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Fw: Hands Across the Sea

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  • Simon Baddeley
    ... From: Lance K Green To: Sent: Monday, May 28, 2001 8:13 PM Subject: Hands Across the Sea I
    Message 1 of 3 , May 28, 2001
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Lance K Green <lkgzzz@...>
      To: <Blind.Copy.Receiver@...>
      Sent: Monday, May 28, 2001 8:13 PM
      Subject: Hands Across the Sea

      I have (accidentally) read a bit more of your E mail. You are trying to
      pin pain and suffering on the motorcar. But the car has not increased the
      suffering in the world - far from it. Deaths and injuries in transport
      have not increased with the coming of the car. The assertion that the
      motorcar has brought pain and death with it is just an assertion without
      supporting evidence. The latter is very thin indeed; but in 1842(?) a
      thousand people were killed in transport accidents in London alone.

      Last year about 630,000 people died in the UK, of which just over 3,400
      resulted from road accidents (including, of course, buses, trucks,
      pedestrians, and cyclists). If no cars existed, would you really expect
      the total death toll to fall to 626,600?

    • Simon Baddeley
      ... From: Simon Baddeley To: Lance K Green Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 6:59 PM Subject: Re: Hands Across the
      Message 2 of 3 , May 29, 2001
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Simon Baddeley <s.j.baddeley@...>
        To: Lance K Green <lkgzzz@...>
        Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 6:59 PM
        Subject: Re: Hands Across the Sea

        > Lance
        > <Some are nutty enough even to resort to terrorism; and here I would part
        > company with them. Many normally cautious middle class stalwarts have
        > already turned to criminal damage in destroying Gatso cameras.>
        > I think you may well be right. What you fail to recognise unlike the
        > anti-by-pass protesters (for who I have tremendous respect) is that direct
        > action is a resort of the weak (not necessarily morally) against the
        > We have a motto in the campaign against carmageddon - noisy defeats, quiet
        > victories. Once the car lovers start to take direct action they will like
        > the lorry drivers begin to lose credibility with middle England or
        > middle-whatever. It may be therapy for them but its not the politics of
        > winners. I think you have to acknowledge that although we are in a small
        > minority on this at present we both live at the end of the age of the
        > Did you know that some of the greatest examples of the horse-drawn
        > coach-builder's art appeared about the same time as Benz came up with his
        > little invention?
        > Cars will continued but they will be highly monitored units packed with
        > telemetry in a strictly regulated road system. Health and convenience and
        > technical fix will be used to sell this formula to motorists but I predict
        > that in 30 years or less, to go from Pittsburgh to Chicago or from London
        > Leeds the driver will need to submit a "flight plan". And you wonder why I
        > got out of motoring? Try walking and cycling if you love freedom and for
        > long journeys try a good quality high speed train for convivial company or
        > solitary relaxation. Cars are no fun any more.
        > Best wishes
        > Simon
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: Lance K Green <lkgzzz@...>
        > To: <Blind.Copy.Receiver@...>
        > Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 5:36 PM
        > Subject: Hands Across the Sea
        > <<You are learning fast. I am also delighted to hear that you lack energy
        > to continue the debate. In the long run this is how all political
        > are won ... by those who stick it out. We will.>>
        > I suppose that is right. But I don't agree that you will win. I think
        > that drivers will eventually take direct action; and who can blame them?
        > The problem underlying all this is that the political spectrum is still
        > focusing on the old left/right labour/capital debate. But that was
        > a while ago. What we need now is a new line up. We should have science
        > based progressive parties on the one side, and belief driven faith based
        > organisations on the other. Until then the election are of limited value.
        > LKG
      • Simon Baddeley
        Lance We ve both made our points and arrived - reasonably honourably - at positions neither of us is prepared to abandon. I note the prevalence of the past
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 3 1:59 PM

          We've both made our points and arrived - reasonably honourably - at
          positions neither of us is prepared to abandon. I note the prevalence of the
          past tense in your rebuttals of my argument about the future of the car. You
          have noted weaknesses in my case. Shall we call it a draw in which you came
          a passable second?

