Many thanks for this. It's just the kind of speculative thinking I was
looking for to factor into my attempts to understand what's happening - I am
reading it and digesting.
This is not a response but an additional observation based on a talk given
by a BBC journalist who was speaking about this at a conference in London
yesterday organised by RoadPeace. He asked us why editors would score the
headline "Train Crash: 3 dead" far higher than "Road Accident: 3 dead".
When you go on a train you put yourselves in the hands of a public body -
which even though its now private is perceived as public. You entrust
yourself to it. Furthermore, and perversely, death is more of a news item on
the railways because so increasingly rare. He quoted small attention given
to rail crashes in the 1920s when they were more frequent. On the roads
drivers see themselves as "mutually complicit players in a game of risk."
This view persists even where there is no or minimal mutuality as with cars
and walkers or cyclists.
Furthermore journalism likes victims and it is easy to depict a decent
motorist as victim of speed cameras. He may have been driven over the limit
("fast is not automatically unsafe - otherwise we'd ban fire engines and
ambulances", he argued) but otherwise safely as a victim of a system for
collecting fines that won't even be spent on making the roads better for
motorists. He agreed it was bizarre that such people could be painted as
victims alongside people killed and injured but this was part of the "logic
----- Original Message -----
From: "prometeus57" <prometeus57@...>
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 4:12 AM
Subject: [carfree_cities] psych - heavy
--- In carfree_cities@y..., "S Baddeley" <s.j.baddeley@b...> wrote:
> I am feeling in need of some original thinking on this or possibly
some thinking that may be out there but which I haven't come across.<
Theory #1: Auto Lobby.
In this theory, a conspiracy (errr ... lobby) exists to prevent
progressive action on the issue.
Such conspiracies are easily documented. For example, the broad
conspiracy to prevent useful action against massacres conducted
by "allies". Here's how it works:
Phil Lesley, author of a handbook on public relations and
communications, brilliantly describes how state-corporate propaganda
works to maintain public passivity:
"People generally do not favour action on a non-alarming situation
when arguments seem to be balanced on both sides and there is a clear