ID implants coming your way

by Sanderville   August 28, 2012  

Someone read a letter to me that was in today's Daily Mail. It purported to be from a cyclist who said that cyclists should be taxed, that the police should throw the book at cyclists who break the Highway Code and that the big problem with cyclists is that there's no means of identifying them when they break the law.

Aside from the obvious arguments about "why tax bikes but not microwave ovens or lawnmowers", and the Highway Code not being law, I think the really important message here is the insertion of the meme about identifying cyclists.

Letters pages in the corporate media are the perfect place to start a meme - the idea isn't coming from a think-tank or a politician, but from a normal, newspaper-reading individual with whom the reader will instinctively identify.

Corporate interests have been peddling RFID chips for humans for years now. They have been offered to frightened parents who'd like to tag their children so they can find them after they have been abducted. The corporate engineers who created human RFID implants have said how they'd be pleased to have such a thing implanted into themselves for all the benefits that such a thing could bring in a future society. Our corporatist government (both Red and Blue teams) has been pushing bio-metric and RF ID cards for years. If you have a recent passport and carry it about with you then you are already carrying your RFID tag and can be tracked wherever RFID transceivers are positioned.

However, the public appetite for having a chip implanted into them that will allow their movements to be tracked and controlled has not yet met corporate expectations. What better way to get the ball rolling than to start by suggesting that some unloved minority be coerced into having these RFID implants?

What better minority than cyclists - a dangerous bunch of untaxed outlaws who run down pedestrians left, right and centre? If you don't believe that cyclists are a clear and present threat to you and your children then you just have to look at all the reports and letters in the corporate media, say the Daily Mail for example.

What better way to get a grip on these lycra louts than to make them all have RFID chips implanted into them? Transceivers on every traffic signal will be able to detect when they wrecklessly speed by at red, and a panda car can be waiting to arrest them when they get home. Make them pay an annual tax for their RFID chip and give a PFI contract to have corporate wardens patrol the streets with scanners empowered to demand payment from any cyclist whose chip is in arrears - on pain of immediate detention in a corporate PFI prison.

This might sound far-fetched today, but see how often this meme about the difficulty of identifying cyclists starts to crop up, and take note of who says it and in which forum. If you ever hear it being suggested by a corporate think-tank (all think-tanks are owned by corporations) then you'd better start deciding where you want the implant.

Happy cycling.

13 user comments

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I always had the feeling that readers letters and comments have more weight than the news themselves. The Evening Standard have been known to recycle old cycling related "news" and statistics only to get the anti cycling mob all rattled up.

"Just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints".

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posted by LondonCalling [146 posts]
28th August 2012 - 19:01

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I love the way you report a story from the Daily Mail but at the same time deny that you have read the Daily Mail Thinking Sounds like the President Clinton, "but I did not inhale" or "have (full) sex with that woman!" defence! Face it; you have been caught!

posted by SideBurn [787 posts]
28th August 2012 - 19:51

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I do worry about comments on some media sites, there's a lot of 'astro-turfing' going on where companies plant good news stories and reviews of their own products and services on sites or talk down competitors. It doesn't take much of a leap to get to companies who are inserting stories that play on public fears in order to create a market for their products and the Daily Fail is the kind of site where I expect this is probably rife, playing on the fears of morons to drum up support for their next profit making venture hoping politicians take the Daily Fail as "public opinion".

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
28th August 2012 - 21:16

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While researching something else I found this interesting fact. A Profesor Frank Booth has estimated that inactivity costs America one thousand million dollars a year...the entire annual budget deficit in the US. I suspect the situation is the same in this country. Surely this means us 'zero emmision' cyclists in the UK should get a road tax credit? We are not just saving the planet we are also reducing the UK budget defict! Some of us are a lawless lot, but, how many of the 2000+ people killed on the road are down to us? By facilitating cycling the conservatives could tackle the combined problems of inactivity (by promoting cycling?) greenhouse gasses and our budget deficit! If they achieved this even I might vote for them!

posted by SideBurn [787 posts]
29th August 2012 - 13:18

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SideBurn wrote:
...Surely this means us 'zero emmision' cyclists in the UK should get a road tax credit?

