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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

December 21, 2005

Huh

George Monbiot in the Gonad yesterday, talking about car culture, transport policy, and Jeremy Clarkson (of course)... totally ripping this and (the late) Roadrage blog off.

It is strange to see how the car has been overlooked as an agent of political change. We know that the breaking of the unions, the dismantling of the welfare state and the sale of council houses that Margaret Thatcher pioneered made us more individualistic. But the way in which the transition from individualism to the next phase of neoliberalism - libertarianism - was assisted by her transport policies has been largely ignored.

Indeed. It's the kind of thing we've been banging on about for ages.

Here's Simon on the subject, back in July of '04. And my own post, to which he refers from that same month.

More recently, we discussed the Thatcher legacy and how it has fucked not only our transport system, but power generation and pensions, too.

As for Monbiot, he's a fully paid-up member of the global warming lobby, and rails against anyone who holds a more, shall we say, Crichtonesque view. That's his position, and he hates Clarkson and his disciples, too.

Well, if Clarkson has disciples, then they're morons. Clarkson is a great, and funny, writer, with strong opinions with which one is free to agree, or not. Clearly, to agree with everything he says is a form of madness, but that's all part of the humour. Personally, I think we need Clarkson in the same way the Victorians needed Cholera. The equivalent of indoor plumbing and better sanitation for transport will be driven by the likes of him. You need him up there on the screen, because there's nothing mealy-mouthed or weasely about him. He exposes to the world the selfish, grasping, blinkered aggression of the average driver, and it's something we need to understand in order to deal with it effectively.

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My last 3 motorway trips have all been marred by Clarksonesque behaviour. A small-penised Ford Focus driver who charged up the outside lane in order to try to prevent me pulling out to overtake a lorry yesterday morning, and then flashed his headlights and blew his horn at me. All this in the 40 mph speed limit section on the M1 (and I was doing at least 45 mph). And then the small lorry driver who did the same thing last night as I puled into a gap - closed the gap, and even as my car was half way into the lane, attempted to use the size of his vehicle to intimidate me out of the way. And again, the white van man with one headlight this morning. Trying to occupy the clear space on the road into which I'd indicated to pull out, and then flashing his full beams at me (now I can see you, you twat). Here's a response to all these people: when I signal to pull out, I'm not asking permission.

4 Comments:

  • I'm concerned that weasels are getting a lot of bad press from your blog of late. There is nothing "weasely" about weasels. Lay off them.

    By Blogger Marie, at 5:00 am  

  • Yes, what about stoats as well?

    By Blogger SimonHolyHoses, at 5:15 am  

  • Isn't Kenneth Grahame to blame for starting the bad press? I suspect Marie is trying Disney-fy weasels in the eyes of the world.

    (Below the belt, I know, sorry)

    By Blogger bot37363838, at 5:19 am  

  • I always see weasels running across the road in the car headlights between Gotham and East Leake.

    They look like the front foot's length of a rusty snake, with 4 stumpy legs and a little tail, moving at a thousand miles per hour.

    You wouldn't want one down the front of your trousers either.

    By Blogger SimonHolyHoses, at 5:31 am  

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