2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Democracy In Australia 2012

Democracy In Australia 2012.

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Democracy In Australia 2012

Fast forward  a few years and things have got much worse. An elected PM removed by the very ruling class this post is about. We now have a government that was appointed by independents acting as ruling class. This government has no mandate to govern it wasn’t elected it was created by dirty back room deals.

Australia needs a Political revolution Party Politics is a failure.


de·moc·ra·cy  (di-mok’r?-se)

n. pl. de·moc·ra·cies

1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or throughelected representatives.

2. A political or social unit that has such a government.

3. The common people, considered as the primary source ofpolitical power.

4. Majority rule.

5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individualwithin a community.


ol·i·gar·chy   [ol-i-gahr-kee]

–noun, plural -chies.

1. A form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; Government by the few.

2. A state or organization so ruled.

3. The persons or class so ruling.

What is wrong with Politics in Australia?

The definition of a Democracy is a government for the people by the people. Stop and ask yourself is this really true here in Australia?

Our elected officials at all levels of government don’t truly represent us the “People”. These elected representatives are beholding more to the “Party Line” than they are to people who voted them into their positions. Very few of these elected representatives are willing to go outside the party line.

Where does that leave us the “People”?

This situation leaves us at the mercy of faceless men and women; in many cases these faceless people are not even elected representatives. They are in many cases the faceless power brokers of whatever party your elected representative belongs to.

What has happened to Democracy in Australia?


We have become lazy when it comes to challenging the performance of those people we have elected and we are encouraging it by remaining ignorant.  In this respect we have created a ruling class.

This ruling class that we have created has all the arrogance that you would associate with a ruling class. These people we have elected to represent us have forgotten whom they work for.  It is time that we reminded them that we are the employers, with out us they would not be in their position as leaders of Australia, and that we are very unhappy with their performance.

Below this elected ruling class is the “Public Service” this is second layer of the ruling class we have created.  Although we may vote in a new government our “Public Service” departments remain in their positions.

The Public Service has also forgotten whom they work for.  While we may see elected representatives move on, there always remains this solid layer of rot, the Australian Public Service.

This is our country and we have handed it over to this arrogant ruling class.  It is way past time that we, the Australian people, stand up and say enough is enough. We need a return to a true Democracy. We need people who will represent  “The People”, not party line.

This 2013 election has no Parties that have the core quality of true Democracy and representation of what the people of Australian truly want.

We need change.

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Inspired or Not

Goodwood Mini at Kings Beach.

It has been a few months since we took delivery of the Goodwood. So now its time to consider the pros and cons of this car. I don’t like some things about the Goodwood some of that is based on stupid decisions by BMW/MINI.

Build Numbers:

I have just about had enough of the bloody screaming minorities who affect our lives. They are at the core of why the Goodwood has the silly 1 of 1000 on every car. BMW/MINI didn’t want to offend any cultures that are numerically challenged ie superstitious about certain numbers. There are also the I gotta have a certain number idiots who also are to blame. What is really silly about the whole thing is these cars could simply have been numbered as they come off the production line. My car is number 108 of the production line but BMW/MINI will not even issue a letter to confirm that.

The not really there interior:

They got the interior mostly right but then got lazy with a few black trims bits that stand out like dogs balls. Things like the passenger grab handle and seat height adjuster and various other bits of trim. While not an epic fail it just shows they were not fully committed to the interior. I cant imagine Rolls Royce signing off on crap like that in their cars.

Another Rant:

I have looked at a lot of forums looking for other Goodwood owners, after reading pages of negative crap I can understand why not many Goodwood owners would put their hand up. I expected to read a bit of negativity on other brand forums and this was the case. However I surprised at the level of negativity on Mini forums. Here you have a group of people who applaud someone who spends 10’s of thousands of dollars customizing a Mini but then to turn around and be negative about a car from the factory that is a little expensive. One word comes to mind “WANKERS”

Now that I have the rants out of the way…. What is the Goodwood like after a few months?

I do honestly love this car I smile every time I see it. It doesn’t get out much it still only has just over 1100klm on it. But every outing is memorable. We have taken it to, two car shows and both times it has won best in show. Driving it is just like driving any Cooper S but better… It does drive differently I know because I move from my JCW to the Goodwood and there is just something different between the two cars. Put your foot down and the Goodwood just goes. It has a JCW airbox fitted and I have seen this on a few other Cooper S’s so it might just be a parts availability thing. I would like to see a few other Goodwoods to see if they all have the JCW airbox.

I think BMW/MINI could have fitted Brembo brakes as fitted to the JCW but with black or silver calipers. There is nothing wrong with the brakes I just think the Brembo’s would have been a nice touch.

Since we have owned the Goodwood we haven’t cleaned the interior… GRUBS you say… Well not really we take so much care when getting into this car that no dirt has found its way in. Compared to my JCW which has probably had a dumpster load of crap cleaned out of it over the same period.

