be obtained and a wing replacement carried out followed by preparation and painting. Alternatively, a good panel beater could beat out the dent and get the wing more or less back into shape, with the finishing touches done with body filler – followed by preparation and painting. The latter procedure would be more complicated than it appears at first sight because there are three slight creases built into the original shape of the wing, plus fairly sharp folds at the front and top edges.
I haven’t decided what to do about it yet other than to prevent rust getting started before the repair is done.
Once again I reported the incident to the police who arrived somewhat apologetically a couple of hours later. Two very polite officers called. One noted all the details that I could give him while the other knocked on neighbours’ front doors to find out whether anyone had seen anything but with negative results. I felt sorry for them. It was Friday evening and they were obviously having a busy time. Their radios were going mad calling them to other incidents and they hadn’t got a minute to waste.
I have thought a lot about the frequency of this sort of mindless vandalism since the first incident. There seems to be no dispute that it has been increasing over the years and no particular reason to think that it will stop increasing.
It could stop increasing though, but only if and when the great silent majority of the population decide that enough is enough and then make enough noise about it to persuade The Government to alter its spending priorities drastically. So that they cease to spend billions, that in any case we cannot afford, on unnecessary wars and new aircraft carriers, on a grossly bloated Civil Service which is clearly increasingly incompetent and inefficient, and on propping up failing businesses so that their senior executives can have their bonuses and their “jollies” as if nothing had happened.
Just think what the umpteen billion pounds saved could do if spent instead on greatly increasing the police presence on our streets, on improving local facilities for youngsters who have nothing better to do but roam the streets, on bringing back government-supported old-style apprenticeship schemes to take the place of unemployment benefit and give back to the feckless minority of our youth some pride in achievement, hope for a better future and respect for themselves and for others.