Monday, 21 September 2009

Iain Dale: Unbebloodylievable

The problem with writing half a dozen posts a day is that much of what you write ends up being total guff.

Take this latest dog's breakfast from Iain Dale:

Labour's Maddest Idea Yet: Find All Motorists Guilty!

Iain Dale 5:56 PM

Have you ever heard a crazier idea than THIS? Apparently Labour Ministers are intending to pass laws to ensure that all motorists are found to be the guilty parties when involved with accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists. Unbebloodylievable.

Now if you actually click on the link, you find that Labour ministers are not "intending" anything of the sort.

The proposal (which isn't to find drivers automatically guilty in any case) is from Cycling England, rather than ministers (or Labour).

But as usual, enough has been done to set off Dale's readers:

Mirtha Tidville said...
oooh yes please...this should be a surefire winner eh?..one day these Liebour clowns will wake up and realise motorists have a vote (lets hope they wake up too late though).....As for bloody cyclists dont get me going or we will be here all day!!!!!!

Simon said...
I am sure that Harriet and the Sisters will insist on a caveat exempting all female drivers from this!

avelin said...
Casual Criminality is rife by New Labour.

Whether is casual acusations of racism or employing illegal immigrants, or finding people guilty without trial - for New Labour the law is just another tool in their thirst for power.

When we are encouraged to be criminals by the actions of Ministers there are no laws. When there are no laws there is anarchy.

And so on.

Now if Dale had the time (or the inclination) to properly read the original piece, then he would have found that no government source is quoted by the hack.

A bit strange no?

And if he had just waited to read his usual paper of choice then he would have found the following killer quote:

A Department for Transport spokesman said: 'This is something that gets raised by pressure groups from time to time.

'Cycling England has proposed it, but it is not something that is being considered by ministers.'

Still, what's an official denial, when you've got "Labour's Maddest Idea Yet" eh?



-Update- In related news, Conservative Home has now been bought by Lord Ashcroft. So much for being the voice of the grassroots!

31 comments:

Toby said...

I'm sure Iain will put an update on his blog as soon as he realises.

AdamB said...

Dale doesn't seem to do corrections Toby

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

The man is a massive ballbag. Toby has too much faith in the one-man tit barrage.

Tom said...

"I'm sure Iain will put an update on his blog as soon as he realises."

I'm sure Iain will put an update on his blog, quietly, as soon as the right wing noise machine has decided which Labour politician to smear noisily and inaccurately next.

Chris said...

Conservative Home has been a thorn in the Conservative's side for years. What better way to remove the thorn than to buy it out. Isn't capitalism great?

prj45 said...

He is the Daily Mail on legs.

Anonymous said...

So Conservative Home has been bought by Lord Ashcroft. Same as the party, no?

AdamB said...

And Dale's own 'independent' Total Politics magazine of course http://www.tom-watson.co.uk/2008/03/lord-ashcroft-and-iain-dale/

prj45 said...

I feel bad about comparing Iain Dale to the Daily Mail now, considering the Mail's report is actually accurate (although the comments as ever are mostly hilarious and hateful at the same time).

AdamB said...

Yes to be fair to the Mail, they actually sought and included a response from the govt (albeit buried right at the end) unlike Dale and the Times.

stuart graham said...

To be honest, some Labour politicians need a roasting for their policies and we all know that. Iain Dale knows that and knows people will believe anything said about certain Labour politicians, especially with an election looming
It seems that this has gone out as a means of testing the ground for ther election ahead.
Iain Dale tells a whopper, Mail / Sun picks it up, the BBC reports it and then people think it's true before anyone's any the wiser.
Looks like we've got a nice clean election ahead!

Tom said...

"Iain Dale tells a whopper, Mail / Sun picks it up, the BBC reports it and then people think it's true before anyone's any the wiser."

That's basically it - I suspect the hidden truth is, as in London, the Tories aren't going to be a great deal different on things like defence, PFI, corporate welfare, being beastly to the poor. It's not like New Labour didn't import them wholesale from them in the first place.

Given that, as with Boris, you need to invent completely made up stories to smear them with, which has the added benefit that it costs absolutely nothing to oppose them. The real problem is that the media let them get away with it because it fits their narrative.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Does it actually matter who thought up the proposal? It is a completely daft idea but it is easy to see how it would appeal to Labour given their incessant desire to punish motorists at every available opportunity.

Whatever happened to the cycling proficiency test? Cyclists weave in and out of traffic without due care and attention and jump red lights without compunction. You can’t drive a car on the road without getting a licence, taking a test and being properly insured. Why not the same for cyclists?

Anonymous said...

Well , I guess its a case of what comes around goes around , Labour bloggers have been posting half truths, inaccuracies and downright lies for the last 12 years , at least Dale doesn't try to question Sarah Brown's mental health , though I might , can you be sane and married to Gordoom

Tom said...

