Friday, March 21, 2008

Will the cycling story be good or bad for Cameron?

The Mirror have run a story that David Cameron has ridden his bike through a red light, and down a one-way-street the wrong way on his regular cycle ride from his home in Notting Hill to the Houses of Parliament.

They followed him using a reporter on another bike and video recorded his journeys over three weeks, Mr Cameron apparently likes to ride to the 'office' at least once a week if his schedule permits it.

Their story was intended to damage the future Prime Minister (The Mirror is a strongly Labour supporting paper) but the fact that they and their Labour friends imagined it would harm him says more about how off the mark they have become than about Mr Camerons fitness for office.

The story is a big boost for David Cameron indeed, if it had been anyone but the Mirror publishing it I would probably have guessed this story was a plant by Camerons new press guru Andy Coulson.

Reminding people that he still regularly cycles to work is yet more proof that he is a regular guy not subverted by the trappings of power and status.

And as for jumping a red light on a push bike (in London) - well lets see - but I think the public will rate it as making him normal, not criminal.

I note two things, even the BBC highlighted how 'one minute he is cycling to work, the next he is meeting world leaders' and Cameron was heavily defended by cycling campaign group CTC.

CTC Director Kevin Mayne told the BBC

"It shows what an ass cycling regulation [and] traffic management is in this country at the moment... we campaign in CTC for things like opening up one-way streets, which are allowed all over Europe,"

"[Mr Cameron] is a yard in front of the white line in front of the Houses of Parliament - frankly, that's where I'd go to get away from the cars, he was hardly jumping the light" .

You can watch the video here:


Mark Hellyer said...

"The whole point about democracy is that someone gets elected to do a job and then either re elected or chucked out at the end of their term. Nick Bye has been elected fair and square by residents and he will be up for re-election in 2011 at which point Mark and others will have their chance to provide an alternative, if we want one. Mr Bye is doing exactly what he said he would do, working to provide a cleaner, safer and more prosperous Torbay. If Mr Hellyer thinks his ideas are so much better he should have the guts to put them to the test of public opinion in an election. I don't remember seeing his name as one of the 14 who stood last time."
Marcus, Torbay

And perhaps you should have the guts to put your surname, Mr Wood. So anyone who criticises has to put themselves up for election next time around, is that it? It's going to be a pretty crowded ballot paper - I've got 200+ people at the moment who all feel pretty much the same way as me, and we haven't really got into second gear yet. Oh well, I suppose it's good that Mssrs Bye and Carroll can still count on your support among local Tories - I think you'll find you're in an ever dwindling minority.

Marcus Wood said...


I suspect you are about to discover what those in politics should never forget.

That those who shout the loudest are not neccessarily speaking for the majority.

Time will tell.