Friday 30 August 2013

The anti science, anti-cycling government

A lot of the arguments in favour of cycling are based on health, cost -it will save the NHS billions, and congestion: nobody has any other solution.

These arguments make sense to anyone who looks at the figures.

Except we have a government that doesn't give a fuck about scientific arguments.

This weeks badger cull is an example: the scientists say it won't work and be a waste of money, but it is going ahead. Why? To keep the NFL and rural tories happy. 

Those billions of new roads. No, they don't make sense, but the DfT doesn't care. It wants the money, the politicians the headlines. 

Then there is Fuckwit Pickles. His proposal effectively abolishes double yellow lines, would make driving worse though congestion, and, once the corner shop is surrounded by illegally parked cars, not even let you park near the shops. Yet the fuckwit -and remember this is a fuckwit who claimed for a second home as 37 miles was too long a commute- thinks double yellows should go.

Now we have "speed bumps will save the cities from online shopping". This is so bollocks its clear that Fuckwit Pickle just doesn't like speedbumps and is trying to justify it. Except: online shopping has been hurting out of town stores more -look at the John Lewis results showing reduced sales out of town malls as fuel costs increase. Paying to drive for half an hour each way to wander round a featureless mall? Shop online and pay less? All shops need a reason to be compelling, and speed bumps are not it.

The government is clearly anti-science, anti-evidence. Instead: headline grabbing measures that Daily Mail commenters like. Because those are the voters being fought over; the swivel eyed loons who don't want data, talk about "common sense" instead. Loons who only demand -then discount- data when it's bad news, like global warming. 

This creates a problem for cycle campaigning: we can't expect economic or health arguments to win, not when the politicians and the swivel eyed view cycling as a hobby for eco warriors -not a realistic option for themselves. 

Somehow we need to get the Daily Mail on our side, so the swivel eyed will follow - and then, perhaps, the politicians.

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