The Mamils Strike Back

Melanie Phillips has her knickers in a twist. She knows me, we had some correspondence long ago, I like many of the things she writes about. This one though has me puzzled. I understand dearest Julia is also a bit up in arms about it too:

Although I am a driver, I have long all but given up driving in London and now travel instead mainly by bus or Tube. I have also discovered the delights of walking and enjoying the city’s stunning architecture and views — as well as literally rubbing shoulders with the rest of the human race, instead of sitting in solitary splendour within a motorised bubble.

Accordingly, I have welcomed the pedestrianisation of many streets, silently cursed the noisy, smelly cars — and also welcomed the arrival of the ‘Boris bikes’, the cycles for hire around the city that were an inspired idea.

Although I do not own a bicycle, I enjoy and approve of cycling. Like many others, I have for years observed and admired those Continental cities where half the population seems to be on a bike and where the traffic seems tamed as a result.

So getting more people on to bikes in London seemed to me to be a good idea — encouraging health-giving exercise, reducing traffic congestion and generally turning the city into a calmer, gentler and more civilised place.

How wrong can you be! For far from being calm, gentle or civilised, many cyclists have proved to be the exact opposite.

Let’s look at the key phrases of Melanie’s here:

# I am a driver

# I do not own a bicycle

Oh how quickly those on one side of an issue do write tirades against those on the other. Whither peace and mutual understanding?

Not sure what’s wrong down south – all this talk of lycra – whilst up here, I’ve not seen any cyclist in lycra – and if he was middle aged, he’d be laughed at. There are many cyclists and those I’ve seen keep to the side of the road and doff their hats at passing motorists who let them in or vice-versa.

The worst behaved cyclist I’ve seen up here is me – jumping onto footpaths and off, going down gaps but never have I cut anyone off, gone inbetween vehicles or got in the way of traffic turning right. In fact, I make a point of not doing those things.

I’ve heard tales of these cyclists from hell and you know what it sounds like to me? It sounds like there’s an enormous number of vehicles, including bikes and cars, all competing for a small space.

I have the solution, Melanie and Julia – coom oop north to the home of unemployment where the sun shines out of our, the snow does not snow and where lakes and woodland abound, where the birdies chatter in the trees and wake you up in the bloody morning, where little kids’ cherub faces beam at you and grizzled bikers also beam and the best one of all – where you can breathe the air as the boats go by and your bike slips on the sodden autumn leaves on the ground and cyclists go A over T into a deep puddle.

The only varmints you have to worry about up here are the PCists in buildings and the guy in N4 down the corridor whom we’re sick to death of. Apart from that, the shopgirls are charming and helfpul with their northern accents [I’m sure Julia would adore conversing with them on the early development of the rood screen], the food is cheap and happiness abounds.

Wonder if this has anything to do with it [just trying to help like]:

More women take to the driving seat: Number of female drivers accelerates at twice rate of male motorists

[H/T Chuckles]

11 comments for “The Mamils Strike Back

  1. December 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Nice chicks on bikes.

    I went on Danny Alexander MP
    Chief Secretary to the Treasurys website

    Pressed the butoon on left
    “Make a Donation”

    and paid 9 [nine] pence into his account using PayPal.

    I urge everyone to send tuppence to Danny.

    • mona
      December 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      I love Melanie, she is my hero and who cares about her underwear she speaks her mind that for a woman is wonderfull, as for that D Alexander, full of shit, I wouldn’t piss on him even if he was on fire

      • December 3, 2012 at 5:02 pm

        Mona, the most lyrical version of that adage is; “I wouldn’t piss down his throat if his lungs caught fire.” 😈

        • December 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm

          Bill, that’s a bit rude. Why didn’t I think of it first?

          • December 4, 2012 at 5:34 am

            Mona; I blame the statist, rob dog politicians; they have this unfortunate trait of bringing out the worst in me. You probably didn’t think of it because you are a decent soul who has not been overly coarsened by the vicissitudes of life. Yet.

            Good strong mental image though…… 👿

        • December 3, 2012 at 7:51 pm

          I would – I have a bladder infection.

        • December 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm


  2. December 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm


    Nice chicks on bikes.

    I was worried I’d put the best ones up – one must do justice to them.


    D Alexander, full of shit, I wouldn’t piss on him even if he was on fire


  3. johnnyrvf
    December 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Funnily enough I sent Melanie a message of broad agreement, but then after you have had a lycra clad pillock go under the wheels of the 44 tonne articulated lorry you were driving at the time because the ignorant fool tried to out race you up your blind inside to a left turn after a set of lights, you tend to feel rather unsympathetic to their cause; what did I do, precisely, to be chosen as their unwitting executioner?

  4. Monty
    December 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Where I live there are lots of footpaths which are also used by cyclists. The cyclists are fast, and silent. The pedestrians generally completely unaware of the menace approaching them from behind, until the moment the cyclist passes them with centimetres to spare, at high speed. The shock tends to send the pedestrian staggering off at a tangent. This has happened to me, and I have also had to rush to the assistance of a frail elderly lady who toppled over as the lout raced right past her.
    If cyclists can’t stay off the footpaths, and as they seem to include a dispiritingly high proportion of self absorbed louts, can they please have some sort of clicker attached to the bike so that their hapless victims can hear them coming?

  5. The Jannie
    December 4, 2012 at 7:03 am

    I found, when off road cycling, that pedestrians are happy to notice you if greeted with a loud “good morning”. It makes them aware of your presence and they usually enjoy the interaction rather than cursing as you swish silently by.

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