Photo of a fountain pen and ink blotsLast week
saw Motor Finance editor Fred Crawley off to Munich for
our sister magazine Leasing Life’s annual conference and
awards, taking reporter Grant Collinson with him. Leaving me in

To the surprise of all concerned,
both colleagues returned to find the office not burned out, with a
Lord of the Flies-style hierarchy established and me
declaring myself King of the Hamburger People.

Instead, I learned a new lesson in
respect for the burden carried by editors in the endless refusal of
inappropriate media junkets.

Maybe it was this fatigue that
drove the major editorial decision of my tenure – not to accept the
invitation to cover the turning on of the Christmas lights in
Regent Street.

Or maybe it was just my regular
jaded attitude toward a press release cajoling me along to
something I could have seen for free anyway and of my own volition.
My exclusive access to the celebrity light bulb extravaganza was on
a par with anybody on a 94 bus and most pigeons.

A far more noteworthy and noble
press release to celebrate, however – though no-less filled with
noise, lights and family entertainers – was the news that
Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) is using its Milton Keynes
telephone hub as a call centre for Children in Need.

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By GlobalData

As an ex-BBC journo, I know the
Pudsey drill pretty well, and know just how much hard work is put
in by volunteers. One year, I did a sponsored rowing machine
marathon in a central corridor of Television Centre. Sheridan Smith
put some cash in my collection bucket, somebody from Girls Aloud
didn’t. I’m still bitter.

So yes – 150 VWFS employees will be
taking telephone donations on the night, and hats off to everyone.
Why not say hello to them and have a quick chat about PCP deals if
you decide to phone up with a pledge?

Talking of getting called by people
with finance queries, we got two good ones in the same morning this
month. The first was from somebody assuming that we were an IFA,
and another who hoped we were something to do with long-closed
lender Blue Motor Finance.

We explained that we weren’t, but
the chap had some questions anyway, regarding the fact that
payments were no longer leaving his account, and that he had no
idea what term length remained on his agreement.

We weren’t sure how to advise him,
other than to say that if he wasn’t having any money drawn from his
account by a company that had stopped trading some time ago, maybe
he should just consider himself fortunate.


Literary soul

“The isle is full of

Sounds, and sweet airs, that
give delight, and hurt not.

Sometimes a thousand

Will hum about mine ears; and
sometimes voices,

That, if I then had wak’d after
long sleep,

Will make me sleep again; and
then, in dreaming,

The clouds methought would open
and show riches

Ready to drop upon me, that,
when I wak’d,

I cried to dream

(The Tempest, Act 3, Scene 2)


So wrote the incomparable William
Shakespeare: bard, eternal poet, wordsmith of verse so beautiful we
still marvel at its sonic splendour… and regular reporter for
Motor Finance.


Photo of a painting of William ShakespeareFor
while the lyrical tragedy of human frailty may not be the first
impression one gets after a quick read of “Motor dealers take a
stand at FLA convention” or “Used cars fall slightly, 4x4s on the
up”, these words, lightly plucked from heaven, are as potent as The

That is, at least, according to the
website I Write Like, which professes to analyse any chunk of
written material and identify which famous author’ style it most

We have no doubt of the poetic
techniques employed by our reporters but, curious to see what
conclusions would be drawn, we began to test this website on the
work of our contributors and the press officers who so frequently
provide us with words.

To give some examples: who knew
that, as well as vehicles and finance packages, Volkswagen can
boast a press officer with the satirical wit to rival
Gulliver’s Travels, so akin is the style of their releases
to that of Jonathan Swift?

Naturally, 1980s surreal sci-fi
comedy is the favoured style of the communications team at the
BVRLA, who emulate the oeuvre of the late great Douglas Adams and
his masterwork The Hitchhikers Guide to the

Meta-modernist, post-modern realism is the preferred style of
the Department for Transport’s public relations team, which I Write
Like found to have an output most analogous to the American author
of Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace.

It will not have escaped your
notice that our own editor prefers the fantastic and the macabre
styling of the early twentieth century American short story writer
HP Lovecraft. You can tell when you meet him, can’t you?

We always knew we had the literary
skill and soul to match history’s greatest writers. After all,
truth is beauty, beauty truth and an efficiently written motor
finance news story is the height of human attainment.