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Hung or Hung Up??

May 7, 2010


Prestatyn, Wales – A hung parliament that’s a surprise…..not!

The British people have spoken. The result? The voters don’t have enough trust in any of the three main political parties to allow them to govern. So now days of behind the scenes horse-trading and sleight of hand while manifestos and political dogma are magically realigned to produce a ‘working’ coalition.

‘Working’, but who for? Surely if the post general election rhetoric on ‘what’s best for the Nation’ was sincere the three main protagonists Gordon ‘aye laddie’ Brown, Nick ‘romeo’ Clegg and Dave ‘the boy’ Cameron would come to together in a government of ‘national unity’ to navigate us out of the mess they got us all into in the first place. But no, in this case ‘working’ means working for your own political agenda this is ‘what’s best for the Nation’ on party political lines. It’s really about power and getting and retaining it. Who is going to win? I’m betting its Dave and the ‘Eton rifles’ that will emerge smirking on the steps of Number 10 in a few days time. OMG I hope I’m wrong.

How do you know if you can trust a prime minister? Simples. Ask yourself when comes right down to it would he/she be prepared to hit ‘the button’. Well in the UK’s case issue the codes to allow the captain of our single Trident submarine now hovering quietly below the arctic ice to target and fire our contribution to Armageddon. Interesting thought isn’t it. Would Dave do it, come to that would the submarine commander do it. Of course the answers a conundrum.  If no, then why bother spending the billions in the first place. If yes, well you can’t be much of a political negotiator and compromise finder can you. Mind you Dave’s going to be a sure-fire winner of the Bullingdon Club bragging rights contest. ‘I’ve got a Trident submarine’ tops ‘I’ve got a new BMW’ any day.

So what about biking. There’s no doubt much back slapping going on among the ‘Riders Are Voters’ posse. But what next? How do we avoid being ‘hung up to dry’ by the next crew through Westminster. Where’s the road map from the Riders Groups for the next five years. Where’s the immediate post-election launch of a well-funded information campaign to get all those new Members of Parliament on side with motorcycling.

Things like; Motorcycle use of bus lanes. Secure parking facilities for bikers. Road safety advertising campaign directed at motorists and designed to make them more aware of motorcyclists. Prompting scooter use to younger citizens. Sorting out the current mess around the testing regime. If fact all the usual suspects bikewise. Take a lead from the Write to Ride folks in Northern Ireland their stuff is already in the post with a hard “Let’s Keep Motorcycling Moving Forward” message.

Its goodbye to Lembit Opik MP. The Liberal Democrat failed in his attempt at re-election in his, now former, Montgomeryshire constituency. Often cited as a high-profile supporter of motorcycling his affectation with asteroids, cheeky girls and anecdotes about crashing meant that in some parliamentary circles he did more harm than good for biking. Still he got down some good parliamentary questions and was a great foil for the ‘industry’ lobbyist. BRR’s insider reckons that Lembit  will shortly be appearing as a Motorcycle Industry Association ‘advisor’.

Political thought of the day. There may be trouble ahead.  But while there’s music and moonlight and love and romance. Get on a bike and ride like hell’s after you preferable with a cheeky girl as pillion.

Buna gagica doriţi să plimbare cu un motociclist chipes mare.

© Back Roads Rider 2010

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2010 9:14 am

    Where would we be without the Google translator – you handsome biker you! On “I’ve got Election News for You” last night Lembit had his begging bowl out – in the foot-steps of past political has-beens. I wonder what happened to Christina wotsername – and hubby – the Tory couple from hell?

    Thanks for the plug for Write to Ride – always grateful. Note how we generously promoted RidersRVoters on our website. The MAG UK chairman approached us and asked if we could publicize their campaign. We thought, why not? no skin off our nose – so we were happy to oblige, although we didn’t really understand why, considering neither the BMF or MAG UK have even bothered with the political scene here.

    Things on this side of the duck pond have gone somewhat differently than in GB. It’s a funny old world here – once you get past the God rhetoric, it’s like everywhere else – as Clinton once said “It’s about the Economy, Stupid!”

    The one thing that the UUP (Ulster Unionist Party)learnt was that it was not a wise decision to get into bed with the Tories – none of them got a seat including their leader. The TUV (Traditional Unionist Party) learnt that nobody gives a monkey’s about raking up the past – Them “Terrorists” Us – “Defenders of the Union”.

    The DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) learnt that their leader (that’s the one known – allegedly- to be head of the “Swish” Family Robinson) is a handicap and it will be interesting to watch over the coming weeks to see how they shaft him. Sinn Fein is living proof that you can get elected to Westminster, not attend any session and still get voted in.

    What we learnt from our BikersRVoters experience seems to be a reflection of why people vote in the first place – it has little to do with party politics, rather it’s the individual candidate that matters.

    Our local MP actually hand writes his letters to his constituents and when he attended an event recently (no fanfare, just a personal visit) put on by Fallen Heroes MCC together with Bike Safe, he was really interested in what bikers (and his constituents) had to say. He appeared genuine and came over as being “one of us”. Motorcyclist and MP Sammy (Wilson) has been our greatest supporter.

    We went to a post election breakfast held at the penthouse suite of the Europa Hotel (famous for being bombed on a regular basis) in the centre of Belfast with the good and the great of journalism and politics to listen to the post mortem of what happened in Northern Ireland with the elections.
    We didn’t learn much more than we would have if we had stayed home and watched telly – but it was good to press the flesh and mingle.

    The highlight of the morning was when we were approaced by a chap out the front of the hotel, from Horizons Unlimited, which made it all worthwhile – we stood there exchanging stories and points of view – with a cigarette in hand of course….

  2. dave permalink
    May 10, 2010 12:20 pm

    Road safety campaigns aimed at drivers designed to make them more aware of riders? Check! Click to a campaign across Yorkshire and Humber using radio ads to personalise riders to other road users and remind them to look out for us, as well as visual materials…. yes that does include hi-viz tabards but with a difference and its for riders to decide if they want to get involved and wear them or not.


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