If you want to show your anger to the Mayor and TfL, please join the Stop The Killing campaign, which is rapidly growing into a campaign to improve our roads for everyone, however they choose to get around.
Though this probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you, I’ll say it anyway:
What a complete and utter turd the current Mayor of London is.
Allow me to explain why I feel this way.
People’s deaths are not a call-to-action for him, but an opportunity to distract the population from discussing the real issues.
Just when it seemed everyone was talking about how the roads are dangerously designed and how much better they could be, Boris sees that this is making himself look bad, so he throws a dead cat on the table.
I’ll allow the Mayor himself to describe the ‘dead cat’ manoeuvre:
“Let us suppose you are losing an argument. The facts are overwhelmingly against you, and the more people focus on the reality the worse it is for you and your case.
“Your best bet in these circumstances is to perform a manoeuvre described as ‘throwing a dead cat on the table’.
“Everyone will shout ‘Jeez, there’s a dead cat on the table!’
“In other words they will be talking about the dead cat, the thing you want them to talk about, and they will not be talking about the issue that has been causing you so much grief.”
And that is exactly what he has done by talking about people wearing headphones while riding bikes after being asked about the many recent deaths while cycling.
What an absolutely shitty, cynical, cold-hearted thing to do. Tarnish the names of the recently deceased to save his own political skin. Classy.
Of course, Boris wants to make clear that he’s not accusing the recently deceased of cycling dangerously. Oh no, perish the thought! But then by launching into some bullshit about headphones, what’s the average person in the street meant to think? Of course people will put two and two together, and are now happily blaming the victims.
And now he’s got hundreds of police standing on street corners stopping Londoners on bikes and giving them dubious “advice“. What does this look like to Denise Driver and Barry Busrider? “Ah, thank goodness something’s being done about those bloody cyclists!”
Anyway, the point of this post is to show you that we can’t trust a word the Mayor says. Promises are made but then conveniently forgotten about. Today he’ll be your best friend, but when you look back in six months you’ll see that he was actually your worst enemy all along.
It’s hardly headline news that the original section of Cycle Superhighway 2 is well beyond crap. But I wanted to do a post comparing the Mayor’s rhetoric with the delivered reality, so that’s probably a good place to start.
All the quotes are from this 2009 press release announcing how great the Cycle Superhighways were going to be. I guess the lesson is not to believe anything that the Mayor says, his words are meaningless.
I wasn’t the only one thinking this way: Two Wheels Good blog on victim blaming, Operation Safeway and the dead cat.