Sunday 8 January 2012

Nero fiddles...

The 2012 competition for the James Martin  award is off to a flying start - the accolade for most obnoxious rant against cyclists in a newspaper may be won before the year has properly started!

This time, instead of being a cook who sharpens his pen against the lycra louts, it is the MD of "Radio Exeter" in this piece.

To properly appreciate the invective that Paul Nero has unleashed upon us anti-social cyclists, I have picked out some passages.

SO I'm driving through the ridiculous 20 mile-an-hour system that's been designed to stop people going to Topsham when there's a decision to make. Should I knock this ignorant cyclist off his bike, blast my horn so that he is in no doubt about my displeasure, or slow down further so that the tailback that's built up between the rugby ground and the roundabout becomes longer still?

Thus starts the article - with no punches pulled on the stupidity of a 20mph speed limit. Clearly the yoghurt knitting town planners have put pedestrians and residents above Mr Nero's ability to go from A-B in his car. Outrageous! Don't they know who he is? Clearly, as MD of Exeter Radio  he has places to go, deals to strike, important meetings to attend. Small provincial radio stations don't simply run themselves without some hard work by people like Mr Nero, and pedestrians and other road users simply need to understand the importance of people such as him travelling between traffic lights as quickly as possible.

And then to make matters worse - there is one of those appalling cyclists in Mr Nero's way. You have to start to feel his pain at that point. This cyclist appears, from Mr Nero's article, to be impeding progress to the next tailback! Hence the author's dilemma - to quietly fume or knock this upstart aside?

Someone who doesn't understand the importance of Mr Nero's progress around the back roads of Dorset might wonder if it is a proportionate response to consider causing injury or worse to another human who impedes their progress by a minute or two. Some who don't understand the distress might wonder if this sounds just a teeny bit psychotic. They might wonder if cyclists are singled out for this retribution or whether Mr Nero metes out such summary justice to anyone who slows him down. What would be his response if Mr Nero was delayed by, say, an elderly couple at  the front of the checkout queue hunting for change? One might imagine that he would consider a decision between fuming behind them or punching them repeatedly in the face until they stepped aside. After all Mr Nero is a busy man; who wouldn't blame him for resorting to such summary justice?

But the cyclist is in luck. Mr Nero is not a man who forgets he is a role-model in society.

As a responsible citizen I slow down. I fume. And I add fumes. Slow-moving traffic wastes fuel and adds to carbon emissions. Idiots who ignore cycle paths should appreciate that future generations of children will drown as global warming wipes out Lympstone. And it's their fault.

Here, Mr Nero's impeccable logic cuts through the eco babble. Those pesky cyclists think they might be helping reduce pollution by using transport which doesn't produce any, but they actually cause hapless motorists like Mr Nero to add to carbon emissions. Do cyclists not realise that Mr Nero is actually helping to save the planet when he drives quickly? For Christ's sake why don't they think of the children?! Thoughtless lycra clad bastards. 

As Mr Nero points out - it is all their fault for daring to use the roads.

I could go on, but I think I should let Mr Nero's rapier-like penmanship do the talking. 

Except to say that those who wish to know more about the hero behind the devastating expose on cyclists may be interested to know that, as well as the comments section on the article linked there are other ways to show your appreciation for his work.

Such as on Exeter FMs facebook page here. (Mr Nero appears to be wilting a little in the comments on this page, so any support from people appreciative of his article would surely be welcome..)


  1. "... the tailback that's built up between the rugby ground and the roundabout becomes longer still?"

    So he's hurrying up... to wait in the queue made of cars. Can't rant about the other drivers slowing him down, they might get angry! :-D

  2. Yes, it would appear that his displeasure is largely from the cyclists impeding his ability to get to the back of the next queue as quickly as possible.

  3. Would his car registration be W4 NKR by any chance?

  4. On the plus side, his audience is rather smaller than Clarkson's who's managed the incredible feat of pissing off a billion people this week!