We've not seen this AA van, EJ08XMD, before. Here it is, on Ashley Road. Or to be precise, Ashley Road's Pavement.
As you can see from the cars behind it, the driver could have parked further out, and still not inconvenienced passing cars. Well, probably not. But those AA van wing mirrors, they do stick out, they could brush against someone important driving past: a customer.
The people on the pavement -they don't count. The aren't revenue streams. Every person who chooses to not own a car is lost forever. Every household that opts to go from two cars to one: the revenue drops in half. And in today's troubled economy, customers are not things you don't want to lose.
That's why when Edmund King gets up on TV to speak up for us, "the motorist", he's really thinking of us "the customer", and our cars, "the revenue stream. We know this because whenever he's on telly, he's going on about outrageous fuel costs, road tax costs. Not once does he ever complain about the excessive cost of Car Insurance in this country, because that's the AA. Similarly, no discussion of how much full AA breakdown cover costs, or whether, given the improved reliability of motor vehicles since the days of British Leyland, whether it makes any sense. You can tell people who grew up in those days as they are the people who phone you when they get to some destination twenty miles away. "I got home", they say, as if we still worry that the Allegro or Mini will not get that far.
For that reason, we don't trust anything Edmund King says. The van drivers may be on our side, but management isn't.