Author Topic: Did the CTC/CUK and LCC make the correct call?  (Read 891 times)

Philip Benstead

  • Cycling4ALL - say No Bike No Life
Did the CTC/CUK and LCC make the correct call?
« on: October 20, 2018, 12:18:33 pm »
Stop Killing Cyclist -National Funeral

It has come to my attention that both Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC) Cycling UK (CUK) and London Cycling Campaign (LCC) refused to support or publish to their members this event.

I understand from the orgainisor that this was because it was not family friendly.

What do you think?  Should they support this event are did they make the correct call?
Philip Benstead B.Env.Sc. (Hons.)
| Events Officer | Cycle Campaigner
Westminster Cycling Campaign


  • Timelord
Re: Did the CTC/CUK and LCC make the correct call?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2018, 01:04:37 pm »
Do they have a policy of only supporting family friendly events, then?  (I assume it's 'not family friendly' on account of all the death imagery...)

If so, fair enough, though it seems a bit excessive not to mention it to their members.

I didn't hear about it until after the event, which I attributed to not being involved in London-specific groups.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Did the CTC/CUK and LCC make the correct call?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2018, 04:32:34 pm »
Here is LCC's response to the request to endorse the protest, there was a little bit before this which hasn't been published, LCC's board rejected the idea, SKC went to the Chairman who defered to the board, SKC then went to the local groups without mentioning the board had already turned down the request, politics  ::-)
LCC cannot meet your request to endorse and hence promote the SKC National Funeral for the Unknown Cyclist for the following reasons:
1. We believe a Funeral is likely to be a counterproductive tactic. LCC does not campaign by means of portraying the victimhood of cyclists and asking for sympathy; rather, even when running “flash” protests (Bow, Holborn, Blackfriars etc.) we assert the rights of all Londoners to be able to cycle in safety. We consider the focus on the potential victimhood of all cyclists disempowering (which is different to marking the death of an individual cyclist, e.g. at a vigil).
By contrast LCC’s “set piece” rides/rallies LCC were able to get 10,000 riders out in 2012 (The Big Ride), 5,000 in 2013 (Space for Cycling), and 5,000 in 2014 (Space for Cycling again) because they were centred on a robust but positive message – and a carnival atmosphere (just like the Scottish Pedal on Parliaments). We also think there is a significant possibility that many members of the public will feel we are drawing a parallel with the funeral for the unknown soldier, finding that wrong and distasteful (as several LCC members have already expressed to me). This would set back our cause if so. Thus, we would only call out our supporters for a protest like this if it were robust yet positive in tone, which a funeral is not.
2. There is no political window of opportunity of which we are aware. LCC’s “flash” protests have been an immediate response to cyclist fatalities and/or at a time when we knew we had the mayor under pressure; our mass rides in 2012 and 2014 were the culmination of LCC’s election campaigns; LCC’s mass ride in 2013 encircled parliament at the exact same time as the Get Britain Cycling parliamentary debate was in full swing. These were all political opportunities that LCC made or exploited. I see no window of political opportunity with this Government right now or in October, and LCC won’t risk squandering our supporters’ goodwill and precious time by calling them out just for the sake of it.
3. We all want more investment in cycling. But LCC does do not believe that making abstract public demands for money is an effective tactic to win support from politicians and the public, and (certainly in the current political context) it may be poorly received by both. LCC’s recent campaigns – from Love London, Go Dutch onwards – have been successful (at least in part) because we talked about specific issues and measurable outcomes on the ground (not budgets) and because we attempted to appeal to all Londoners (not just cyclists). We do not agree with your approach, but of course recognise your right to do things your way.
4. We all want zero air pollution, and LCC is part of the Healthy Air Campaign<>, a coalition led by Client Earth with a raft of demands (including for a new Clean Air Act). We believe this is the best way LCC can contribute to winning Government action on air pollution, rather than make an independent call for an end to the freeze on the fuel duty escalator and reversal of tax advantages for north sea oil (which is what I think you are calling for) - which is almost certainly going to fall on deaf ministerial ears and not necessarily the first thing LCC would call for anyway.
5. We are ready to collaborate: in 2013 we helped draw up a joint set of demands and an agreed campaigns strategy with a range of other NGOs, plus MPs, that resulted in the Get Britain Cycling parliamentary debate and report, and LCC’s simultaneous mass ride encircling parliament. We are always happy to sit and discuss potential collaboration; however SKC has instead drawn up its own slate and protest plans and called for LCC (and Cycling UK) to simply adopt and promote them, without any prior dialogue whatsoever. We prefer to work in a more collegiate fashion.
So, in short, we believe the Funeral’s political demands ae not well-judged, the tactic of holding a funeral is likely to be counterproductive, and that there is no political window of opportunity to justify asking our supporters to give the Funeral their time and backing. Taking these factors all together we therefore cannot endorse and hence promote this event via any LCC channel (central or local).
It is my understanding that Cycling UK remains of the same view.
In conclusion may I register my deep regret that you did not seek to work collaboratively from the start (we may still not have agreed but it may have been worth the effort); and that, having being declined by Terry and me, you then proceed - unknown to us- to ask LCC Borough Groups directly for support without even mentioning that Terry and I had formally said no on behalf of LCC. This is most disappointing to say the very least.
Nonetheless we wish you and SKC well with the Funeral: after all, you may be proven right, and us wrong. And LCC will also continue to flag up SKC vigils and collaborate where we can agree tactics that suit both parties. But we reserve the right to use LCC’s name and external comms channels on matters exclusively of our choosing, however much you or anyone else may press us to do otherwise.

Dr Ashok Sinha
Chief Executive
London Cycling Campaign”
I haven't read anything from Cycling UK, though they're mentioned above and I expect their rejection was along similar lines. I don't know where the idea of it not being family friendly comes from.

Re: Did the CTC/CUK and LCC make the correct call?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2018, 05:13:25 pm »
I’ve attended almost every SKC event including this one but I have no problem with LCC making a decision whether or not to put their name behind any particular event.

Fundamentally, SKC take a deliberately antagonistic approach while LCC have found a more collaborative approach works best for them. There’s room for both approaches but aligning oneself with the antagonistic people undermines attempts to be collaborative.

I *do* have a problem with SKC’s attempts (following the rejection)  to smear LCC as corrupt and in the pocket of the politicians. Fuck that.

Re: Did the CTC/CUK and LCC make the correct call?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2018, 12:00:40 am »
I find the whole idea of die-ins, funerals and the like morbid, off-putting, and deeply counter-productive.

To me, the chief problem with that LCC letter is that it makes insufficient reference to the answer in Arkell v Pressdram.

Re: Did the CTC/CUK and LCC make the correct call?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2018, 09:20:26 am »
It has the same problem as h*lm*t campaigns - it puts people off getting on their bikes because "it's too dangerous".
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Did the CTC/CUK and LCC make the correct call?
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2018, 10:55:33 am »
LCC does not campaign by means of portraying the victimhood of cyclists and asking for sympathy...we assert the rights of all Londoners to be able to cycle in safety.

I agree with that.

Vehicle tax is another one: "I also pay road tax!"