Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Who will rid us of this troublesome person... with a brain and an opinion

Another week, another eco-fatwa. At least in the world according to Clarkson: Pot-Porritt wants me eliminated.

If nothing else it proves again what I maintain, that without him the enviro-brigade would be at a loss (and me, for blog material at least), and him without them.

Anyway it seems that major e-lite (that's short for eco-elite, but does throw up an interesting alternative) guru Jonathan Porritt has said anyone who 'shuts up' JC should be given a knighthood.

In this odd world where Morrissey can stay singing when he says a lot worse about meat-eaters, and some dusky-hued folk (and I mean ladies at the Cenotaph) can get banged up for saying a lot less, this seems quite mild.

But having done my 'O' level in Brit history, I seem to recall what happed to Thomas a Beckett, and it was on equally dodgy 'nudge-nudge, wink-wink.. I didn't actually say that' basis.

I must say it's a pity if he did say it, and in this day and age getting that fact confirmed will be a fun effort. Not. 

Because I saw Mr. P interviewed the other day, and it was more than reasonable and made a lot of sense. Saying silly stuff about JC does not. It simply gives him all the material required to write a very funny piece and make the whole environmental thing look a tad dull, boring and silly. And while you're nodding and laughing you miss out on the few howlers that JC has stuck in there  that just don't add up.

And much as I appreciate his contributions to all this, these I wish he's tone down. But it is a free world. For now.

To your credit

I like free. I like knowing stuff. I especially like knowing stuff about me. So I like this. Check out your credit rating for free this weekend 

It's not strictly material (though it is all about avoiding waste), and it has not been 'tested' yet by me, so I'll restrict it to here, but having followed the links to I don't see a problem and it's a major 'why not?'.

Navel Gazing

I just had to share this, courtesy of the FoE (who have a lot more hits than misses I'm finding): INFORMATION COMMISSIONER ADMITS HE FAILED TO COMPLY WITH FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 

Joking aside, it is symptomatic of a worrying trend, namely the fact that those who think they know best, but often do not, are seldom inclined any more to let us know what they are up to in case, god forbid, we may have another view.

The first casualty in war is the truth. It's getting more and more like the ongoing casualties of life today are bluster and obfuscation.

And without such as the FoE, they seem to be getting away with it. 

RE: cycling

I love cycling, if in a Dutch, flat-earth kind of way. Ross-on-Wye is basically built on the side of a valley, so you are either going up a steep slope and have to get off and push, or are burning brake blocks to avoid a headlong rush into the river (My family are the only one who go the wrong way round a gorgeous Forest of Dean trail because an investment pushing up a 1/2 mile hill means half a day coasting down a slight incline).
I also don't do major roads (a brush with an EU lorry wing mirror on the A40 highlighting the value of a helmet) or cities (a brush every 10 seconds with every car who would go from 30 to 50mph just to get past and then turn left 10' in front of me showing the value of all those TV ads about courteous driving. Not).
So you would think it clear which side I'd fall on when it comes to this article: How Nigel Havers incurred wrath of bicycling readers
But I'm afraid I pretty much agree with him (except the 'all' and 'bastards' bit, as that is straying into Clarkson silly shock-jock territory). At least based on what I read here.
Bearing in mind the media only quote that which generates more quotes (rather than a balanced view), we have such as "I have no objection whatever to occasional pavement cycling and have every sympathy with cyclists.", which justifies this on eco-grounds and health. The key here is 'occasional', where I would say 'common sense' and 'courtesy'. With my kids we do sometimes end up off road and in the vicinity of pedestrians, in which case they get the priority. If necessary by dismounting.

So I have little sympathy with those who have not done their cycling proficiency test or abide by its spririt. I walk my kids to school and with my Mum to the shops. Hardly a trip is completed without some cyclist who is so healthy they can't resist a short cut jumping a light, riding on the pavement or coming the wrong way down a one-way, at speed and with no consideration for others. And one day that is going to mean the health service does have an extra burden. Either from some two-wheel cretin finding out that they can't win in a head-to-head with an SUV, or some poor kid or senior who have come off second best when 40 kilos of muscle and bone atop a few kilos of metal and spokes hits them at 10kph.
It's illegal, guys. And dangerous. And if you're all growed up and want to assert your rights then obey the law.

Just because you feel aggrieved at the treatment meted out by idiot motorists, there is no excuse in simply doing the same to the next down the rung.

Remember, making a bike still causes emissions. Walking has no impact at all.