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May 26, 2010

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=squeeze+juice&iid=5168939″ src=”4/4/9/c/Man_squeezing_a_e4f5.jpg?adImageId=12986825&imageId=5168939″ width=”380″ height=”380″ /]

Barnard Castle, England – An economic policy of squeeze until the pips squeak has some advantages, it means that pip squeaks get squeezed too.

As the saying goes revenge is a dish best served cold. Thus I’m finding it hard to find any sympathy for the civil servants, QANGO queens, trustees and partnership representatives etc etc etc who will shortly find themselves jobless following the announcement of UK government economic cuts. With a £1.165bn cut in grants to local government, spending at the Department of Transport (DfT) reduced by £683m and Transport for London (TfL) taking a £108m hit there are going to be quite a few ‘old friends’ at a loose end in the coming months.

Perhaps that’s a little hard but considering the patronising, back stabbing, idea stealing, self-interested, self -aggrandising attitude that ‘these people’ who are certainly not ‘civil’ or ‘servants’ have to motorcycling and motorcyclists please, on this occasion, cut me a little slack.

The ‘new’ UK government’s position on safety cameras is a little err strange. It’s been announced that new fixed camera installations will not be funded, clear enough. So that means that the money collected from speeding fines from ‘old’ fixed installations and mobiles still goes directly to the government (Ministry of Justice). The Treasury then pass the money down to local authorities to channel into road safety. But wait a moment, as there are no new installations and the grants to local authorities are being cut doesn’t that mean that more cash will be going into government coffers than is coming out. Isn’t that called ‘netting off’ or a ‘tax on speeding’, didn’t that get junked by the Labour government in 2007 because of allegation that the cash from fines was being used to fund ‘other’ areas of government and not focused on reducing crashes. Bit confusing really!

While up in Coventry the period of enforced election purdah is over for the good folk of the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI). Galloping forth from their Rye Hill HQ , known to BRR readers as Camp Bastion, MCI have formally complained to the Parliamentary Ombudsman regarding the UK Driving Standards Agencies (DSA) implementation of the latest EU motorcycle test.  Wholly justified in my view and hey MCI even got a package onto the Channel Four news program about the issue. Maybe that’s  Lembit Opik pulling a few strings! Pity the response of the new roads minister, Mike Penning MP, wasn’t a bit more positive. In a statement to Channel Four News Penning said: “Road safety is a top priority and we must work to cut the disproportionately high numbers of motorcyclists killed on our roads each year. I will be carefully considering the motorcycle testing and training regime alongside the full range of road safety policy to ensure we have the best systems in place”

Have MCI an ulterior motive on the testing thing? I think so, more to come.

Not new news but good news. Talking of pip squeaks another one bites the dust. Westminster City Councils Danny Chalkley has resigned from his cabinet post.

Chalkley the key figure behind the implementation of Westminster’s controversial motorcycle parking charge has allegedly been the victim of the complete balls up Westminster made of awarding its parking contracts. Chalkley, the bête noire of London bikers, remains a councillor and said he was leaving his post “to concentrate on other projects”. Let’s hope they include a long journey over water!

Finally. As this is the one hundredth BRR blog many thanks to our thousands readers for your comments and support. We hope you get as much pleasure from reading it as we do writing it.

Ride Safe.

© Back Roads Rider 2010

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Master Po permalink
    May 26, 2010 9:46 am

    Congratulations BRR on your 100th posting – may there be many more. Coffee while reading your snippets and barbs, is a good way to start the day.

    To add to the mud sling – over in Brussels on the conference circus (oops that should be circuit), the DSA’s Paul Butler presented the government’s proposal for the 3rd EU Driving Licence to a CIECA conference – that’s where a lot of other uncivil servants and grovellers get together to spend our money on useless cerebral masturbatory concepts, legislation and other stuff.

    Butler’s (I hate you Butler…….’On the Buses’ comes to mind) bland, meaningless presentation, trotting out the usual (un)safety statistics – on GB’s position. From the presentation, it’s not clear whether Butler was attempting to cover up or dress down:

    but seems to have hidden all the little nasty gold plated details that the DSA warned that it would introduce. Gems like “Minimise cost for riders, trainers, regulators”. The Devil’s in the detail – only in this case – there is no detail.

    Fortunately the DSA is not alone – the Swedes are taking a different approach. Instead of “training or testing” between stages they are proposing to do both. When challenged on this the reply was: “European law only sets a minimum standard; we can add more.”

    So what are our defenders from the Midlands Triumvirate doing? Well apart from the self congratulatory pats on the back on that well known social networking site – not a lot it seems.

    We could all go to Brussels to partake in the International Motorcyclist Conference (well that’s if you can afford the 290 Euros) for the privilege of listening to the Commission experts telling us what’s good for us and what they plan to do for the future of motorcycling…..

    It’s not clear how that works – Our European defenders hold a conference which the EU Commission is paying them to hold, so does that mean that they have to be careful not to offend the Commission?

    Considering this is the same Commission that introduced the 2nd Driving Licence Directive – 3rd Driving Licence Directive. Now the Commission (DG MOVE) wants to establish a Motorcycle Forum so that they can have a “dialogue” with motorcyclists (motorcyclists of their choosing of course).

    As Albert wrote many years ago “We must not conceal from ourselves that no improvement in the present depressing situation is possible without a severe struggle; for the handful of those who are really determined to do something is minute in comparison with the mass of the lukewarm and the misguided. (Einstein, 1934)

  2. Honda90 permalink
    May 26, 2010 4:09 pm

    A hundred blog entries already? Have I really had a hundred unofficial tea breaks to read them? That’s got to be a good thing – keep them coming.

    Oh, and maybe get a proof-reader in to celebrate ;-))

  3. Kawasaki1100 permalink
    May 27, 2010 9:11 am

    Using the example of a members’ magazine where typos, spelling mistakes, grammatical f*ckups and omissions are rampant (and that’s after proof reading) – inspite of the odd complaint over the last 15 years, everybody seems to think that the editor is marvellous.

    Why a proof reader? they cost money and all considered there aren’t that many typos.


  1. Anonymous

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