02 December 2009

Some people cycle. Get over it

I've just been knocking together a magazine article on biking politicians. In the course of my extensive research I came across this fantastic quote from Labour MP and cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw's website. Unfortunately I just couldn't work into the article itself:

During my election campaign in Exeter in 1997 my Conservative opponent said memorably: “Ben Bradshaw is a homosexual, he works for the BBC, speaks German and rides a bicycle – he is everything about this country that is wrong.” He helped deliver me the biggest swing to Labour in the South West

It's reassuring to see that being a member of a minority occasionally targeted by prejudice and hate (for example, in an infamous column by Matthew Parris) has done Mr Bradshaw's political career no harm since being elected as an openly declared cyclist.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous quote, love it. Thanks for sharing. Has to be said, being a cyclist never did me any harm, but as a member of two of Mr Bradshaw's 'wrong' minorities mentioned above I am often struck at the similarity between identity politics and cycling and some of the common prejudices cyclists have to face. Imagine the uproar if James Martin had advocated running down gay people, instead of cyclists? The trick to combatting this prejudice is not to conflict with the haters head on but to make their thinking seem socially unacceptable - the only way to do that is to make cycling more socially acceptable, and therein lies the challenge ahead (and it's a big one!)