The recent announcement from the motorist’s chum, our very own jovial Eric Pickles, about the curtailing of council persecution of drivers for monetary gain is good news. It is tempting to think that the war on motorists is, if not over, then in abeyance but sadly this is not so.
You are all very well aware of the rise of the machines – the latest being the stealthy Hadecs3 – in this country that take no account of circumstance and of the general attitude of ‘authority’, so there’s no point in banging on about it again. The trouble is, it is likely to get worse here in the UK.
The Liberal Democrats – very much a minority in the House yet holding power by shoring up the Tories – have said that if they can again grab hold of the shirt-tails of the governing party, whoever that might be (It doesn’t seem to matter to them), they will begin demanding even more restrictions on car use. They will require a 10mph zone outside of schools, for example. On the face of it, most drivers won’t much mind. The horror of such an accident doesn’t bear thinking about. Sadly, this doesn’t equate with their demands on car emissions as they have already been told time and again by motoring organisations.
This naïve, simplistic approach is exacerbated by the Greens who hate cars with a vengeance not matched by any semblance of common sense whatsoever. They are led by a person who can’t string a coherent answer together and yet it is people like this who seem to hold sway with craven government officials who will do anything for a quiet life. So far so bad, you’d think, but this creeping anti-car attitude is filtering around the world in various guises.
Apparently, in Finland – a land that has given the world some of the finest rally drivers – an unfortunate chap broke a 50mph limit by 14mph. OK, he got caught and was duly processed. What is shocking is that he was fined the equivalent of £39,000 because he is a very wealthy man and they based the punishment on his income. A man, incidentally, whose labours generate economic wealth and who is now considering moving out of the country. What price success eh? Can you see what is wrong with this school of thought?
Switzerland has similarly penalised rich people who were caught bang to rights. Certainly these two stupid blokes were guilty of driving supercars at enormous speed in contravention of the rules but they were both fined humongous sums of money – because they were wealthy. That’s the thin end of the wedge, folks. Here in the UK the musician Steve Harley described his recent fine of £1000 ‘wicked and vindictive’.
The point is not to argue the toss over the rights and wrongs of motorists misdemeanours, it is to highlight how the attitude of those who see cars as the transport of choice for Satan hold sway over governments all over Europe. We all want cleaner air; we all want our children to be safe – that’s a given. Also, as I’ve written before, car makers are bending over backwards like lively yoga instructors to meet emission demands, yet still these querulous, opinionated minority groups blame cars for all our ills, when it really is not as simple as that. Maybe ordinary law-abiding drivers who enjoy their motoring should start bleating very loudly too. Do not expect things to get better. The war on motorists continues…