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I Ride……So How Should I Vote?

April 12, 2010

 

I Ride I Vote!

Leominster, England – Not a plea to vote for one particular party, more a look at the options.

General Elections are great suddenly every prospective politician wants motorcyclists as a friend, knows a motorcyclist or even used to ride a bike. Crikey! Prospective MP’s are even joining the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG).

So let’s take a quick surf through the biking world of the three ‘big’ political parties.

Labour – You really can’t knock the fact that the Labour Government produced, with input from the rider groups and industry, probably the best National Motorcycle Strategy of any European Country. Published in February 2005 and updated and re-issued in June 2008 the Strategy is comprehensive in its approach to motorcyclist’s needs and safety. A further review has been signposted for 2010. It has spawned numerous research projects, the SHARP motorcycle helmet independent testing scheme being one of the most notable. However the failure of the Labour Government to convert the Strategy into a comprehensive and implementable policy, as has been done with the National Cycling Strategy, is a lamentable failure. Without a policy and suitable funding the Strategy is dead in the water, simply being cherry picked for the ‘best bits’ mostly by road safety officers short of an idea.  Plans to merge the National Motorcycle Council (NMC) with the Parliamentary All Party Group for Motorcycling (APG) to create a single new body, a Parliamentary Advisory Council for Motorcycling, seemed to have stalled. Disappearing behind a Motorcycle Industry Association smoke screen. Indicative perhaps of a battle over who runs a policy implementation body or more likely hiatus induced apathy.

Conservatives – A search of the Conservative Party website for motorcycle issues produces little return for the effort. Rumours abound of visits, by ‘motorcycle interests’ to Party HQ on Millbank with the promise of a comprehensive motorcycle policy. Perhaps we will get a mention in the Manifesto if only the favourite cover all “cutting congestion on Britain’s roads”. A quote from Theresa Villiers, Conservative Transport spokesperson, is worrying. On January 20 2010 Ms Villiers said: “technology holds out real hope when it comes to making our roads safer not least when it comes to protecting groups at risk like motorbike riders”. So what does that mean?

Lib Dems – Certainly have the most prospective MP’s claiming motorcycle interests on their CV’s. I’m told ones even campaigning on a bike. Have a comprehensive transport policy document, “Fast Track Britain: Building a Transport System for the 21st Century”, which has a motorcycling section and includes recognition of motorcycles congestion busting abilities, but gives a kick in the crotch over our emissions. Promises of parking provision and setting of vehicle excise duty (VED) in accordance with CO2 emissions are encouraging. However the fact that the Lib Dems advocate road pricing will be downer to many voters.  What next? Vince Cable on a bike!!

Hustings Tip of the Week. When your prospective MP turns up on the doorstep and promises you everything your heart desires in return for a small cross in a box simple ask the following. Will you be accepting the party whip? Invariable the answer will be yes, excepting free votes. Which means all the chat about working for you and your community is complete b*****ks as he/she will simple vote in Parliament along Party lines and following Party instructions.

Just a thought – Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

© Back Roads Rider 2010

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sexy thing permalink
    April 13, 2010 2:17 pm

    There is a very interesting study from Stirling Uni. with results that provide strong evidence that facial appearance has important effects on choice of leader.

    http://alittlelab.stir.ac.uk/pubs/Little_07_faces_voting.pdf

    Was Blair voted in because he was cute and will Brown be voted out simply because he has a face like a twisted trainer?

    Who knows – but it might be better than trying to wade through bullsh*t.

  2. April 13, 2010 10:59 pm

    Here’s what the Conservatives promised MAG back in 2000.

    http://www.network.mag-uk.org/documents/conservative_bikepolicy.doc

    Pledged that the next Conservative government will introduce common sense measures to encourage more people to use motorcycles and mopeds.

    Believes that motorcycling should be at the heart of transport policy. Motorcycles, especially those with smaller engines, are less polluting than cars and make a minuscule contribution towards traffic congestion.

    They are part of our `Blue-Green’ agenda – our blend of Conservative common sense and environmental responsibility.

    It is a choice that should be available as one of the alternatives to private car use.

    Make motorcycling a more attractive and safe transport option.

    Allow motorcycles to use bus lanes and advanced stop lines at traffic lights, where it is safe to do so.

    Sort out the problems of diesel spillage and potholes which are an inconvenience for all road users but a real danger to motorcyclists .

    They warned that they will be clamping down on `antisocial cowboy bikers’ by making it an offence to drive aggressively with headlights on high-beam during daylight hours and by strictly enforcing legislation that bans replacement silencers that make bikes noisier.

    Draws a bated breath!

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