Yeah so apparently this Thursday we all get to vote on an important decision, did you know this?! Bike Gob noticed as there had been a couple of things about it in the press and so thought Bike Gob better give you all an impartial and vaguely factual run down.
Right so basically right, there's this vote for some election thing where we have to choose which kinds of priorities and attitudes the powerful people we want to hit us with rulers hold. Although these attitudes often change as soon as the voting is over, the pre-decided and written down attitudes of the powerful people are divided into parties, but not fun parties, more like boring tree house gangs, who all pick a colour and generally lean closer or further left or right from the middle. The attitudes will be about lots of things like how many cats you can have in your house or how long you have to wait to see a doctor when you catch your finger in your drive train and there's all blood spurting out of an artery, or like about how much Greggs sausage rolls will be, but most importantly to Bike Gob, some of the attitudes will be about cycling. It is important for us little gobs to know this, because in the eloquent words of Aline Cavalcante the awesome Sao Paulo cycling activist featured in the film Bikes vs Cars, provision for cyclists in cities is not a technical issue nor a financial issue, "it's a political issue.”
So we need to choose well gobs. To help, Bike Gob has compiled a useful guide to which tree house gangs think what about bikes and stuff so here it is:
Conservative Party also known as Tories, Eton Boys, F£cking Tories, and Toffs.
The Conservative party have vaguely said that they aspire to double journeys made by bike and that they want to make more cycle routes. How they plan to do this is not made clear but we must admit that Boris Bikes are pretty good. The Tory leader David Cameron might be the king of the lizard people but he's not as cool as Barack Obama when it comes to playing table tennis.
The monies: Pledge less than £1 per head per year towards cycling.
The manifesto cycling menshies: 1
The press photos: DC rides around with a helmet on his handlebars so seems confused about which politically in vogue helmet message he is supposed to be trying to convey but at least he's not wearing shorts as bad as George Osbourne's. Oh wait...
Green Party also known as The Greens, The Best Team, and Vote Greens.
The Green Party cite cycling to be their second most important form of transport next to walking and disabled access to public transport, and they reflect this in their extensive plans in their manifesto and high budget priority. They also support introducing Strict Liability law. In a rare flaw, their latest campaign video was a questionable choice although only attributed to the English and Welsh sections of the party so the Scottish Greens are still perfect.
The monies: Promise of at least £30 per head per year investment towards cycling and walking.
The manifesto cycling menshies: 12
The press photos: Alison Johnston and Patrick Harvie are both big supporters of Pedal on Parliament so have had many photographic opportunities with the bikes they actually ride not just in photos. And there's a picture of Natalie Bennett with some bikes too.
Labour Party also known as Red Tories, The We Don't Understand The Advantages to Scottish Independence And Neither Do The Media Who Will Ostracise Anyone That Taunts Us Party, Tory-Lite, and F£cking Red Tories.
The Labour Party show little interest in cycling although have made very vague promises to introduce a new infrastructure bill. The Labour run council in Glasgow is a prime example of the lack of organisation or will to improve cycling conditions in this city. Heading up labour, Ed Milliband might be a dweeb however he is a skilled evader of tricky questions and pretty great at sticking to the party line as this interview confirms.
The monies: No funding commitment at all.
The manifesto cycling menshies: 2
The press photos: Not one labour leader photo on a bike could be found. Ed Milliband only tries to play posh sports but Jim Murphy at least goes running in a Scotland shirt when he's not exercising his egg dodging muscles.
Liberal Democrat Party also known as Tory Facilitators and Sell-Outs.
This party are known to be active supporters of cycling with many of the better Tory cycling implementations credited to the Lib Dems. They have promised to implement the Get Britain Cycling report recommendations with along with interesting updates to landscape scale planning law. Currently in charge of the party, Nick Clegg will need a lot of forgiveness for getting in bed with the dark side, but this video MIGHT help make up for it.
The monies: Promise of at least £10 per head per year towards cycling.
The manifesto cycling menshies: 3
The press photos: Nick Clegg has clearly taken advice from a good publicist and doesn't do press photos actually riding bikes. Unlike Cameron, who looks like a guy who doesn't ride bikes when on a bike, this has given Clegg a cooler, guy who rides bikes but doesn't need to prove it, vibe about him.
Scottish Nationalist Party also know as The SNP, On Yersel Nicola, and The Saturday Night Project.
The darlings of the dream for Scottish Independence and now with a new more female but just as to the point leader, the SNP are looking set to gain a historical amount of influence in Westminister for which Bike Gob will be overjoyed. Originally with no mention of cycling in their manifesto, the party came out a week ago with promises that they will aim for 10% of journey's by bike by 2020 (five years sooner than already promised although an unlikely pipe dream at the current rate according to campaigners). Their active travel investment promise announced at the same time is no higher than the current level in place. Their leader Nicola Sturgeon is very good at putting UKIP's Nigel Farage in his place not like he actually cares.
The monies: Promised to invest almost £40m in active travel.
The manifesto cycling menshies (uh ooooh): 0
The press photos: The hastily arranged press shoot on a bike with Nicola from last week is about all there is to find, although there is this rather unfortunate leg salute from footballing Salmond.
UKIP also known as Racists, Toads, Nazi's in Disguise, and Creepy As.
The UK Independence Party has a transport policy wholly focused on cars and making driving cars cheaper. They have promised to abolish the Department of Energy and Climate Change, repeal the Climate Change Act and scrap green subsidies so they're obviously looking forward to a long future here on earth. It may come as no surprise that they aren't the biggest cycling supporters. Bike Gob doesn't think that the UKIP party is funny at all but their leader Nigel Farage does have a very funny face. Enjoy watching it squirm here.
The monies: Pfft you must be joking!
The manifesto cycling menshies: 0
The press photos: Aside from Farage's usual sport, BG could find only one picture of him looking at bikes and wondering what they are.
So there you have it. Hopefully this report will help you make up your mind about who you will vote for. In the interests of fairness and equal reporting Bike Gob couldn't possibly say who Bike Gob will be voting for except that BG is voting green. GREEN GREEN GREEN. Vote Green Party everyone. Vote for the Greens the end.