On Your Bike, Blair!

Cautious and I sleep easy in our beds, separate beds (not that it matters), knowing that our daily efforts make the world a better place to live. Sadly those around us seem determined to trash the place.

Our esteemed Prime Minister decides upon the perfectly reasonable step of charging people for taking their gas-guzzling, squirrel-squashing, asthma-triggering, planet-warming, penis-extending, road-raging tool of capitalist oppression out onto the nation’s cycle ways, otherwise known as roads. Unfortunately, he then allows his own website to be used for people to wish to express an opinion on the matter. Guess what? Things all get a bit Sheridan and over 1.8 million people sign a petition saying they don’t want to pay. People of Britain, you have been conned. Duped by marketing suits in red specs who have convinced you that your car will allow you to whizz around the Highlands without seeing another soul or take your family windsurfing and park right on the beach. The reality, brothers and sisters, is quite a different matter. You will be sitting in a sweltering tin box behind a huge truck belching out noxious gases in traffic jams 15 miles long, as your mobile phone rattles in your glove compartment and your arteries harden by the minute and all for the privilege of getting to work to stoke the fires of capitalist greed. It is time to break free.

Our friend from Shropshire who started the petition believes charging is “sinister and wrong”. We doubt that it is more sinister than an online petition that is hosted by the target of the petition. Just fill in your email address and contact details it innocently asks. So, you give the government your contact details as you complain about a matter of government policy. I think not, comrades. Mark my words, they will use this to come round your house and confiscate your laptop as a weapon of the revolution. Which, of course, it is. Do not be fooled. Mr. Blair now knows that road charging will cost him 1.8 million votes and he knows exactly who these people are. To us, that is as sinister as whale-skin trousers.

The petition also suggests that money should be found to improve roads to ease congestion. Maybe we missed a meeting, but Cautious and I can’t quite see how making something easier to use will encourage people to seek an alternative to using it. Congestion will be eased by getting the evil motor car off the road, not by making bigger roads. It is time, brothers and sisters, for a library driven transport revolution.

Under new LLF proposals, we aim to take road charging to radical new levels. Those with 4×4 cars have clearly more money than they need and will be charged 16 times the rate of the average family car. Nissan Micras will be exempt, as will Trabants, for they are revolutionary and quite cool. All those using the roads for cycling will be given library fine waivers and “Love me, love my cycle” t-shirts. The enormous state wealth generated from charging will be used for installing libraries on trains and to fund trips to China to politely ask them to stay on their bikes. While we are there, we will also be looking at ways in which mobile library services can be migrated to a rickshaw-based solution. Come and join us, you know it makes sense.