Brian's Blog

…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World

What I like to see in political news…

…politicians on bikes.

I think that’s about it.

I suppose it’s because I cycle everywhere, the one sure way I can relate to a politician, or anyone really, is if they’ve arrived somewhere by bike.

With politicians a big fuss can be made about their choice for two wheels. I remember years ago when David Cameron would arrive bike bike, but then get slandered for it because he chauffeur-driven car would arrive with him with all his paperwork.

I mean, at least he’s keeping himself fit, but if part of the cycling endeavour is to demonstrate something moralistic, or to pose for cameras, then to still be using a car for that journey (even if one isn’t in it) is a publicity failure.

Today it was a “well done” to Emily Thornberry; who arrived for her Radio 4 slot on Woman’s Hour by bicycle.

Since I don’t watch the news, or read newspapers, for most of the MPs I hear mentioned I have no mental image of them; I don’t know what they look like. I didn’t even know what Jeremy Corbyn looked like until last week. Even few local MPs wouldn’t get recognised if I passed them in the street. So when Emily Thornberry’s name and the fact that she had cycled to the Studios was mentioned I made a quick request to Google for images.

I’m going to say that I think that is a good look; it’s a smart bike and her attire matches superbly. Should she be forgiven for not wearing a helmet and gloves, or choosing not to use a practical rucksack? I think so; it would ruin her ensemble, even if it’s perhaps not the right image for youngsters. I can’t see a trouser-clip though, that’s a must.

99% of the time I wear gloves and a helmet, but then in a city I’d be working to either keep up with traffic or overtake it, which is different to casually pottering along.

I know Borris Johnson has been seen riding a bike, and his look, well, on a bike or not, is entertaining.

I found this picture along with an article arguing about MPs claiming travelling expenses for a riding a bike; but a bike isn’t a free ride as anyone who rides regularly will know. The argument that “it’s taxpayer’s money” is a silly one when you consider that all the money we have has come from someone else, although clearly when you’re on £75K a year, you don’t really need the £1 for your 5 miles travelled between meetings. Then again, if I was on £75K a year I’d probably retire already.

I can see the hypocrisy when such people arrive by car to talks about things like climate change, road congestion and road safety, or public health. MPs or not, you have to live how you want the world to be.


2 comments on “What I like to see in political news…

  1. taskerdunham
    6 June, 2017

    I grew up in a flat part of Yorkshire where nearly everyone had a bike and used them daily. They ruled the roads. There were so many that motor vehicles had to go along at bike speed when people were going to and from schools and workplaces. No one ever wore a cycle helmet. It must have been well into the nineteen-eighties before they became common. I’m still not convinced they are necessary.

    • Brian
      7 June, 2017

      I think the jury is still out as to the effectiveness of cycle helmets although I have heard of accidents where the cyclist has been told by a medical person that if he hadn’t been wearing a helmet it’s unlikely he’d have survived. Some would argue that riders take more risks when they wear a helmet and motorists are more cautious around helmet-less riders. Personally I think gloves are more important, since when I did have the occasional off it was my glove-clad hands that met the road, not my head. Aside from all this I like to set a good example for youngsters whose parents might want them to wear a helmet.

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This entry was posted on 6 June, 2017 by in Cycling, Health and Fitness, News, Politics and tagged , , , , , .
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