There's much ink being spilt in the papers over Prime Minister Gordon Brown's atttempts to turn his government around after a very turbulent autumn. The Westminster talk is of a re-launch in the new year and, no doubt, a raft a new policy announcements. But back in the real world, the government appears to declaring a full-scale war on nearly half of the electorate, and the half that's likely to be at full stretch in gainful employment.
Over the weekend a couple of very worrying stories appeared in the national press indicating just how the government seems determined to harass and bash motorists with a combination of sneaky new laws and big brother new technology.
The saturday Telegraph ran a story on new laws that will allow parking wardens, sorry Civil Enforcement Officers, to ticket a car without actually sticking a ticket on it. That move, combined with the reported break-up of the National Parking Adjudication Service, which has long been a thorn in the side of greedy council parking contractors, shows how much minor-league government ministers hate the driver.
We can all see the room for abuse when a parking warden issues a fine to a motorist who may have long left the scene and then uses the new, more compliant, local Parking Adjudication Service to insist he was in the right. But that sort of chiselling, crooked behaviour isn't anywhere near what's rumoured to be coming next.
Autocar has been told that 'surprise' legislation will appear in February allowing local authorities to introduce High Occupancy Lanes (HOVs) exclusively for cars with more than one occupant. Heat-sensing cameras - including some converted SPECS cameras - will police these roads.
The Highways Agency has also hinted that some four-lane motorways could soon have a lane reserved for drivers who are willing to pay a toll. These exclusive 'Lexus Lanes' further reduce road space and force drivers caught up the in resulting jams to cough up or sit still.
So there you have it. A parking ticket free-for-all, the independent parking adjudicator cut off at the knees, reduced road space for one-up drivers, heat-sensing big brother cameras and premium-rate jam-buster lanes.
The deadline for the next election is May 2010. I suspect that our non-driving Prime Minister will soon be rueing the day he sanctioned all-out war on Britain's hard-pressed drivers and hard-working private enterprises.