UK Anti-Car Jihad Explained. Well, Illustrated.
TTAC's dedicated a fair amount of bandwidth to the UK's anti-car jihad. Our coverage has included London's Congestion Charge, speed cameras, CO2-related taxes and more. And now, finally, we offer a link to a proper polemic that encapsulates the logic and emotion of the British chattering class' anti-car arguments. Novelist and Independent columnist Joan Smith — "known for her human rights activism and writing on subjects such as atheism and feminism"– claims petrol-profligate pistonheads are forcing Chancellor Gordon Brown to reconsider yet another increase in the UK's fuel duty. And she's not a happy camper. "Welcome to 21st-century realpolitik, where the fact that overconsumption of oil is destroying the planet matters less than a noisy group of wannabe Jeremy Clarksons… I'm not saying that people shouldn't own cars, especially in rural areas where public transport is inadequate. I am suggesting that our present level of car use is a luxury we can no longer afford, which is why I always give a quiet cheer when the cost of petrol and diesel rises. In residential areas two- and three-car families have become the norm, and I'm not talking about little runabouts like my Ford Ka; the same people who whinge about the price of petrol have often spent £40,000 or £50,000 on top-of-the range saloons and SUVs without stopping to think of the cost in road accidents and premature deaths from respiratory disease."