"it is easy to see how it would appeal to Labour"

It's also easy to see, presuming you have eyes in your head, that it doesn't appeal to Labour since they've come out and said they're not looking at it. Really, it's not like finding things that Labour are doing wrong is *particularly hard*, is it? Jeez.

"Whatever happened to the cycling proficiency test?"

It still exists. My son's school have a stock of 30 bikes on the premises specifically for Years 3-5 for this purpose (they take the proficiency test in Year 5). Furthermore, they were advertising for volunteers to come in and give the bikes a mechanical once-over this week and even help out with confidence and road sense training in the playground. Of course, all this derives from conscious political efforts by TfL to encourage cycling to school including quite substantial grants.

"Why not the same for cyclists?"

Why not the same for pedestrians or horse riders? Because they're not in charge of a ton of metal capable of speeds > 100mph and haven't been responsible for tens of thousands of deaths nor shown that they cannot be trusted to operate their machines in a socially acceptable manner without clear legal boundaries. It's actually an energy thing - how much damage you can do. Likewise buses, HGVs, trains and planes exist in stringent regulatory environments precisely because of the damage they can cause if not run properly (arguably HGVs could use a bit more, IMHO). If I drive around on a bald tyre I can kill someone. If I walk around with a worn out boot I might get a blister.

1966 was the peak year for UK road deaths, which prompted, um, the Labour Government to start what you would doubtless refer to as a 'war on the motorists', by such agents of tyranny as the breathalyser and seat belts. In reality it stopped motorists killing people in quite such quantities, which is fine by me. Road deaths in London have about halved since the mid 1980s for these and various reasons, coincident with things like speed cameras, 20mph zones, traffic calming and indeed much more expensive insurance for young drivers, which in and of itself keeps some of the worst risks off the road. I'm not sure that's at all a bad thing.

barry rochford said...

As a motorist, I agree with Tom. It narks me if a cyclist jumps a red light,cycles on the pavement or weaves in front of me.
However, that doesn't justify me driving under the influence, driving at speed or the wrong way round a roundabout.
There is no war against motorists - only the most selfish of motorists who park in disabled bays, in places that cause congestion or think that the rules don't apply to them would think that.
Every governemnt has or should pursue safety. It was a Tory government who made seat belts mandatory. That of course wasn't seen as the encroaching state. It was however a very successful law.
Boris however,as mentioned above doesn't think of safety first, or why would cyclists need to be putting up with motorbikes in bus-lanes moving at speed? Boris thinks 'how can I get publicity that makes it seem that I am doing something, but it doesn't cost?' Anything htat costs - either capital costs or running costs is out. (Who remembers his election promise to bring back bus conductors? What's happened to that?)
All politicians go for gimmicks, but Boris hasn't got a book about anytghing else.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

What a ridiculous argument Tom. In accidents involving car v bike, it may well be that car is responsible most of the time, but not all. A motorist (or rather his insurer) has to cough up if he injures a cyclist. If the cyclist is at fault, the motorist has to pursue a civil case which may be entirely uneconomical.

In your words, cyclists “haven't been responsible for tens of thousands of deaths nor shown that they cannot be trusted to operate their machines in a socially acceptable manner without clear legal boundaries.” Oh really? Try driving in London and count how many cyclists weave in and out of cars and jump red lights.

Breathalysers and road safety issues have absolutely nothing to do with this thread. This is about liability for accidents. If a cyclist is to blame, he/she should be held accountable. What a terrible idea - people accepting responsibility for their own behaviour.

Appealing of Ealing said...

Don't Call Me Dave said...

"In accidents involving car v bike, it may well be that car is responsible most of the time, but not all."

After the great DUI debate we had recently, I looked into the statistics about this. There's a considerable variance depending on who you ask, but we can definitely say that cyclists are the guilty party in at least half of accidents involving cyclists. There are three principal reasons: 1. driving at night without lights, 2. driving against the flow of traffic, but by far the biggest reason is 3. failing to give way.

Mr. Tom also says that "it doesn't appeal to Labour since they've come out and said they're not looking at it.", which is absurdly naive. Other European countries have already adopted this approach, and there may even be a European directive in the pipeline. This issue is not resolved regardless of any spokesperson's spin.

Anyone wanting to understand how truly independent "Cycling England" really is, should check out who's funding them, and where their website is.

But hey, I bow to your superior wisdom Tom, you are, after all, a self-proclaimed "expert".

prj45 said...

Appealing of Ealing said... "but we can definitely say that cyclists are the guilty party in at least half of accidents involving cyclists. "

Oh please, have you any evidence of this?

No, I thought not.

prj45 said...

