Sunday 3 October 2010

LM05WYC: criminal driver on Ainslie Wood Road E4

I was cycling south along Ainslie Wood Gardens E4 yesterday.

I paused at the junction with Ainslie Wood Road for traffic.

And a black car reg. LM05 WYC cruised by containing a solitary white male, who was steering with one hand while chatting into a handheld mobile phone with the other. He passed by, then turned into the house on the corner, 99 Ainslie Wood Road, Chingford, London E4. Time 11.40 am.

The driver may not live at this house but simply have been a visitor. I decided not to seek a confrontation but simply to photograph the car and house once he’d gone inside. The driver is presumably a father, as the car displays a BABY ON BOARD sign in the rear window.

Now I regard this individual as a very dangerous criminal. He is prepared to risk the lives of others by driving in a way which is unlawful, dangerous, and puts the lives of cyclists, pedestrians and other road users at risk. He’s a bully encased in a bubble of steel. But this smug oaf knows that governments wink at his criminality and the police have little interest in dealing with this kind of dangerous anti-social behaviour. Even though someone who drives while using a handheld mobile phone displays a disregard for road traffic law that is likely to extend to other spheres – speed limits, perhaps, or Advanced Stop Lines for cyclists.

The rot starts in Westminster, of course. As I am not a member of the Labour Party (or any other) I am indifferent to its internal affairs, but my eye was caught by this remark:

The new leader emphasised his belief in civil liberties and distanced himself from New Labour’s tough counter-terror plans.

But that immediately put him at odds with Shadow Home Secretary Alan Johnson, who warned: ‘You do not demonstrate your commitment to civil liberties by failing to protect the most important civil liberty of all; the right to be safe on our streets.’

Which is where I begin to feel nauseous. An establishment toady like Alan Johnson has never displayed the slightest interest in ‘the right to be safe on our streets’. Terrorism is obviously a danger but it’s by no means the biggest threat to life and limb in Britain. Statistically, it’s an insignificant threat. Terrorists have killed 52 people in Britain in the past 10 years; drivers have killed 35,0000. I do not personally feel remotely in danger from terrorists. But I do feel in danger from people like the man who drove into 99 Ainslie Wood Road, London E4 9DD, whose yobbish and dangerous behaviour enjoys the tacit complicity of the petrolhead ConDem government and the car supremacist Metropolitan Police.