Re printed by kind permission of its author, Ian Mutch, President, MAG-UK. [Actually, this article has a much broader spectrum ....]
We have choices in this country. We can grumble defeatist noises down the pub like the vast
majority, or we can get involved. MAG can’t promise to win all the time but we do the very best we can and with the help of a few more of the motorcycle-riding population we will do a great deal more.
There are millions or people in this world who have very little say in how they are governed. Many don’t get to vote at all or have only one party to vote for. Under some sham democracies those who even organise opposition are intimated or made to ‘disappear.’ Here in Great Britain, and this is a great country for many reasons, we have free speech, we have access to our politicians;
anyone can walk into the Houses of Parliament and sit in on committee meetings if there is space.
The police do not shoot protesters in the streets for shouting and waving banners. We even had
protestors camped opposite parliament for years displaying banners calling our government murderers. Whatever you think of those protests they prove one thing. As the world at large goes, we are very lucky to live in an extremely tolerant country.
You can believe the sceptics who will tell you that our government is simply more subtle in the control of our society or that dark manipulative forces hold the real power that even governments are subject to in practical ways. There has to be some truth in that but the fact remains that we can get rid of governments and regularly do. It is also likely that the kind of global self interest groups who clearly do sway governments have bigger fish than us to fry. There may be kabuls galore bending ears, greasing palms and issuing threats in the course of thier elitist interests but you can bet your bottom off-shore dollar that they don’t give a stuff about hiviz vests and super MOT’s.What MAG is up against is not any consortium of tax dodging
oligarchs. There are some self interested bodies like the vehicle test house lot that want the Super
MOT enforced throughout Europe but they are hilariously transparent.
No, what we are not up against is hit men in dark glasses or the thugs of military dictatorships.
We are simply up against a bunch of do-gooders out to save us from ourselves.These are people with strange priorities in today’s precarious world. Rather than tackle world poverty, war, famine or the time bomb of overpopulation, they choose to focus their energies on us. And who are we? A miniscule number of ‘foolish’ free spirits who want to ride on two wheels instead of four and wear what we like while doing it. End of the world as we know it! Against the spectrum of world issues we are a but a pinprick.
The point I am moving toward here is that we do not have a giant wealthy enemy or Darth Vader to challenge. For the most part we are up against a rabble of poorly informed obsessive nannies. Nannies who feel it is their duty and destiny on earth to pass laws ensuring that no one does anything even an incy wincy little bit risky. Certainly nothing as mad as riding one of
those pesky motorcycles which, had they only just been invented would not stand a chance of
being allowed on the roads today. We can defeat these people. We have voting power; we can be
fearless in expressing ourselves in any form of media. With email we can communicate more easily
than ever with our MPs or MEPs. We can even meet them face to face. No one is going to come
knocking on our doors at night to drag us off to a subterranean interrogation room. Our families
will not vanish if we leave the country and criticise from afar. Our tea is not going to be poisoned with plutonium. Why? Because we aren’t that important. We aren’t a threat to the people who use those kinds of tactics. We just want to ride our motorcycles.
So why do we still have so much trouble getting our way? Well the biggest reason is that the
overwhelming majority of riders in this country and the rest of Europe and this is around 98% don’t care enough or else don’t think anyone will listen to them. Oh bless! The truth is they don’t deserve rights, they don’t deserve liberties, they don’t deserve motorcycles and they don’t deserve to live in a country like Great Britain. They certainly don’t deserve to enjoy the efforts of an organisation like MAG. A group populated with volunteers of conviction who put so much of their energies into ensuring that the nannies do not win. People determined to go on enjoying these damn dangerous motorsickles for as long as there is a free spirit and an appetite for exuberance. However we do not give up on them any more than we give up on politicians or give up on motorcycling. So get the pdf of this article from me email the firstname.lastname@example.org and send it to every rider you know who you think might, just maybe might say “OK I’ll join.” Then get them on line and
watch as they join – www.mag-uk.org
Saturday, 19 October 2013
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Several years ago Mrs H and I rode up to London on a Sunday for no particular reason. We were on the Harley Road King in those days. We parked up just off the Kings Road near Sloane Square and, after a coffee and a pastry, strolled along the shops. We found ourselves outside one called `Harley Davidson`. I saw a `Half Price Sale` sign in the window so went in. A polite, well groomed, `sensitive` sort of chap came up to me and asked if I was looking for anything in particular and I told him I was interested in a rain jacket. He umm'd and ahh'd a bit, went off and asked the manager and then came back with an apologetic look and a `sorry` for an answer. I then asked if they had any gore tex winter gloves in the sale. Again, a `no`. It was then it dawned on him:
"Oh, are you bikers"?
`Yes, look, these are biker trousers, this is a textile motorcycle jacket with armour here and there and we are carrying crash helmets`!
"Ohhh, we don't sell that stuff, you want Warr's, the Harley Davidson dealers right down the Kings Road".
`OK, so what is this place doing, called Harley Davidson`?
"We're the Boutique, the brand name, you know... (giggling like Kenneth Williams used to). we don't do real motorcycle gear, we do the Harley Davidson biker look".
I explained to him that we were actually motorcyclists who happened to ride a Harley Davidson, rather than dedicated followers of fashion. He seemed impressed and started to eye me more closely. My wife grabbed me by the arm and led me outside. I suggested we could go back in and I could say, "Hello I'm Julian and this is my friend Sandy", but we decided to go for a pint.