Sunday 6 October 2013

The FTA: Britain's NRA?

The US Natiional Rifle Association is an organisation that promotes the us of lethal weapons across the USA
that brings death to its county, through
  • Lobbying politicians for support of its agenda
  • Actively resisting all proposals to add stricter restrictions on the possession and use of weapons.
  • Demanding looser restrictions in possession or use of the weapons.
  • Actually helping write the legislation related to the use of their weapons
  • Demanding the right to bring their weapons into places their clearly don't belong.
  • Speaking to the press after deaths cause by the weapons they advocate
  • Consider the deaths of people -adults and children- a price society has to pay.
  • Declaring that the deaths of the victims could be prevented through their training and possession of the same weapons.

If you change the weapon from "firearm" to HGV you find that the Freight Transport Association appear to have the same agenda and tactics.

Lorries, brought into cities and even bus lanes,  "self regulation". Bigger vehicles. No more training requirements, No extra limits on existing Lorries.

A couple of weeks ago we had their press team out blaming the victims on a day someone was killed by one of their weapons. They will have been at all the party conferences, pushing for less restrictions, no doubt express sympathy for the murder of so many cyclists, but arguing that it was the victims' fault -and If they were better trained it would be less of an issue.

And, if Private Eye is to be believed, they've been sitting in for the UK government in EU meetings on the forthcoming rules for large trucks across Europe.

For anyone who says "there is a cycling lobby", well, the new cycling activist groups may be loud, may be generating press -but none of them get to represent the UK government during legislation discussions; none of them get to have a stall at conferences.

Which is why the road lobby gets billions, while the cyclists get crumbs, crumbs that then get frittered away on mutual respect programs -because taking away road space is too hard -and not possible to do if you only have 18-24 months of time to spend everything.

What we do have is the ability to make noise, to approach the MPs in the cities, the MPs in the councils, lobby the new Police Commissioners (a losing battle for the Daily Mail fuckwits who mostly got elected, but still necessary).

And we need to get the press out that make the FTA look bad, to make them feel threatened.

Because if there is one difference between the NRA and the FTA is that the FTA are funded by companies with tangible business goals. And if they start to see that the alternative to making our streets safer is to be blocked out of cities entirely -Dublin style- then maybe they will come to their senses.

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