Saturday, October 1, 2011


What a great day this has been. I went with friends to Morges, a lakeside town some 40 km from Geneva, to the annual British Car Rally. This event started some 10 years ago and has become really popular, with British cars from all over Switzerland and further afield, lining the waterfront and around the Chateau beside the lake. It is the local equivalent of the Goodwood revival without the racing, with car enthusiasts and the curious mingling freely.

I am in great admiration of the entrepreneurship and creativity of those Brits, who made such beautiful cars, frequently in small workshops, with a handful of talented people and risked their own limited financial resources, to realize their dream.  Many of the veteran and vintage cars exposed have now disappeared completely or been absorbed into the ownership of the major manufacturers.

All this was done without trade unions, health and safety, and endless regulations, but at a time bank finance was actually available for small businesses. One has to ask if the motor car were invented today, would all this achievement be possible, or would we simply have opted to go back to riding horses.

As Rick Wagoner, the ex CEO of General Motors eloquently summarized the situation, I came to be boss of a Car company, I ended up being the administrator of a Union Pension Fund.

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