Friday, December 15, 2006

Houe of Lords debate cyclists

The transcript of the House of Lords debate on cyclists yesterday makes interesting reading. The Lords comes across as the real world debate in miniature, with motorists refering to cyclists as 'they':

Baroness Knight of Collingtree: My Lords, in addition to the misdemeanours of cyclists to which the noble Lord, Lord Janner, referred, will the Minister note that they also have an unhappy habit of riding the wrong way up a one-way street? I very nearly hit one the other night because not only was he doing that, but he had no lights on. Is that legal?

I was very nearly hit by a car driving the wrong way up a one way street*, does that mean they have an unhappy habit of driving the wrong way up one way streets?

The cycling Lords seem much more articulate, but that could be my personal bias :)

* lots of cars turn left into Skinnergate when leaving the car park behind Barclays Bank, despite the exit being left turn only and Skinnergate being a one way street.


richardgrassick said...

The language is a dead give-away. The "they" you refer to reminds me of the treatment of drug addicts, prostitutes, the unemployed, single parents, asylum seekers, muslims, jews in the 30's. etc etc. Is it called othering, fitting into boxes or marginalising? Either way, a simple illustration of how mainstream normals fail miserably to understand people who live beyond their own experiences. Is this not called conservative (small c)?

Without being over the top, I honestly believe that the term cyclist, from such a perspective, is an equally derogatory label.

Can I suggest a language campaign to smear those car drivers who lust after soft, expensive leather car interiors with all the latest electronic gadgets? Don't THEY all have sexual problems?

Entries welcome..

Mike said...

I already have a name for them, but it's not very polite :)

I do instinctively think "tiny penis" every time I see one of those stupid Americanised 4x4s.

richardgrassick said...

Strange. Bea says the same thing every time "they" pass us.

richardgrassick said...

Here is the same debate in the year 2016:

Lord Sawyer of Darlington asked Her Majesty’s Government:
How many cyclists were killed and how many injured in the United Kingdom in hours of darkness during each of the last three years for which records are available.

Lord Beckham of Trafford: My Lords, the numbers of cyclists killed and injured in darkness in Great Britain are as follows: in 2013, 25 were killed and 3,249 injured; in 2014, 40 were killed and 3,282 injured; and in 2015, 38 cyclists were killed and 3,168 injured.
Lord Sawyer of Darlington: My Lords, I thank my noble friend for his Answer. Does he not agree that the law ought to be enforced against motorists who drive at their own risk and at the risk of others, who drive at night above the speed limit or with faulty lighting? They are a danger to themselves and they create fear among honest, decent, careful cyclists like myself, and no doubt like the person who cycles the Minister around.
Lord Beckham of Trafford: My Lords, certainly, honest, decent cyclists such as my noble friend are assisted if motorists are properly equipped and obey the urban 20mph limit. In law, the only enforcement is having lights at night, as the local bobbies still refuse to enforce the 20mph laws. We are concerned about cycling safety; that is why we put such a great emphasis on it with regard to school children and young people. The incidence of accidents at night is relatively low compared with accidents in daytime.