When Grant Shapps the Transport Secretary came to the podium on 9 May I was for the first time disappointed. In fact I could scarcely believe my ears, here we are in the middle of one of the greatest threats to mankind and in particular this country and what do we get, Cycling!
Norman Tebbit, the then employment secretary commented that he grew up in the ’30s with an unemployed father. He didn’t riot. He got on his bike and looked for work, and he kept looking till he found it. His comments didn’t go down well and on yer bike was born.
Of course Cycling and walking are renowned for their health benefits but to give what was in effect a party political broadcast on behalf of the Green Party was simply wrong at this critical time. Here was a man with nothing to offer for the upcoming crisis in public transport due to the necessary social distancing measures in any relaxation of current measures. He, like a used car salesman, passed of Green agenda as some kind of saviour to a crisis for which he brought no answers.
Here is our governing elite, no doubt with a ministerial car, out of touch with the hardship faced by ordinary folk. Yes! there are those with money to spare who can kit themselves out with the latest cycling gear and can cope with all weathers. The reality for many with one set of clothing and no effective means of drying themselves out for the next morning, such dreams are just that.
For most of us lucky enough enough to own a car we can provide ourselves with a level of social distancing that public transport cannot match yet it is the car owner who is pilloried at every opportunity. Yes there is money for potholes, if you can believe that will ever be seen and for electric car charging points. Yet again the elite can afford an electric car but for mere mortals its the usual form of propulsion.
Had Grant Shapps name been spelt a little differently I would be proclaiming I wont be drinking to that.
Cheers, or not as the case may be!