A Timely Reform by Ian Ridley

Blog & web site of Ian Ridley

Targetting those minorities Part 1

Alex has left a comment about my Get Your Tanks Off Our Roads article. I am a little taken aback by the robustness of the comments but it raises several important points about my views that need clarifying, to the extent that they deserve a blog article or two rather than a comment back.

I’ll have to do this in two parts because I don’t have the time to answer all Alex’s points in one go:

1) I don’t post very often because I don’t have the time. I chose 4x4s and the BNP as topics of my most recent posts because they are issues that I want to write about. Not because I am looking to tackle them to the exclusion of other issues. If I had time, I’d hold forth about the Monarchy, Blair’s lack of consistency on human rights and immigration, over packing of goods in shops and yes air travel amongst other issues.

2) 4x4s are also something as a cyclist and driver that I see everyday. Again this makes me likely to write about it. Every time I walk, cucle or drive down the road, I see them.

3) Not all 4x4s are as bad as other cars, as the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s makes clear.

I’ll come to Alex’s other points, particularly about Liberalism when I have a moment

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3 Responses to “Targetting those minorities Part 1”

  • Alex Wilcock says:

    Morning Ian

    I winced when I saw your headline; oh, dear, I’ve gone and sounded like a foxhunter complaining he’s terribly victimised, haven’t I? Well, no, 4×4-drivers aren’t terrible victims and (as I said) Richard’s car isn’t green at all and should be taxed more heavily, so we’d both agree with you over toughening up party policy still further. The thing is, though, if you have a go at people in politics in an over-the-top way, you shouldn’t be too taken aback if they’re robust in return, and even when it’s not Richard, I have a knee-jerk reaction against whipping up fervour to stigmatise any particular group.

    My irritation, I think, stemmed from two things. Obviously, there was breaking the third most important rule of blogging* and posting something after being up half the night and feeling a bit grumpy, rather than sensibly waiting to read it through. Still, my own fault for being defensive and probably a bit intemperate too. I can quite understand why you’re wound up by them, but a couple of your terms set me off (as was pretty plain). I’ve always thought car use in general should be reduced, and for me 4x4s are more exaggerated and conspicuous symptoms rather than the problem. I wonder if attacking them is the thin end of the wedge to beating back other car use, or if, as I feel, it makes other cars seem all right by comparison? Of course cars are going to be used to some extent, and it makes sense to ameliorate their impact as much as possible, but does a 4×4 not used for most of the week do more damage than a so-called ‘green’ car used every day, to say nothing of regular air travel? And people can have other motives for having them other than destroying our children with a “b’wa haha”.

    Richard is, incidentally, looking up the car’s carbon footprint so far, so I’ll post more details later when I have the shocking truth.

    Now I must get back to my very slow drafting of my next green piece for my own blog, which will doubtless be met with more hilarity than usual after this 😉

    *I’ve yet to make up the first two, but I’m sure it can’t be the very most important one.

  • Zhukov says:

    I don’t think you can take anyone who bought a Vauxhall seriously.

  • Alex Wilcock says:

    Hello again 🙂

    Well, it’s, what (scratches head), 36 hours since I last posted, and I don’t know if you’ve got it yet, or if my reply was the only one or if there are tons debating in the dark. This moderation lark is like debating by return of snail mail, isn’t it?

    You’re also sadly about to drop off the bottom of Lib Dem Blogs, so if you pop this one up, it’ll probably just be you and me reading it. Ah well. Anyway, I wanted to let you know that Richard’s done some checking, and his elephant’s posted it here: http://millenniumelephant.blogspot.com/2006/05/day-1963-green-action.html

    If you know anything positive about carbon offset programmes, do drop him a line; he didn’t have time for in-depth research, so we’d like to hear if there are better ones.

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