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A Future err…Fair For All?

February 21, 2010

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=fair&iid=8031156″ src=”c/4/7/3/Gordon_Brown_Sets_70bd.jpg?adImageId=10593806&imageId=8031156″ width=”380″ height=”253″ /]

Canterbury, England – Fair: free from favouritism or self-interest or bias or deception, conforming to established standards or rules, characterized by frankness, honesty, impartiality, or candour, open, upright, free from suspicion or bias, equitable, just.

An interesting definition in light of the UK Prime Minster Gordon Brown yesterday unveiling the Labour governments ‘new’ election slogan ‘A future fair for all’. It appears that Labours king of spin Peter ‘The Elf’ Mandelson also had a ‘senior moment’ apparently forgetting that the same ‘slogan’ was used at a Labour Party Conference seven years ago.

Fair for all? Is it fair Mr Brown that you allowed the closure of the Corus steelworks on Teesside with the loss of up to 9,600 jobs, in the same week you announced that the Afghanistan war would cost £4.5billion. Is it fair Mr Brown that your government allows the best part of two million people to remain in the UK illegally when there are currently 1.64million people unemployed. Is it fair Mr Brown that you allowed your constituency MP’s to claim expenses on almost anything they fancied, while ‘following the rules’ of course.

While over at the Bullingdon Club err sorry that should be UK Conservative Party HQ party leader David Cameron has an obvious grasp of fairness, with an alleged thirteen members of his shadow cabinet ex Eton cronies nine of whom are alleged millionaires fairness is high on the agenda. Not to mention of course Mr Cameron’s take on fairness in sending lists of prospective parliamentary members to constituency party groups instead of allowing them to choose their own candidates. BTW Dave cannot wait to read you transport policy motorcycle and scooter wise!

So what about a ‘future fair for all’ biking wise. Well it’s not very fair that Westminster City Council have inflicted parking charges is it. It’s not fair that this summer Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire are to join Sussex Police stopping bikers for ‘a friendly chat’ and err offer them a hi-visibility jacket to wear. It’s not fair that of the better than two hundred and fifty motorcycling research projects carried out in the past ten years only the negative ones see the light of day.

Surely what is fair for one is not fair for all……..discuss.

This week the BRR news hound returned from one of his trips to ‘the north’ in a somewhat agitated state. It took a good twenty-minute rub down with a copy of The Spectator and a cup of hot cocoa before he could explain his condition.

It appears that while enjoying the return trip on Grand Central Trains, the UKs smallest but best rail franchise. Look if the BBC can do product placements so can we!! He discovered, stuffed down the back of his seat, a copy of the British Motorcycle Federation (BMF) magazine ‘Rider’. After spending a gratifying forty-five minutes drawing smilies and moustaches on the pictures he fell to reading the mag. Only to discover that a piece written by the BMF’s lobbyist appears to infer that those involved with forums, social networking sites and err blogs are morons. It took only a nano second for the hound to take this personally. ‘OMG does he mean us’, he cried.

BRR quote of the week; “I do this real moron thing, its called thinking, and I’m not a very good citizen because I like to form my own opinions.”

© Back Roads Rider 2010

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2010 1:17 am

    Well said, if people new to bikes don’t show an interest in what’s going on they will lose PTW’s very soon. We have to get together, be angry, and fight hard, otherwise we might as well start buying the inflatable jackets now.

    The parking thing is just the thin end of a wedge to do away with two wheeled transport, instigated by people who have never cocked their legs over something with less than four wheels.

    The NoTo lot have passion, so come on MAG and BMF, remember what you were, wake up or lose everything. NoTo have become good at PR, legal stuff and IT, learn from them, quick.

  2. Bert & Ernie permalink
    February 22, 2010 9:30 am

    The BMF lobbyist was such a nice kid when he started. But should he be the person to blame for writing such a condescending, arrogant piece of tripe? In the end, the articles about lobbying are the responsibility of the Committee Chair and ultimately the entire BMF upper eschelons.

    So that is where the buck stops. When an employee writes a piece in the members’ magazine whinging because the membership is going down the toilet and blaming Web 2.0 for it, then you have serious problems.

    It’s a bit like Nero fiddling when Rome burns – instead of lobbying and making the issues known to the members – with all the garbage that’s going on – choose from the vast selection out there, any topic:

    1)The huge drop in test candidates because of the DSA’s arrogant application of the 2DLD.
    2) The Framework regulation – instead of kissing the industry’s arse with Riders R Voters – what about fighting them on the anti-tampering proposals that they are trying to push through.
    3) What about the 3DLD coming up? What’s going happen there?

    Instead of being a haggle hero, the BMF’s lobbyists are just full of over active cringe glands.

    The article says, “An overall point is that they will, by virtue of inexperience and lack of scale, squander resources due to inefficiency”. “The benefit of the BMF is that we can help in all these areas as we have this experience and ability on tap through our paid staff and volunteer network. However, this doesn’t necessarily translate later into money we can use to keep the paid staff and service the volunteers. There is an enormous and growing problem here and we need to find a solution to it.”

