Monday, 1 February 2010

BBC London News is at it again

Within days of the latest example of flat earth car supremacist news, BBC London News is at it again, relentlessly constructing lawless drivers as persecuted victims, while haughtily indifferent to road carnage and the problems faced by pedestrians and cyclists at the hands of drivers. When did you ever see a feature on BBC London News about drivers entering Advanced Stop Lines, and the Metropolitan Police’s bigoted and arrogant refusal to enforce a law protecting vulnerable cyclists?

I turned on the telly this morning to find BBC London News publicising the views of

parking campaigner Neil Herron

Yes, another awesome example of savage injustice has been revealed. Forget Haiti, here is something far more shocking:

Five London councils may have to repay millions of pounds of parking fines to motorists after a BBC London investigation proved hundreds of their parking bays have been unlawfully operated for decades.

And what else could BBC London possibly be interested in? Certainly not the killing of London cyclists at road junctions by lorry drivers, or evidence that the road haulage industry operates under conditions of massive illegality, with the tacit complicity of both the government and the police.

And who exactly is Neil Herron?

He represents

the Motorists' Legal Challenge group (“Seeking justice for the motoring public”).

No other member of this “group” is identified and its website is opaque, so like all those other campaigning “groups” whose views BBC News is so keen to communicate (“Safe Speed” for example) it is quite possibly a one-person outfit, no more representative than any blogger.

The Motorists’ Legal Challenge group website froths that

The media has been full of stories about parking and traffic enforcement showing that motorists are fed up with being relentlessly exploited. There is no watchdog or Ombudsman looking after the motorists' interests

A bit of a contradiction there. No one is looking after the poor persecuted driver, and yet strangely “The media has been full of stories” about them. Funny, that. I can’t ever recall the media being full of stories about pavement parking or Advanced Stop Line abuse.

In any case, it’s not true. If you feel you’ve been hard done by, there’s an independent body which hears appeals against parking tickets.

Leaving aside the conflation of all motorists with ‘drivers who speed or park illegally’, the notion that no one is looking after the interests of motorists is bizarre. There’s the car lobby and the road lobby, for starters, whose carcentric views saturate the corporate mass media.

Mr Herron’s website proudly features

Quote of the Month

Lord Lucas had this to say about decriminalised traffic enforcement:

"It is something that seems to me to be close to theft and it probably would be adjudged as theft if one could ever get it to court."

I suspect even Mr Loophole would call that bad advice. If you get a parking ticket from your council it would be inadvisable not to pay it simply on the grounds that Lord Lucas reckons it’s theft. Such is the savage persecution of the parking offender that even members of the judiciary are unlikely to take the view that the private opinions of Lord Lucas have greater weight than legislation pertaining to parking enforcement.