For all the chest-beating and frothy-mouthed bravado, the Government’s latest pronouncements around tightening up its capabilities to fine car emissions transgressors amount to nothing but a load of hot air that achieves little to nothing.

Look beyond the headline about "unlimited fines" - which will no doubt be seized upon by many - and it is hard to discern anything of tangible value that will come from the announcement, beyond some PR points and misplaced assumptions.

Government to punish emissions cheat devices with 'unlimited' fines

So the Government wants powers to take action against any company caught using a cheat device? Sounds great, but what does it mean in reality? 

Anyone with a passing interest in the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test (WLTP) and Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test, being phased in from this year, would know that no such reality is likely to ever occur again. It’s too little, too late, to have any meaning.

Opinion: the price we'll pay for tigher emissions testing

But let’s say that our homegrown experts did find something amiss. What will they do with these new-found powers? Take action against the offending authority that granted homologation to the offending car in the first place? Such action could only lead to legal wrangling par excellence and an outpouring of bad blood. Some finger pointing, perhaps, to say, ‘This scandal isn’t our fault but theirs!’ How pathetic.