          By the way I don't think you'll have to go to exotic foreign places to enjoy
          car culture. I envisage the grand opening of the Jeremy Clarkson Heritage
          Motorway Museum in the not too distant future where car-lovers can gather to
          reminisce about the "good old days". The museum will include a short stretch
          of salvaged motorway on which enthusiasts can experience safe re-enactments
          of grid-lock and multiple pile-ups and a cleverly recreated service area
          with the sounds and smells of passing traffic artfully reproduced and piped
          into the eating area.

          One thing I nearly forgot to mention. The Clarkson Museum is only accessed
          by cycle route or a pedestrian walk from the nearby Toddington Eurostar

          Best wishes


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Lance K Green <>
          To: Simon Baddeley <s.j.baddeley@...>
          Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 9:30 PM
          Subject: Hands Across the Sea

          <<I'd be glad if stopped suggesting that "I know" the things about which
          you want me to agree with you. If I did I'd hardly be taking the
          positions I have in this debate would I - unless of course I'm the
          perverted instrument of evil that you suspect at work in campaigns against

          Oh! I apologise for the error. I thought that it was just a manner of

          <<You are in love with the car. I'm not. As a wise parent knows it's no
          good arguing with a besotted child. It may be easier for you to maintain
          your romantic attachment to this wastrel technology because, as you told
          me early on, you no longer yourself drive. This separation from the object
          of your affection helps sustain the allure of the car in a way that would
          become increasingly difficult to anyone who tries to drive one from A to B
          these days - especially in cities.>>

          Maybe; but the ability to drive was also a source of self respect and
          pride. Now that I cannot drive, I feel deeply humiliated.

          <<By the way Edward Platt has just published a rather good book called
          "Leadville: a biography of the A40" (Picador 2000). The Sunday Telegraph
          calls it "brilliant". Craig Brown in the Mail on Sunday describes it as
          "compelling", Tim Lott of the Times says its "riveting", The Sunday Times'
          John Carey says it should be read by "every thinking motorist", Claire
          Colvin of the Sunday express praises the way it moves "from the richly
          comic to the near tragic." It's a journalistic sometimes literary account
          of the story of Western Avenue - a main thoroughfare in and out of London
          - from its exhilarating and popular construction in the 1920s to its
          partial demolition 70 years later amid the broken dreams of the suburbia
          it helped both create and partially destroy. More than anything else
          Platt's book tells a tale of "our all-consuming love affair with the motor
          car." It is not people like me who are destroying the romantic dream of
          the car it is the car itself which has over and over again filled and
          eventually blocked the spaces created to satisfy its owners' need for

          I know the A40 well. None of it is, in reality, anything like the above.
          Even if you were right, what is so bad about something having a useful
          life span of "only" 70 years. The A40 does its job continually. I have
          enjoyed my journeys on it as passenger and driver - the best on Friday 24
          July 1964. The vacuum cleaner may clog up now and again; but it is still
          a useful tool. You negative people could sure do a hatchet job on just
          about anything, if you put your minds to it.

          <<One person on this list has asked me if you are real, Lance. Are you
          sure you are not an alternative version of me using another email address
          to enable me to develop my thinking about the problems of auto-dependency?
          This can't be the case because I could produce so many better arguments on
          behalf of the car.>>

          don't suppose that you approve of LJK Setright; do you? Perhaps you
          doubt his existence too. He says that the motorcar will one day be
          replaced. That is true. Then maybe we will have to travel to far flung
          lands with strange sounding names to take in a car culture. He says,
          though, that the car will not be replaced by public transport. Dress up
          like a diver and stand around in the cold or heat waiting for a bus to
          take one where one does not want to go when one does not want to go? It's
          just not going you happen.

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