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Richard Glover: We can handle the truth

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Starting your car in the morning used to take more effort than it does today. In winter, you'd have to warm up the engine before setting off, otherwise you'd chug and splutter to a stop. In summer, with no airconditioning, you'd need to open all the windows, including the crucial vent window, a triangle of glass which, when properly angled would direct air into your sauna-on-wheels.

But the main hassle was security. Unless you had a lock-up garage at both home and work, you'd need to purchase a steering wheel lock, a clumsy device with an arm extending up towards the window to prevent the wheel being turned. This ungainly device would be wrestled in and out of position at the start and end of every journey.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the National Press Club of Australia in Canberra. His list of perils afflicting our lives failed to mention climate change.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Many people also had a car radio that was constructed so that the front panel could be removed each time you made a stop. Sydney was full of people walking around with half-a-radio in their handbag or pocket. It was the only way of stopping someone ripping out your radio, a task they'd achieve by first smashing in the window.

So ubiquitous was car crime that some people just gave up – leaving the car unlocked, the empty radio slot dangling wires, with a sign saying: "We already gave".

Once you arrived home,........

© The Sydney Morning Herald