Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeDemocracy in DecayGuilty of driving while white

Guilty of driving while white


THERE was a time when black drivers complained they were stopped by police so frequently that they felt as if they were guilty of being at the wheel while black. But with critical race theory marching through the institutions, white people can be forgiven for feeling the same – guilty of driving while white. This came to my mind recently when I read about a proposed 20mph speed limit in Bournemouth in an article referencing a council report which identifies ‘white heterosexual Christian men’ as the least likely to support the scheme.   

Make no mistake, practically no one in Bournemouth supports this proposal. A ‘public consultation exercise’ found four-fifths were opposed to it with a mere 17 per cent in favour. Nothing daunted, Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch Council are pressing on and seeking central government funding to make the costly changes to signage. They are on a mission and they have a theory, as was revealed by the local Daily Echo. You see, the council identified the baddies likely to oppose the scheme – yes, it’s those with the characteristics, colour and creed of citizens they believe are ‘more concerned with freedom’. 

Council data, the Echo reported, ‘showed that more men, middle-aged people, people that do not have a disability, white other (in terms of race) and non-Christians are more likely to cycle’. It explained that ‘much younger, much older age groups, people without a disability and LGBT+ are more likely to walk’, so improved cycling facilities would be beneficial to those segments of society. Women, however, ‘are less likely to cycle, citing concerns about personal safety’, but ‘reducing speed limits may alleviate some of these concerns’. How thoughtful!

I was prompted to write to council leader Vikki Slade to discover more about the basis of her council’s theory:

Dear Ms Slade

I am not a local resident, but an independent journalist writing about the recently reported 20mph speed limit scheme proposed by BCP Council. I am particularly interested in the comment by councillors, reported in the Daily Echo:  

‘The profile of people who proportionately drive more – men, middle aged groups, people without a disability, white British, heterosexuals and Christians will generally consider their freedoms associated with driving are being compromised, though individual views may vary.’ 

I would like to know: – 

·         How any of the groups mentioned (men, white British, heterosexual, Christian, etc) are deemed to be more concerned with freedom than any other group, or why this is assumed?

·         Whether such groups are deemed worthy of more or less interest by the council in their policy.

Yours sincerely

Niall McCrae 

Vikki Slade leads a council alliance dominated by the LibDem party with 28 councillors, the Conservatives having lost two thirds of their 33 councillors at the local election in 2023. The council are very keen on decarbonisation and motorists are a prime target. They have form, as I reported recently. In 2022 an independent BPC councillor, Mark Howell, proposed that dog owners ‘scale down’ to reduce their carbon pawprint. 

I received the following reply from Ms Slade on the categorisation of motorists: ‘I am not aware it was said by any cllr’. Ms Slade and the council showed no consternation about their discriminatory and identitarian approach to the policy that the newspaper report revealed. Indeed, they justified it.

‘Like other local authorities, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council has legal obligations as part of the Equality Act 2010. In accordance with this Act, all council policy is subject to the duty of due regard. An Equality Impact Assessment is not a legal requirement but is an established and credible tool for facilitating and evidencing compliance. The impact assessment must consider all protected characteristics. This work ensures decision-makers have all the information they require about how different residents may be affected by a decision or proposal. Our most recent BCP Travel Survey provided the data that resulted in one paragraph appearing in a 31-page report. This paragraph simply outlined the profile of people in our area who proportionately drive more often.’

Yet there was no evidence from the responses to their recent travel survey – which they sent to me – that it revealed a selfish white Christian petrolhead minority polluting at will. In fact the differences between most categories in driving were small: male 83 per cent to female 78 per cent, white Britons 80 per cent to BME 78 per cent, and Christian 83 per cent to other religions 70 per cent. Accessible to the public to respond to on the council website from October 2018 to January 2019, the consultation was also sent to 1,880 members of an ‘e-panel’. A total of 3,621 people responded (the adult population of Bournemouth is 162,000). Nine-tenths of the respondents were shown to own a car, and therefore would be directly affected by speed curbs and lengthened journey times.

Given the demography of Bournemouth, it is not surprising that there were far more Christians in the survey than Muslims, and more white than black people, restricting statistical significance. The ethnic gap, such as it was, in the responses may be partly due to recent migrants lacking the means to buy a car. Taxi-drivers, however, are predominantly of Asian background in urban areas nowadays. But the fact is that people of all demographic groups use cars for work, the school run, supermarket shopping, hospital appointments and family commitments. 

The survey responses also revealed the 20mph plan to have been criticised by bus companies, which threatened to withdraw some routes as they would become unprofitable. For ordinary people, already struggling with a sharp rise in the cost of living, fear of being fined for accidentally exceeding the awkwardly low speed limit, putting penalty points on their driving licence and increasing their insurance premiums, will have been a factor.

So why would the council highlight the sex, race and religion of drivers? All groups listed as likely opponents of the 20mph zone are on the wrong side of identity politics. Knowingly or not, authorities are following the strategy of ‘repressive tolerance’ of cultural Marxist Hebert Marcuse. White, heterosexual males are of privileged or oppressor status, and should therefore be ignored. Unless a white man is a sophisticate speaking the language of DEI (diversity, equality, inclusion) and acknowledges the crimes of his sex and race, he is fair game for cancel culture and ‘positive discrimination’.  

Rather than listen to the common sense of residents, BCP council are using the tactic of divide and rule, speciously attributing traffic pollution to people based on generic features of sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. The younger generations are depicted as ecologically aware, leading the way to a cleaner and sustainable planet. Playing a supporting role, the local BBC radio station reported the views of pupils at a primary school. Not surprisingly, given the constant brainwashing, they ‘welcomed news of a permanent 20mph speed limit being introduced’. Of course the little indoctrinees did!

Troublingly, councils such as BCP are working not for their electorate but for an unsolicited transformation of society through contrived climate change alarm. Woke and green are intertwined in forcing change, aided by progressive media such as the BBC and the Guardian. The latter medium mocked critics of traffic reduction schemes as libertarian lunatics of the ‘anti-vaccine, pro-Brexit, climate-denying, 15-minute phobe, Great Reset axis’. Mainstream media reporting of the large protest against low-traffic neighbourhood in Oxford last year, as described in my book Green in Tooth and Claw, showed that the establishment will go to any lengths to discredit legitimate public concerns. On another car-curbing scheme in Surrey, with the laudable aim of achieving zero road traffic fatalities, a member of public responded on X:

‘There’s that Zero word again. Net Zero. Zero COVID. Zero deaths. Such a totalitarian word. Coming soon: Zero freedoms, Zero cars. Zero possessions, Zero cash. Zero democracy. Zero meat. Zero flights. Zero free speech. Zero bodily autonomy. Zero risk. Zero miles per hour. Zero reason to live.’

Indeed, 20 miles per hour is a mere staging post to people driving nowhere at all. 

If you appreciated this article, perhaps you might consider making a donation to The Conservative Woman. Unlike most other websites, we receive no independent funding. Our editors are unpaid and work entirely voluntarily as do the majority of our contributors but there are inevitable costs associated with running a website. We depend on our readers to help us, either with regular or one-off payments. You can donate here. Thank you.
If you have not already signed up to a daily email alert of new articles please do so. It is here and free! Thank you.

Sign up for TCW Daily

Each morning we send The ConWom Daily with links to our latest news. This is a free service and we will never share your details.