Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sense of humour spreads ...

Not, of course.

Mr Parris's offences:

A festive custom we could do worse than foster would be stringing piano wire across country lanes to decapitate cyclists. It’s not just the Lycra, though Heaven knows this atrocity alone should be a capital offence; nor the helmets, though these ludicrous items of headgear are designed to protect the only part of a cyclist that is not usefully employed; nor the self-righteousness, though a small band of sports cyclists on winter’s morning emits more of that than a cathedral at evensong; nor even the brutish disregard for all other road users, though the lynching of a cyclist by a mob of mothers with pushchairs would be a joy to witness.

His apology:

I offended many with my Christmas attack on cyclists. It was meant humorously but so many cyclists have taken it seriously that I plainly misjudged. I am sorry.

The critics:

(Rhyl Cycling) Club president Bill Twigg said:

From a club that lost four cyclists, anything that brings more conflict between cyclists and motorists is a bad thing.

If it wasn't for the first sentence, I could have dismissed the article as bad journalism.

Roy Spilsbury, vice chair of CTC Cymru - the Welsh arm of the Cyclists' Touring Club - said:

Less than two years ago four members of Rhyl Cycling Club, ages ranging over three generations, were killed on a public highway.

Messages of sympathy arrived from the four corners of the world - and the world's press reported the personal tragedies involved with appropriate sensitivity.

That Parris believes that such people should be beheaded beggars belief.


Parris and The Times editor must be held to account. If necessary, through due process of law.

Triathlete Alison Steed, who said:

she knew of fishing line being stretched across roads at head height.*

The BBC said (showing their usual bias):

Mr Parris, who was a Conservative MP from 1979 - 86

My take - I am sure that the Rhyl foursome were fully upstanding members of society but, by and large, both in cities and in the country, cyclists are certain that the law has no meaning for people in lycra. Adults cycling on pavements, running red lights, littering (which is what Mr Parris was complaining about), blatant disregard for the rights of all other road or pavement users and smug and fucking rude with it.

Many cyclists are, in fact, a menace. Personally, I wouldn't countenance attempting random decapitation (and *: for a start, it wouldn't work unless you did it just before the peloton approached, but it might just wake white-van man up!) but a bar through the spokes of many is clearly a proportionate response.

1 comment:

JuliaM said...

"I am sure that the Rhyl foursome were fully upstanding members of society..."

Not to mention not killed by piano wire strung across the road but by a skidding driver. Hence not even relevant to the Parris article.

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