Inspired or not?

While I love this car and we will have it for a very long time I think BMW/MINI missed the mark in making a truly Inspired car. What would have improved it is…

1. A JCW Tuned Engine.

2. Brembo Brakes.

3. Better attention to detail on the interior


So really its only kinda a great effort…

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Mini an Inside Story.

When we buy cars there is often not much choice with interior colours. Black, Grey mixtures of black and grey. If you ask your dealer for some choices and its sure what would you like black or Grey…!

Then we have Mini..

Rooster Red Lounged Leather

This is the interior of our first modern Mini. This was a recreation of a MK I Mini Cooper S I use to own many years ago. It had a red interior timber dash and timber steering wheel. This Mini Cooper D has Rooster Red Lounged leather with the Old English Oak option the steering wheel finishes this interior of very well. Sadly Rooster Red leather is now gone, as is the option to ad the timber look to the steering wheel.

Rooster Red

The next Mini is our second one.

Cream Leather

This is a Mini Clubman Cooper S. This was very nice place to sit as well with cream leather and the Old English Oak option. This one didn’t get the Old English Oak steering wheel.

Even with a nice leather option in a Mini you still get lots of vinyl and plastic surfaces but at least in a Mini you can option some colours.

Goodwood & JCW

Here are two very contrasting statements on Mini interiors. This what I love about Mini’s when you buy or special order a Mini you can make it what you want. You can go crazy or you can be conservative. I think it would be hard to find another brand in the Mini price range that offers such a huge choice of trim options.

I have seen a few reviews where they are critical of the signature Mini interior style. I honestly don’t know what these people are expecting. If you want normal bland interiors then only road test Toyota’s they have a whole range of bland and dull interiors for them to look at.

Ian Fraser


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The Goodwood Review

The Mini Inspired by Goodwood it is a interesting name for a very different parts bin special. We have materials and paints from Roll Royce. We have the heart of a Mini Cooper S. And 1000 very lucky people will get to own this little Gem.

Only 10 have made it to Australia and I have 1 of those 10. I have not seen any drive reviews or any hands on reviews of the Goodwood. I suppose Mini Australia didn’t put one in the press fleet.

So it is left to an owner to provide a review on the Goodwood.

None of the online photos do the paint any justice it is simply stunning up close it has a depth and quality beyond what you see on other Mini’s. The interior is full of Rolls Royce corn silk leather the quality and feel of this leather is exceptional it makes the leather in other Mini’s feel as hard as a park bench. Everything about the interior is about quality. I had a Mini with the old English Oak trim option and I use to call that genuine fake wood. In the Goodwood its the real thing. But it is coated in so much clear varnish it feels and looks like plastic.

The boy racer has been taken out of the Cooper S in the Goodwood there is no bonnet scoop and there are no flappy paddles on the steering wheel for the automatic. Having owned an automatic Cooper S these paddles were handy for when the auto wanted to hold a gear for too long. The Goodwood is the same in this regard where it holds 4th gear for too long in traffic. The Goodwood still has the Sport button and you can still move the Auto to manual mode I will how ever miss the flappy paddles in spirited driving.

Under the black paint and the corn silk leather there is the heart of a Cooper S so all the fun performance and handling of the Cooper S is there. It feels more refined and quiet than my last Cooper S auto. It may have something to do with higher quality carpet fitted to the Goodwood.

I have seen plenty comment online about the Goodwood a lot of that questioning the value of this car. The most common comment is why would you buy one when its twice the price of a normal Cooper S. Well it is almost twice the price of a base Cooper S. However if you are a high end Cooper S buyer with lots of options selected then the Goodwood isn’t that much more expensive.

You can option Mini Cooper S to within a few thousand dollars of the Goodwood. I have a well optioned JCW Clubman that is pretty dam close to the Goodwood in price. So people do shop at the top end in the Mini world.


Is the Goodwood a practical every day car? No I don’t think so you couldn’t (I couldn’t) leave in a car park at the mercy of other drivers who love to door cars or run shopping trolley’s into your car. The interior would be a nightmare to keep clean as an everyday car.

Our Goodwood the one in these photo’s will be a Sunday club run car it won’t ever be a daily driver and it will never go to the shops to buy milk.

9 other people in Australia will make choices about their Goodwood’s and how much they are used. I doubt many of them will be daily drivers.

I believe Mini have made a mistake in not giving these cars individual build numbers. How hard would it have been to do. The 1 of 1000 is honestly a bit of a cheap out on BMW’s part.

The Goodwood Register:

I am curious to know if any other Goodwood owners are interested in being part of a Goodwood Register. Leave a comment if you are. What form it will take is yet to be decided.

Ian Fraser


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The Easter Camp Site

The Easter Camp Site

Andrew Drynan Park

This is a panorama of a number of images taken in portrait orientation.

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