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Grant Shapps’ stupid cycling comments are ill-judged, dangerous and fuelling more hatred towards cyclists

Grant Shapps’ stupid cycling comments are ill-judged, dangerous and fuelling more hatred towards cyclists

London cyclists (Twitter/@JimFrayling) Although cycling number plates and mandatory insurance make so little sense they will probably never happen, it feels like the damage has…

Wednesday, Aug 17

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London cyclists (Twitter/@JimFrayling) Although cycling number plates and mandatory insurance make so little sense they will probably never happen, it feels like the damage has already been done

Well, it’s official. The Twitter opinions of that profile with an England flag in its username, and which will likely be active for a month before being ‘cancelled’ for racism, has become official government policy.

With Michael Green (sorry, Grant Shapps) telling the Daily Mail that he would be making it illegal for people to ride a bike without a licence or insurance ( before backtracking somewhat in a different interview) social media and the right wing press went into meltdown. Suddenly the ‘U DON"T PAY RAOD TAX!!!’ brigade knew that the Government had their backs, and that their illogical prejudices were right. After all, why else would the Government bother legislating it?

Well, there is a simple answer to this: populist governments need a target.

Brexit was all about targeting the ‘unelected EU bureaucrats’ and ‘forin workers stealin ur job’, but as that has now been enacted they can’t use ‘them’ as a target. In the modern world you may be able to use dog whistles, but this is not the 70s. You can’t target people based on their skin colour or religion (although I think some newspapers tread that line very closely). So, let’s go after the people on bikes.

Cyclists have just become the latest target of the unending culture war that aims to distract from the terrible state of the […]

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