It’s interesting and optimistic that a heavyweight national daily has chosen this subject for a campaign, particularly when four years ago the very same organ ran a notorious suggestion to kill people at random.
“A festive custom we could do worse than foster would be stringing piano wire across country lanes to decapitate cyclists.”
Matthew Parris, The Times, 27/12/07.
Perhaps Mr. Parris should send a copy of his humourous essay to Mary Bowers’ family to cheer them up?
In his defence poor Parris had a deadline pending, it was holiday time, he had to write something. A community-service order, for incitement to murder plus two years prison – suspended – for being unfunny, might be a fair tarriff? Hateful as this kind of gormless idiocy may be, outbreaks are a symptom of progress. If the poor lambs didn’t feel threatened they’d pick some other target.
Just as it was a mistake to get too upset at the hate-criminal’s sorry little rant, let’s not feel cynical in not treating ‘Cities fit for Cycling’ as a brave new dawn. A strategy for long-term engagement in street politics is not getting too depressed or too triumphant. Take a long view. Round here at least, things are getting slowly better.
When you read the figures for those who endorse the campaign, remember, some only signed-up to leave a ‘SACK PARRIS NOW’ message.
Once upon a time buying newspapers was normal and riding a bike was odd. Not anymore.