Vince Cable at the wheel of an Aston Martin DBS yesterday
We can't honestly say we've seen Vince Cable knitting tofu or even sporting open-toe sandals, but here on PH we never thought we'd have the chance to say the Lib Dems are 'people like us'. (Eager consumers of fossil fuels, that is - we've not gone all party political on you!)
It's a lot more fun than a bicycle, eh?
So imagine our surprise to hear from both Aston Martin and Jaguar that one of the nation's most admired liberals spent much of yesterday getting his kicks from a range of Britain's finest supercars.
As part of an informal visit to Aston Martin, Vince met members of the executive team and enjoyed a brief glimpse of the company's Gaydon facility before he drove the company's flagship DBS model, we're told.
At Jaguar Land Rover, the official news release talks mainly about Vince's interest in the company's work on sustainable development in the shape of the Jaguar XJ-based Limo Green and the Range Rover Sport REHEV (Range Extended Hybrid Electric Vehicle), both of which are supported by state funding. Blah, blah, blah, etc...
It's all about the environment - we know!
However a picture is worth a thousand words, and the official shot from Jaguar shows Vince being ushered into the driving seat of an XKR Speed by Tata Motors MD Carl-Peter Foster, while sideways legend (and JLR chief engineer) Mike Cross waits in the wings to provide some tips, and also give the Business Secretary one of his (usually sideways) demo laps at the Gaydon test track.
"As I said on Desert Island Discs, driving an Aston Martin has always been a dream of mine," said the UK's Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills after what sounded like a top 'petrolhead' day out.
Wait 'til the Lib Dems hear... oh, wait...
"Fortunately for me Aston Martin took note and gave me the opportunity not only to test drive some of their cars but also to witness the high level of skills and engineering that go into making premium and niche cars in the UK."