Don't call me Dave said ..."Oh really? Try driving in London and count how many cyclists weave in and out of cars and jump red lights."

Kill and maim hundreds every year doing this do they?

No.

prj45 said...

BTW, I must declare my hand, I'm all for people in cars having to prove there was no way they could have avoided a collision with a ped or cyclist.

Appealing of Ealing said...

prj45 said...

"BTW, I must declare my hand"

Well, if you really must...

You're not, by any chance, that clown on a bike who broke a red light at high speed, and who very nearly knocked me and another person down trying to cross Westbourne Street last Friday evening? Was that you?

"Oh please, have you any evidence of this?"

Like I said, I looked into it. I'm certainly aware of the data that's available online. But you can do your own donkey work, cycle boy.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of reasons not to vote for New Labour: PFI, illegal invasions, locking people up without trial. Dale could talk about these things but he would rather not because his own party doesn't have really clean hands in these areas. Thus the need to invent some other reasons not to vote for New Labour and to claim that a possible Conservative victory isn't due to those factors.

Unsurprisingly, a commenter has already claimed that it might as well be true because Labour have an incessant desire to punish motorists. The aim would seem to be give this narrative an airing, even when there isn't any evidence.

Guano

prj45 said...

Appealing of Ealing: You're not, by any chance, that clown on a bike who broke a red light at high speed, and who very nearly knocked me and another person down trying to cross Westbourne Street last Friday evening? Was that you?


I don't jump red lights when I'm on my bicycle, perhaps you should check your predjudices at the door, and perhaps leave your dodgy stats there too!

Don't Call Me Dave said...

prj45, no of course cyclists don’t kill hundreds of motorists, but many do not ride in a socially acceptable or lawful manner, which was the point I was making - as I suspect you knew.

As to proving fault, the same rules should apply as with other road accidents. You may not jump red lights, but many cyclists do. I was once hit by a cyclist who, by his own admission, was not looking where he was going when he rode into the back of my car - I was stationary at a junction. But again, this is missing the point of the thread which was initiated in response to a post on Iain Dale’s blog.

We all know that in an accident involving a car and a bike, the cyclist is, more often than not, going to come off much worse - irrespective of who was at fault. The question I posed was whether cyclists should be required to take a proficiency test and have insurance before being allowed to ride on the road.

prj45 said...

Don't call me Dave: "The question I posed was whether cyclists should be required to take a proficiency test and have insurance before being allowed to ride on the road."

Well, I'd answer no to that myself.

People should be encouraged to do both.

I've always been interested in the science of riding a bike, did my proficiency test at 14, and I have third party insurance (£20.00 a year reflects the risk I am to others), but making both mandatory would be crazy.

Regardless, there aren't many people in this country who aren't already covered under household insurance for accidental third party damage or injury.

prj45 said...

Don't call me Dave: "but many do not ride in a socially acceptable or lawful manner"

You mean many people do not ride or drive in a socially acceptable or lawful manner?

Appealing of Ealing said...

prj45 said...

"perhaps you should check your predjudices at the door,"

What would be the fun in doing that? If we were all held to that virtuous standard there'd be nothing left to talk about around here.

Personally I'm quite drawn to the idea of a militant cycling fanatic... it's bursting with comedic potential.

TomF said...

"Personally I'm quite drawn to the idea of a militant cycling fanatic... it's bursting with comedic potential."

er, yeah. like that HILARIOUS chef who showed off about he drove some cyclists into a hedge. HAHAHA.

Yep, those CRAZEEE cyclists, with their CRAZEEE fear of being mown down by irresponsible car drivers ... yer killin' me ... no, you really are ...

Three thousand casualties a year on the roads. Hardly a laughing matter.

barry rochford said...

Looking at this again after a day, it is sad how trolls manage to avoid the issue which is how politicians - in this case Iain Dale set upo a spin to float lies whilst deflecting from Boris's failure to deliver anything for anyone travelling in London after more than a year.
As if the main problem London faces is whether cars should be banned or cyclists strung upo until they pass a proficiency test.
There are obnoxious people in London.Many of them drive cars. Quite a few ride bikes. Some use public transport and are pedestrians. Anti-social people aren't confined to one group of transport users.
The real question is that the current mayor is not investing in the capital and won't do so. If Boris is so keen on cycling, why not create more cycle lanes and make cars keep out of them - make cycling a pleasure every day of the year, not on one day for a PR job
If he is really keen in cutting CO2, then he has to break from his libertarian approach that favours cars everywhere. I went through what was previously the West London Extension (Charge Zone) this morning. It was grim.

prj45 said...

barry rochford said... : "I went through what was previously the West London Extension (Charge Zone) this morning. It was grim"

Er, it still is the West London congestion charge zone...

It's not been scrapped yet, Boris has to perform a statutory consultation first.