Tuesday, February 13

Number 10 petitions

I've noticed the fuss about the number 10 petitions thing.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of the petitions are about people wanting the government to tax them less, or be less restrictive towards them. The next highest number are those people wanting the government to go more after people who are not like them (see the justified persecution of toerags who don't have insurance or selfish people with bullbars*, or the less justified ones against 4x4 drivers, or School Run Mums, or cyclists**)

Petitions are easy, you see. Policy is difficult

Basically, people would like to petition the government to provide them with a congestion free road and lower tax. And not have to pay for it. Throw in the moon on a stick while you're at it.

How do you make everything pay its way? Roads might look like just a chunk of tarmac, but they genuinely are fairly expensive things, and have to be paid for some way or another. If you don't tax car drivers to pay for roads then you either have increased council and income tax to pay for roads, or you have really bad roads (which means all the money you saved goes to the garage instead). So then why should others pay for your driving?

The other reason for having taxation on cars is that it is a case of market failure - the car driver does not pay for all the costs caused by their driving, which include the effects of pollution (local as well as global, noise as well as gases) and time loss caused by congestion. Anyone saying such a thing has no place has morally given up their right to complain if someone wants to build anything in their back yard.

And finally, I'm wealthier than average, so it'll price the paupers out of my way. Oh bliss! O Poop poop!

* They designed crumple zones on the front of a car for a reason - to save lives. They designed bullbars to save your life if you run into a kangaroo in the Australian Outback and need a working car to get you to the next town before you die of thirst. People are unlikely to run into large marsupials and die of thirst in suburban England. You don't need bullbars on well-lit urban roads. Besides, they're on the front - if you're such a bad driver you keep running into things you shouldn't be on the road. The only things likely to jump out on the road suddenly are large mammals, and in suburban UK those tend to be children***.
** One note about cyclists - It's February. It's dark. Get lights. Seriously. I mean, you remember to recharge your mobile phone and mp3 player, how hard is it to recharge something that'll help keep you alive?
*** Or cyclists you can't see because they're dressed like ninjas, I suppose.

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