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February 23, 2008

Another assault on our freedom?

The news today that a new camera is to be installed on our roads to police the new government backed installation of special lanes for use by motorists who have more than one person in the car confirms to me that this government wants to deny most of us the use of private transport. Let's face it, most of us use our cars to get to and from work because there isn't suitable public transport or because we need to be flexible and work either longer hours or at different locations from time to time. So the Transport Minister babbling about "choice" and the need to compell us to use inadequate, inconvenient and packed with inconsiderate, ill disciplined and badly behaved yobs is a bit outside of reality. OK for those who have the use of chaffeur driven Jaguars with Police escorts - for the rest of us it will mean being forced to sit in traffic jams in the lanes single motorists, HGVs and everyone else are confined to while the "multi-person" lane is empty.

It seems that the proponents of this latest batch of stupidity traffic management argue that, if you convert one lane of a two lane highway into a "High Density Vehicle" lane and force all other road users into the other lane, you will ease the congestion. Anyone see the flaw in this? Anyone see the problem of forcing all the traffic into one lane so the fortunate few, such as the Minister of Transport and her chums with the kiddie seats and communal transport habits can have the freedom to drive unmolested and unobstructed - no HGVs means no crawling traffic to hold you back - at the expense of the rest of us who will now not only have to pay an exorbitant road tax for bugger all, but will burn more fuel, creating more pollution - and paying more fuel tax - for the privilege of using our own cars.

Some time ago I did share a car with several others. It was never an easy mix since well had to arrive at work or leave work together, it meant that whoever was late at the pickup point or delayed in the office held the rest of us up. It also meant that, if for any reason one of us had to work late or get in early, and sometimes we did, you had to make other arrangements to get there or get home.

As usual, the problems of the city are to be imposed on those of us who choose not to live in the cheek by jowl situation imposed by city life. And, as usual, the politicians and the bureaucrats are the only beneficiaries of yet more legislation and yet more criminalising of the general public as soon as we exercise our freedom of choice. Have any of these morons had to try living without their cars? Easy if you can afford the rents (or have the taxpayer pick them up for you) of central London. Easy if you have the chaffeur service at your beck and call - not so bloody easy if you have to catch trains, tubes and buses while carrying the family shopping!

Even worse, if you live alone and frequently have to travel alone, it is usually not a matter of choice. Where I live (Can afford to live!) is not on a mainline. Even if it was, I still could not travel to my most frequent destinations directly from here. It would involve several changes and is vastly more expensive than using my car. Even if I mix my transport, driving part way, then switching to public transport, I find myself heavily out of pocket vastly inconvenienced by the constraints of the train or bus timetables.

Let's face it, the real reason this government of control freaks, puritans and c;oset communists want to deny us the free use of our cars is that they hate our having any choice at all about how we live, where we live or where we work. They want to confine us in neat little units where we can be more easily monitored and fed the b*llsh*t they would have us believe.

Face it, the real problem on our roads is not the private motorist. It is the huge load of freight that is carried in juggernauts on roads not designed for them, through villages not intended for such traffic and into towns where they damage roads, buildings and lives. If you seek the real cause of pollution look no further than the huge fleets of trucks carrying goods that could be more efficiently carried by rail or sea around our coasts. Look no further than the lunatic "traffic calming" measures forcing motorists to drive at uneconomically low speeds in uneconomical gears around towns and cities and at the lunacy of empty lanes on raods that motorists are banned from using because they are reserved for "mass transit" vehicles. And all the while our Ministers andtheir Civil Service chums ride around at our expense in chaffeur driven limosines. Nice for some.

The last time I had to use the bus to go from my home to the neighbouring town - 8 miles in my car and only a matter of twenty minutes - the bus took a little over an hour and was filled with unruly teenagers who shouted, spat screamed and generally made themselves unpleasant. The bus driver could do nothing about it and the rest of us had to endure it. I have not travelled by bus since, and I don't intend to do so again until I can be assured that that sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and that such passengers will be ejected from the bus immediately.

On those occassions when I can take the train to my destination I find that more often than not I have to pay a premium fare in order to be able to travel when I need to in order to arrive on time at my business - and then, as often as not, I can't find a seat and end up paying over the odds for the privilege of standing for two hours.

Mark my words, this scheme is the thin end of a very large wedge. If this doesn't force you out of your car - and the schemes will be introduced in rural as well as urban areas - there will shortly be another assault on your right to drive your own vehicle. Ironic isn't it, that the present government are the very same people who boycotted lectures, staged "sit-ins" in colleges, schools and universities to force the governing bodies into accepting "freedom of choice" for students - and now they want to remove all freedom of choice from the rest of us.

If it wasn't so blatant, it might even be funny.....

Posted by The Gray Monk at February 23, 2008 12:16 PM

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Here in the U.S., the left side of the political equation is forever pushing for more government micromanagement of our everyday lives, but conservative resistance to this trend has more effect over here than it apparently does in England.

A Hillary Clinton or Barak (Hussein) Obama Presidency coupled with a Democrat controlled Congress would likely change that, giving the lefties a foot up that would play rapid catch-up.

Given that all too many western starboard side politicians seem to acquiesce to their portside counterparts in increasing volume as though they "simply tired of arguing" or whatever, I'm both resigned to the fact that those who wish to obliterate the concept of a free society will eventually prevail and relieved that I'm over 50 years in age and won't have to tolerate too many years of what is undoubtedly on the menu for future generations.

Side observation: Since a few years ago when Heathrow became the first major user of CamPuters (surveillance cameras that use retinal scanning as well as face recognition, communicating with a central database, to immediately ID known/suspected bad guys/gals passing before them), Britain has become the west's #1 deployer of public surveillance cameras -- this from articles I've read in a few different Security trade publications.

Posted by: Seth at February 24, 2008 12:43 PM

The liberals are for the people to have the same rights as they do. Just as long as by having the same rights doesn't effect them in anyway. Such as waiting in traffic.

Posted by: skipjack at February 24, 2008 08:54 PM

Spot in both. Actually, every "liberal" I have ever encountered always wants more "rules" to "ensure fairness". They all think that by restricting one persons rights they can "empower" another. Just as long as it is them in control of course ....

Posted by: The Gray Monk at February 24, 2008 10:09 PM