UK Anti-Car Jihad Explained. Well, Illustrated.

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
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."

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  • Bunkie Bunkie on May 27, 2008

    A couple of points stick out: First, as I have said before, a lot of real automotive good has come from the efforts of environmentalist. In 1974, the sky was falling. Cars sucked. Yet, somehow, the industry figured out that squeezing out the unburned hydrocarbons meant more power and efficiency. Like it or not, we need to improve the efficiency of cars if for no other reason than to make then less expensive to operate. Better efficiency means better, more responsive cars. Second, what the hell does anyone's looks have any place in what should be a reasoned debate?

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on May 27, 2008

    jl1280, Yes it is awful when socialists have ideas. The reason is that they intend to enforce their ideas without regard to liberty, private property, or public opinion. To the socialist, the market is fixed by the rich, and the poor are ignorant saps who must be governed by their betters. The capitalist putz in your example is relatively harmless compared to your average socialist. Capitalists tend not to have the same long term effects that the socialists have. The great thing about capitalist democracy is that so far, the idiots you complain about have not managed to muck it up. If you let the socialists keep tampering with the checks and balances in the name of "fairness" that will eventually end. In fact, socialism is only successful in that it bleeds a capitalist system while becoming the preferred prescription for all the ills that it creates itself. "There is too much poverty." "Tax the rich!" "There is too much poverty." "Tax the rich!" "Why is there still poverty?" "We aren't taxing the rich enough!" "Why are we all so poor?" "You aren't all poor, you are all equal. Poverty has been eliminated. Be happy, have some cheese."

  • 2ronnies1cup 2ronnies1cup on Jun 15, 2011

    @Pch101 "I had thought that Joe McCarthy was dead" Ah, 'Tailgunner Joe'. A chronic alcoholic with a gambling problem who forged letters of commendation about his military service, gained a Senate position with the backing of a Communist Party affiliated union, and then set about a campaign of thinly-veiled anti-semitic witch-hunts disguised as anti-communism. Almost makes me proud to be a fellow Irishman.

  • 2ronnies1cup 2ronnies1cup on Jun 15, 2011

    @bunkie "what the hell does anyone’s looks have any place in what should be a reasoned debate?" Very true. I don't doubt that I'd rate higher than Stephen Hawking on, but I wouldn't want to debatee him on astrophysics!