As we all now realise, the British car Industry does not actually exist anymore, except as a tiny cottage concern making bespoke throwback sports cars.

honda Meanwhile, the car manufacturing industry in Britain – there is an important distinction there – still exists, but they are either taking a break or on short-time working.

I continue to explain this important distinction on local radio stations around the country, usually a place where a car factory is vital to the local economy. And today it is Wednesday so I must be on the airwaves in Swindon talking Honda.

While it’s easy to understand why Jaguars and Land Rovers are having it tough at the moment, you might reasonably have thought that Honda would be rather more resilient. Anyway, the people in radio land – wherever they are – must wonder why management would turn down Lord Mandy’s help.

Well, it isn’t exactly ‘help’ is it? I pointed out the platitudinous nature of what was on offer, a mixture of feel-good green techno guff and some soft loans. To its credit, Honda would rather mothball the factory than get involved in whatever desperate measures the government has in mind.

Last week my whistle-stop radio tour took in Wales and the hugely respected Professor Garel Rhys, a stat machine par excellence who can talk for whole hours without deviation, repetition or, it seems, pausing for breath.