Sunday, May 04, 2008

Commuting - A political hot potato

So, Boris won then. Personally I still can't quite believe it. Notwithstanding the polls (or indeed the Poles, who have apparently all gone home, or at least as far as Cambridge) I never really thought that anyone would actually vote for someone who has appeared on national television in a smoking jacket enjoying a cigar with Paul Merton. Apparently it was all to do with crime, the causes of which Boris has pledged to be tough on. But don't believe what you read. Dig a little deeper and you'll see that what has actually happened here is the re-emergence of commuting as a live political issue. It's all about those bendy buses, you know.

Who would have thought that buses would turn out to be such a divisive, not to mention decisive, issue in the London mayoral elections? I don't know much about Boris's policies, if indeed he has any, but I do know that someone told me that he had a mate who'd heard from someone down the pub (I think that was the sequence) that he intends to do away with the bendy buses. London's commuters (the ones that are actually allowed to vote - see last post) have spoken! If only Ken had pinned his hopes on a pledge to sort out the District Line, instead of ploughing ahead with the Labour Party's nihilistic slag-'em-off tactics. If only the stolid, stoical Brian Paddick had come out in favour of shooting cyclists for jumping red lights - that would have split the biker vote in two, quite apart from securing him the support of pedestrians across the city. But, no, only the upper-class buffoon who can't be taken seriously realised the potential political capital to be gained by staking a claim to the commuting high ground.

So, the bendy buses. What's the fuss all about? Well, they're slow, graceless and utterly lacking in charm. One feels like on is taking one's own life in one hands whenever one gets on one, and I promise there are few scarier experiences in contemporary London than standing in the joiny bit in the middle. Civilisations have risen and fallen in the time it takes for them to turn through ninety degrees, and of course they pose a real threat to those intrepid cyclists - and despite my rhetoric, I have no wish to see cyclists wiped out indiscriminately. We all need someone to resent, after all.

Apparently Boris wants to bring back the old Routemaster (those old red buses with the steps at the back and a god-natured conductor bouncing up and down the aisles at traffic lights checking everyone's tickets, or Oyster Cards as it would be these days). Watch out also for the returns of bright red phone boxes, and maybe even the Black Death, as London heads off on a full-blown nostalgia trip. Yikes!


At 9:05 AM GMT+1 , Blogger Rish said...

A "god-natured conductor"? I know that some in officialdom have an overinflated sense of self, but this is ridiculous!!


At 9:06 AM GMT+1 , Blogger Rish said...

I aasume that the clamour for Routemasters will wear off when people start falling off them again?

At 7:21 PM GMT+1 , Blogger LazyLazyMe said...

Shameless self promotion, but I covered the, admittedly mild in comparison, non bendy bus issues.

At 10:40 PM GMT+1 , Blogger savannah said...

the bendy buses...ah yes, we had those out in los angeles..i think they're still in use. my little town is too small for that sort of thing here, sugar. i fear the nostalgia trip is everywhere - keeps all of us from realising just how horrible things are now! xoxo

(thanks for the link!)

At 8:16 PM GMT+1 , Blogger JD said...

"God" point Rish. Ahem. Can't even edit that out now or your comment would make no sense. And I couldn't do that to you.

At 4:55 PM GMT+1 , Blogger DJ Kirkby said... I the only one who thinks that Boris is firmly planted somewhere on the Autistic spectrum? If his behaviours to date are anything to go by I am surprised he hasn't 'come out Asperger's' by now!


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