Wednesday, March 15, 2006
If Mr David Cameron Is A BMW, What Hope For An Electorate Of Cyclists And Pedestrians?
I was intrigued, this morning, to read that the Conservative leader is a BMW 5 series sports car, the Prime Minister an old Rover, a Lada (in the Guardian, or a Mini (on Radio 4's Today). The Chancellor, Mr Gordon Brown, is a tank. Reassuringly - though not for the environment, Sir "Ming" Campbell is an old Jaguar. (Mr Alex Salmond of the Scottish National Party was not ascribed a vehicular equivalent, but I fancy he is a Hillman Imp with tractor wheels.)
These findings are part of an ICM poll into the impact of Mr Cameron's first 100 days in charge of the Conservatives, and they will be welcomed by anyone who was under the impression that we are a nation governed by automobiles. Of course, what the figures really show is that we are a people ruled by public relations, brainwashed by advertising, and force-fed by fools. How else to explain the fact that these meaningless statistics were broadly interepreted as good news for Mr Cameron?
Such an explanation implies that BMWs are good, when Ladas, Rovers or Minis are bad. My experience as a cyclist and occasional Dormobile pilot is that there is something in the BMW that encourages aggressive behaviour, speed, and a lack of consideration for others. Minis, Ladas and Rovers have no such negative associations, while Jaguars tend to be driven by spivvy characters such as Mr Mike Baldwin in Coronation Street.
On the rare occasions when I have encountered tanks on the roads around Peebles I have found them courteous and agreeably slow.