Oh, hang on ...
A Labour MP has urged people to tell their male loved-ones not to ride motorcycles.
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman called motorcyclists “widow makers and orphan makers” who were “disgraceful in a civilised society”.
He said: “If you have a husband, boyfriend or son who wants to get a motorbike, please try and persuade them to get something with four wheels instead.”I don't know where to begin - the rampant sexism of assuming that all bike riders are male (or, perhaps that all riders who are killed are male), which is patently untrue? The Kiplingesque term 'widow-maker'? Pur-lease. Get something with four wheels instead - and kill three mates and a bus queue as well as yourself? And note that it is the motorcyclists themselves who are "disgraceful in a civilised society", not the bikes. It seems that 'love the sinner, hate the sin' hasn't reached Huddersfield yet.
He gets his facts wrong, of course (nothing unusual there when there is a 'valid point' to be made - think of the climate change con). He says that:
“Around 650 people on motorbikes die each year, which is an astonishing figure. "
It is astonishing, because it is wrong. The figure for 2007 was 596, and for 2008, 493. Too high, but not as high as Sheerman is claiming, and note the downward trend. And how many of those deaths were caused by 'safer' car drivers failing to look? Or poorly-maintained road surfaces? Or spilt diesel?
Two thoughts come to mind: one is that Mr Sheerman, to be consistent, would also need to be opposed to other activities by young men which leave widows and orphans ...
Solicitor James Ryan, 37, died after being swept away by an avalanche while skiing in the Italian Alps. He leaves two young children. (Times today, paper edn)
... or is it just those that aren't nice, aspirational middle-class recreations?
And as for "disgraceful in a civilised society", how about looking closer to home?
The senior backbencher, who claimed £8,613 expenses from the taxpayer for car use in a year ...
Lying hypocrite, then.
Two disgraces to civilised society, yesterday.