The Great Stink

London is a city based on Bullshit.

Londoners are always hyperbolic about their city, but the only world primacy that London can claim is as creator of bullshit.

Its biggest industries, finance, law, accountancy, government are based on bullshit.
Its Mayor is a master in bullshit, and Londoners love him for his audacity to emanate bullshit.
Its local politicians can only spew bullshit. Here are a few examples:
Transport for London tells us that they have adopted Vision Zero in the Road Safety Plan. Another stinking piece of bullshit, which echoes the bullshit that comes out whenever Leon “Safety is our No 1 Priority” Daniels opens his mouth.
This is the gyratory where Claire Hitier-Abadie was killed last week:

This is an environment where one small error by anyone can be fatal to someone riding a bicycle. This is NOT a Vision Zero environment.

Last but not least in this brief carousel of bullshitting officials is the Metropolitan Police, headed by someone who thinks that cycling is for poor people who cannot even afford a bus pass. These idiots are the greatest victim blamers in town, and whenever the massacre ratchets up, they briefly halt their  form-filling and hit the streets, giving tickets to the potential victims.

Londoners have become so good at this bullshit, that they fool a lot of people. Many Europeans come to London, enchanted by stories of opportunities and fair play; another bullshit. Nobody warns them that this is a city of callous and lazy people, where killing with a motor vehicle is an unpunished crime, where rules that protect pedestrians are conveniently forgotten, where bus managers push drivers to speed because their bonus depends on it, where the majority of HGVs are driven illegally, where major corporations lobby against road safety, where the Government is happy to see 5000+ people die prematurely from air pollution. In other words, a most unpleasant place
In the past month, at least* six Europeans have been killed by London drivers.

On 24.01 Rogacs Mihaly, 53, from Hungary; killed by a hit-and-run driver, Romford Road, Redbridge.
On 26.01 Hubert Mallet, 25,  from France; killed by a taxi driver, Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch.
On 02.02 Akis Kollaros 34, from Greece; killed by a tipper truck driver, Homerton High Street.
On 06.02 Federica Baldassa, 26, from Italy; killed by an HGV driver, Vernon Place, Holborn.
On 08.02 Janusz Partyka, 31, from Poland; killed by a hit-and-run driver, Wood Lane in Osterley.
On 19.02 Claire Hitier-Abadie, 36, from France; killed by a lorry driver, Victoria.

They all had come to chase a dream; but it is a mirage: this city is just full of bullshit; and my advice to all Europeans is: look for your dream elsewhere, there are plenty of European cities which treat their citizens with respect, which do not put commerce above safety, which, when faced with a problem, look for real solutions rather than blaming the victims.


The above is adapted  and updated from a speech I proposed to make at the vigil of Federica Baldassa; Stop Killing Cyclists, the organisers, did not allow it, because “it would [have been] a disaster for our positive relationship with the press.” More London bullshit.

* We say “at least” because the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London refuse to release timely information about the massacre of pedestrians in the capital. There may be other European pedestrians killed that we are not aware of.


Europeans are not the only victims of traffic violence in London. Here is the list of known victims so far this year.
In addition, tens of people have been severely injured, but no-one is keeping track nor drawing lessons, in spite of there being a legal duty on Local Authorities to do so, under Section 39 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Yes, yet another piece of bullshit.

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