    But the BMF is broke because of their own stupidity, arrogance and incompetence, and this article is a perfect example of why this has happened.

    The answer should be – use the tool (Web 2.0) to its capability, get on with the job you are employed to do. Get information out, show that you are busy. Don’t tell riders what you are going to do for them, or instruct them in what you expect them to do, simply get the message out to empower riders with the right information. Keep them informed, because that’s what you’re paid for.

    In other words, stop whinging and don’t stay up at night worrying what us morons think of you.

    Be a haggle hero.

  3. February 22, 2010 11:35 am

    As someone who uses forums, social networking sites and blogs, I obviously don’t think that all those involved are morons. In fact, I even use twitter and facebook (because I am still under the age of 40).

    However, I do think that those who cannot stand by their convictions and need to hide behind pseudonyms should be treated with a pinch of salt. And that’s not the same as saying everything they say is nonsense.

    BTW: where did you conjure up this figure of 2 million illegal immigrants from? Everbody has a personal network of around 100 people according to social researchers and therefore we should each on average have around 3 or 4 friends who have crossed the arbitrary border illegally. Unlikely, I think.

  4. Hung Lo permalink
    February 22, 2010 11:28 pm

    Well BMF Tony…..so everybody who posts on biker forums throughout the UK has opinions that aren’t worth a pinch of salt

    ……keep digging.

    According to social researchers, a baboon has a social network of around 150 – where did humans go wrong?

  5. February 23, 2010 7:45 pm

    I do think the ‘pinch of salt’ phrase is too general. I can only speak for the accuracy of our little blog, but for many posts we spend a hell of a lot of time on research, and when we have a ‘don’t believe us’ moment more often than not we provide the documents to back up what we’re saying.

    I understand there is almost the feeling you can write any old tripe on a blog, but unless your blog is intended to be just humours any blog that is trying to make a point will get more readers is they know what they’re reading is true.

    As yes too bloody true we use pseudonyms, you don’t think Westminster wouldn’t have tried to shut us down months ago if we didn’t. So if the posts can be backed up with documented evidence why do you need to know who wrote it?

    We work for free and have no budget, yet the council have millions to spend on PR and spin, cut us some slack, and just avoid blogs like ours if you want, but that might be a pity, because some of them might be useful to you at some point, in your line of work for the BMF. Or at the very least give you a little chuckle.

  6. February 25, 2010 6:37 pm

    Bert and Ernie – I have actually written about all three of those things in the last year or two as well as providing a great deal of information on local government legislation and culture. Occasionally, I like to discuss things with a wider importance than whatever is ‘hot’ at the time of writing because the magazine deadlines are two months apart and one month before publication meaning that keeping content current is notoriously difficult. As for using the tool, I believe that was the point of my article.

    Hung Lo – My mistake, humans actually have a personal network of around 150.

    Heather Brooke – If posts can be backed up by documented evidence then there is no fear of prosecution. Hiding behind a pseudonym is a way of avoiding responsibility for the consequences of your words. Some posts are obviously accurate and well researched, and for that very reason I would suggest they should be signed.

    • February 26, 2010 1:07 pm

      From what I read of life in the UK there is every fear of malicious prosecutions, unless you have deep pockets or know how to do the right handshake.

    • Hung Lo permalink
      February 26, 2010 10:30 pm

      My friend Lyka Donky says you’re worse than Wikipedia – first 100 is social network then you change to 150 like baboons – speak for yourself.

      As you say “All we can do with the cranks is to shout them down and not leave their idiocy unchallenged. After all, they may not even really think what they just wrote”.

      You don’t think what you just wrote and we challenge…….

  7. Bert & Ernie permalink
    February 26, 2010 7:45 pm

    Nobody gives a flying f**k about the excuses for the BMF’s downturn. What we want is news – what’s happening to bikers and what the BMF is doing to stop all the crap that’s coming our way.

    Your predecessor used the members’ magazine to give us good, solid information about issues that we care about – which were not local government legislation and culture…..or the BMF’s woes.

    Let’s look at the BMF website – recent issues – 26 September 2008?? Latest news – calling for CO2 labelling – woopee – what about the big issue of anti-tampering and emissions that ACEM are trying to shove down our throats. What about mandatory ABS or 100 bhp? What is the BMF doing? not FEMA, not MCIA, not MAG.

    Instead of wasting your time defending yourself – get on and do your job – then we’ll say nice things about you.

  8. Mr Bojangles permalink
    February 28, 2010 1:27 pm

    It occurred to me that as government relations person for the BMF, important person in FIM and now Director of FEMA, our young man must be very busy sharing his expertise amongst these three organisations. No wonder he’s struggling to cope.

    Still, with the responsibility of steering FEMA in the right direction – maybe we’ll see some action. One thing I would beg of him, is that he proof reads the documents they put out and please, please, please tell them that we ride motorbikes – NOT PTWs!

    • backroadsrider permalink
      February 28, 2010 1:32 pm

      PTW’S – OMG!

      Please, please, please its motorcycles or motorbikes not forgetting scooters of course.

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