The alleged “War on Cyclists”

Reads the headline.

Been thinking a lot about this so called war lately. It’s a manufactured invention of the Murdoch press which stirs up hostility to make money. We all know this. And we all know that the most dangerous time to ride is the morning peak after a Murdoch dig at cyclists. It incenses me to read online about some ‘accident’ that reads more like a deliberate homicide followed by the most ridiculous self justifying and poorly written (and spelt) drivel posted as comments. And some ‘accidents’ undoubtedly are punishment passes gone wrong. Very close to murder.

Our culture is a petri dish in which hatred and murder are bred on purpose by people who intend to make money from it. And so a fatal accident happens again, and yet the people who fill the madman’s addled mind with ideas and hatred even now are sneering in the commentaries that cyclists need to be banned, licensed, registered to bring the unmanageable outrageous risk to public amenity they represent under control. As if in a decade all the cyclists of the country combined could manage the damage to life, limb and property that the school mums of a single city manage every week. But the only surprise is that it has not happened sooner.

And yet the very press that provides the touch powder that gives the disaffected the will to act never acknowledge or even fully understand their complicity. And yet they are complicit. They use their hopefully fading power in ways that get people killed.

Of course it’s not just cyclists that cop it. And I can think of many examples. So much hatred was spilled at our only female Prime Minister by the same press that it would have been no surprise if some nutter had gone too far and shot her. And yet, if such a horrible thing had happened the press would doubtless have turned on the Government of the day and demanded tougher gun laws.    The Oklahoma city bombing in the US was a nutters response to newspaper campaigns about the ‘evil’  federal govt.

Stirring up a rabid lynch mob and then standing by and demanding the lynch mob be punished is what the Australian press does best.


  1. 1
    FrankR Says:

    Sometimes I think that the quicker the printed newspapers shrivel up and waste away the better. But the truth is that the ad-supported internet news is much, much worse: click-bait, outrage press, ill-thought out opinion dressed up as commentary.

    The only solution that I can see is that ad-supported news articles be dropped in favour of a virtual tip jar. If you click through to the article and like it then send a tip through of 10¢ or 1¢ or whatever. If you don’t like it, don’t tip. End of click-bait right there.

    If 10,000 people read the article and tip 10¢ that’s a thousand bucks of which the author would probably get the majority of. Write five of those a week and you’re laughing. The truth is that with a population of 23 million you’d probably expect them to get a lot more readers than 10,000.

    • 2

      Hmmmm. Am I a good enough writer to get 10,000 readers? Apparently not. Still I could set up a virtual tip jar and try. And cut the newspapers out of the thing entirely. Perhaps I could write on “The war between bogans and journo’s “

  2. 3
    Ange Says:

    I don’t disagree with your post (eg. The Herald Sun ‘Vigilante’ headline last week was a shocker). But, why pick on school mums? Are they the agro drivers buzzing cyclists? Are they really causing damage to life and limb? Or are you taking some ‘journalistic’ license there?

    • 4

      I have a school at the end of the street. Its a religious school if that makes a difference. Its a dangerous part of any trip at school mum peak. Its about 200 metres away from us and one day a hit run driver managed to back into the side of our ute (and you have to see where it was parked to understand that this in fact represents inordinate skill on the part of the driver but in a negative sense. ) IF I head up to the main drag into town I pass Blackburn High School. I can seriously understand why they discourage kids from riding to BHS. Having a kid run over by another kids parent might be embarrassing. (This happened at my own high school twice that I know of with both being fatal which does not disprove my point)

      School mums.. inevitably in a 4 by 4 so as to protect the kids and keep them safe from other school mums, at least in my little corner of the universe may indeed include a few competent and highly skilled drivers. Visual evidence.. and I have been known to walk up the street just to laugh .. suggests that if the standard is average.. the standard deviation is huge. And guess which ones I notice? But to be fair there are other demographics I could pick on. And with about the same veracity. So I shall try.

      OK cab drivers. Now I was a cab driver for a long while so I consider them unjustly demonized in the main. Well I would wouldn’t I? But last Wednesday night.. tootling down an empty lane towards the lights on Alexandra parade on my not completely healthy Katana motorcycle .. when a car lurched into the lane in front of me. I swore and braked hard but its just enough distance until a cab slides sideways into the remaining gap. I locked the back wheel in panic and stopped at about 30% to the road just short of the cab whose driver (from a well known subcontinent at first sight that might be a cliche if I were to associate it with cab drivers) waved apologetically. I pulled up alongside and had some short and pithy words with him. I could have picked on recently arrived cab drivers.

      Black german .. indicators. Why is it you can only have two? And when did indicators become optional anyway? I followed a blue Rav4 along toorak rd for 3 km yesterday. (How much better would this story have been if it had been a black z3 BMW?) She changed lanes completely at random 17 times. 17 times in 3 Km. Not one flash from an indicator. And of course at the end she had not made a meters distance on me. But boy I was giving her plenty of space. And that is not even unusual. But seeing anything black and German indicate. Now that’s unusual.

      Other motorcyclists and cyclists. Ummm.. actually I cant remember the last time I saw one do something definitively silly. Which just means it was not this week.

      But yes I picked on School mums because my personal school run during peak hour is a bit dodgy. And cos I can. And last but not least.. cos our end of the suburb is a bit of a large dead end. All the cars coming up from our end.. nearly all 4WDs .. to go to the school physically cannot have driven more than at most a Km. And then they drop their kids and drive back.

      Mind you a few kids walk. One of them trashed our nature strip tree today. If I find him he will need more than mums 4WD to keep him safe. Oh I,m just in a grumpy mood. The fact is that rather a lot of drivers are dangerous

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