There's a blogger out there that I don't think would be able to see anything in a positive light, who somehow manages to make even the sunshine seem gloomy. Yes I accept there may be a role of scrutiny in there somewhere, and yes, at times the Council can be crap but there must be better, or more constructive ways of criticism than this.Somehow I knew he was talking about me even before I followed the links back to this site. I suppose it's gratifying to have confirmation that I'm making an impact, but I was a little disappointed that Dapper Dan's critique wasn't a bit more sophisticated.
Dapper Dan seems to think that we should be uncritically positive about whatever the council do without regard to the paucity of the reality on the ground, rather in the style of 'Pravda' in the former Soviet Union. It's hardly necessary to labour the point that this is not the British way of doing things, however much Dapper Dan (who with that attitude surely works for the council?) wishes it were.
I believe that there is a real danger of this country drifting towards 'statism', particularly under the impetus of the need to adapt to environmental concerns. Each step along such a path will consist of small, almost trivial steps but in time that's where it will lead.
Cycling City, as originally constituted, is one such step. From the outset it sought to exclude those of us who had years of practical experience of campaigning for cycling and place all the power with the apparatus and apparatchiks of the state, whether under the guise of Bristol City Council, Sustrans or Cycling England.
Such arrogance was bound to provoke a fierce reaction and I make no apologies for playing my part in that. Cycling has survived and even prospered not because of the actions of the state but despite the actions of the state. Even today we see the state at every level pouring massive subsidies into long distance motorised travel, so encouraging lifestyles which are increasingly unsustainable.
Against this we have pathetically tokenistic gestures like the £100 milion allocated to the Cycling Demonstration Towns. In terms of national expenditure on transport that is no more than the small change that one might toss to a beggar on the streets. And yet the Dapper Dans of this world think we should all be terrible grateful and positive. Who is the deluded one?