More proof that this Government is packed full of people who have no idea at all about how we, the ruled, perceive them is provided in buckets by Mr Barry Sheerman, Labour MP for Huddersfield.
Barry, based on nothing more it seems than his own opinion of himself as something of a transport safety expert, has told us mere plebs that we must stop riding motorbikes as they are “disgraceful in a civilised society”.
Barry, transport safety mastermind, based his bilge on “around 650 people die on motorbikes each year.” MCN lost no time in pointing out that, according to the Government’s own figures, the number of motorbike fatalities for 2008 was 493. You or I would probably be sacked for getting our numbers so hopelessly wrong, but somehow I doubt that anyone in power, least of all Barry, will give a monkey’s. His inability to master simple maths is not the point however.
The blindingly obvious point is why, just prior to the election, does yet another Labour MP think he has the right to micromanage our lives? And as we know from the Quattro poster debacle, the answer is that he neither knows nor cares what we, the ruled, think. We are simply blank canvasses on which he can paint his own tiresome sketches of megalomania.
For a man who (according to MCN) claimed £8613 in one year alone as car expenses, I would dearly love to know if Barry has ever sat on a motorbike or has any first-hand knowledge of biking at all.
To make matters worse, Barry made a comparison between the number of deaths related to motorbikes in two years and the number of British soldiers killed in combat over the last 40 years. There are more questions to be raised about this juvenile and offensive comparison than can be possibly be dealt with here, but I think it will suffice to quote a few sentences from one ex-Army officer who has made his letter to Mr Sheerman public:
“I am disgusted as well that you compare losses on our roads to deaths in the Armed Forces. As a former Army Officer I find your comment distasteful, and typical of someone who has absolutely no understanding of what that life is like…I am sick of people like you assuming you know what is best for us. I ride a motorcycle because this is a free country, despite the efforts of your peers, and it is my choice to ride a motorcycle. It would also be my choice to bungee-jump, ride horses, ski or anything else that could kill me. No matter how hard you and your peers work to reduce the freedoms of people in this country, there will always be enough of us who believe in free choice to ensure you fail.”
So very, very well said, but despite that it’s likely to receive the standard brush-off reply from Barry which ends with the following: “I will not apologise for my work to promote road safety in the (sic) Great Britain”. Wow, there’s a surprise, an MP who will not apologise. Whatever next?