Lobbying against Martlew

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Just Zis Guy, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    I will bung this on my Martlew page but I want to share the
    experience of a group of cycle campaigners I met with
    yesterday in how to approach your MP regarding Martlew.

    First, check history. Did they sign EDM1783, 2003 (last
    year's BeHIT one) and have they signed EDM778 (Active
    Travel) this year? If they have not, urge them to sign it.

    Experience indicates that in the first instance a short
    letter is best; if you are pushing at an open door there is
    not much point boring them, and if they are pro then you
    need to find out why in order to emphasise the arguments
    most likely to convince.

    Check their interests and make reference to them if relevant
    (e.g. child health, road safety).

    For Labour MPS, especially those with a history of working
    in childrens' issues, the number one button to press is that
    of rising obesity. You can suggest that they "might not have
    been made aware" that every country which has introduced
    helmet compulsion has suffered dramatic drops in cycling,
    with the largest drop in every case being among teenagers.
    In Syndey the drop in teenage cycling was up to 90% as a
    direct result of the law, and has essentially not recovered.

    46,000 people died of coronary heart disease due to
    inactivity last year, and around a dozen children died of
    cycling-related head injuries. A good key phrase is that the
    bill will almost certainly shorten more lives than it could
    ever hope to save.

    For Lib-Dem MPs you can appeal also to liberal principles:
    this Bill is interference of a type unwarranted by the scale
    of the problem.

    For Tories, especially right-wing Tories, the "nanny state"
    button works well. What next, you can ask? Mandatory
    thermometers for babies' baths?

    It is also worth pointing out that the bill is contentious,
    as many MPs are unaware of this, and that the Government has
    admitted that it knows of no case where cyclist safety has
    improved due to increased helmet wearing.

    They will probably also be unaware that a TRL survey
    showed that 93.5% of children on urban minor roads are not
    currently wearing helmets, so any law would present
    massive enforcement problems (good one to go for with any
    MP with a history of promoting police issues, also
    possibly worth asking your local police to write to the MP
    along these lines).

    The way the law is drafted it will also raise the
    possibility of criminalising parents, teachers, bike shop
    employees, youth leaders and the like if a child removes
    their helmet even without permission. If you are a youth
    leader or teacher this is one to lead with: it risks
    criminalising you even if the child removes the lid without
    your knowledge. The most likely outcome, as presented by
    several people I have met who have youth leadership
    experience, is that cycling will simply be dropped as being
    too risky in terms of personal exposure to prosecution.

    And finally, you might mention that the list of
    organisations opposed to compulsion includes: the British
    Medical Association, the Royal College of General
    Practitioners, the Royal Society for the Prevention of
    Accidents, the National Cycling Strategy Board, the
    Association of Cycle Traders (who actually sell helmets so
    are one of the few bodies who have anything to gain from
    the law), British Cycling, CTC, the Cycle Campaign Network
    - and indeed just about every body concerned with cycling
    or cycle safety.

    If you are going to see your MP make sure you take a copy of
    the CTC leaflet with you <url:http://www.ctc.org.uk/resourc-
    es/Campaigns/CTC12ppleafleta_w.pdf>
    - your right to ride rep may have a proper printed one, or
    you can get one from Cotterell House.

    The Bill is to be read on April 23. On that day Oxfam are
    asking all MPs to be in their constituencies for a do of
    some kind. But... second on the menu is a Tory PMB calling
    for a referendum on Europe, so there may well be more MPs
    than we would like (if there aree too few MPs in the house,
    as there generally are, it only takes one to call for a
    count and the bill goes back to the ed of the queue and will
    die). If your MP is pro compulsion - join Oxfam and lobby
    for them to be in their constituency that day!

    --
    Guy
    ===
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after
    posting. http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at
    Washington University
     
    Tags:


  2. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    >
    > The Bill is to be read on April 23. On that day Oxfam are
    > asking all MPs to be in their constituencies for a do of
    > some kind. But... second on the menu is a Tory PMB calling
    > for a referendum on Europe, so there may well be more MPs
    > than we would like (if there aree too few MPs in the
    > house, as there generally are, it only takes one to call
    > for a count and the bill goes back to the ed of the queue
    > and will die).

    Since her career in Parliament seems to be over for the
    time being, won't your MP, as a keen cyclist, turn up and
    ask for a count?

    Tony
     
  3. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 4 Apr 2004 10:29:32 +0100, "Tony Raven"
    <junk@raven-family.com> wrote in message
    <c4okhf$2kk2hb$1@ID-178940.news.uni-berlin.de>:

    >Since her career in Parliament seems to be over for the
    >time being, won't your MP, as a keen cyclist, turn up and
    >ask for a count?

    She is out of the country that day with a long-standing
    commitment. The one or two other reliable ones are similarly
    committed elsewhere.

    --
    Guy
    ===
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after
    posting. http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at
    Washington University
     
  4. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    <url:http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/web/public.nsf/Documen-
    ts/martlew_bill> now updated to include the preceding and
    some other stuff.

    --
    Guy
    ===
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after
    posting. http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at
    Washington University
     
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