THERE IS NO ROAD TAX. Vehicle Duty is a tax on the ownership of a vehicle. Whether you drive your car once in six months, or every day for six months you pay the same duty. If you declare that you do not drive your car then it is no longer classed as a vehicle and thus you no longer have to pay vehicle duty. Cars in motor museums do not have tax discs because they are not vehicles.

Maintenance of the roads is paid from your council tax. NO ONE IN THE UK PAYS ROAD TAX.

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posted by Sanderville [212 posts]
29th August 2012 - 16:10

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Yawn you know what I mean.....

posted by SideBurn [787 posts]
29th August 2012 - 19:49

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SideBurn wrote:
Yawn you know what I mean.....

I don't mean to sound like a ton of bricks falling but we have to stop the idea of "road tax" with every breath.

If anyone says "yoo dahnt evin pie rahd tax" then point out "neither do you" and explain the situation.

I pay £260 a year vehicle duty for a car that I almost never drive and yet I hear the rahd tax comment from so many low-life tossers in vans that they don't pay for that it makes me want to be American and claim my 2nd ammendment right to murder.

493rd in GC Fantasy TdF 2014

posted by Sanderville [212 posts]
29th August 2012 - 23:45

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I was more thinking of child/working tax credit than VED, I do understand the arguement.

posted by SideBurn [787 posts]
30th August 2012 - 9:35

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I can see a use for chipping your bike though...something similar to 'tracker' for cars that could be used to trace your stolen ride Thinking .
I doubt it would take too much in the near future to equip towns with 'electronic readers' at junctions etc so you could ping when running a light etc Big Grin
There is talk about the national ANPR (number plate)cameras being used to monitor vehicle movements with a link to charging for time on the road instead of the RFL (Road Fund Licence)/ vehicle tax.

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posted by colhum1 [98 posts]
30th August 2012 - 9:38

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It's not about the name.

Motons get annoyed because they have to pay something to use their vehicles on the road. Cyclists don't. It's that simple.

Educating them about what VED really is, or how road maintenance is funded, doesn't solve that problem. Moton brain = "I pay, they don't."

It doesn't matter that VED is emissions based and cycles would be zero rated anyway.

It doesn't matter that a large proportion of cyclists do pay VED anyway.

It wouldn't matter if cyclists did end up having to pay some form of annual bicycle duty because:
a) It could never be enough to appease the average ranting moton (otherwise it would be such a huge disincentive to cycling).
b) They'd find something else to moan about instead (non-mandatory insurance, you don't pay for fuel, you don't have to pass a test, etc)

I used to get annoyed when people did the "road tax" rant at me, now I just ignore them and carry on with my journey.

posted by alexfoo [2 posts]
30th August 2012 - 9:57

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Perhaps cycling needs to be a bigger part of the driving test? Or just the driving lessons, the stuff about VED/Road tax etc should really form part of the theory test so that the facts are drummed into motorists at the very earliest stage, while they're still learning to drive.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
30th August 2012 - 11:05

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I agree, although I'd start even earlier with the reintroduction of mandatory[1] Cycle Proficiency training into schools.

But even if you do modify the driving test to include greater awareness/facts about cyclists it'll take more than (at a guess) 30 years before even the majority of drivers on the roads have been through that revamped driver training.

[1] Mandatory for the school to provide it each year that is.

posted by alexfoo [2 posts]
30th August 2012 - 12:19

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alexfoo wrote:
I agree, although I'd start even earlier with the reintroduction of mandatory[1] Cycle Proficiency training into schools.

But even if you do modify the driving test to include greater awareness/facts about cyclists it'll take more than (at a guess) 30 years before even the majority of drivers on the roads have been through that revamped driver training.

[1] Mandatory for the school to provide it each year that is.

Yes, but any change in attitudes to something like cycling will always take a long time. Starting at the bottom though with the cycling profiecncy test (I found my badge over the weekend, reintroducing and making mandatory for schools is a great idea*) and improved, cycling aware, driving test would make sure the next generation of drivers is taught correctly from the start.

Also, by changing the attitudes of the younger drivers this will steadily move the views of the general public away from the 'I pay road tax'/Daily Mail brigade towards common sense and hopefully within maybe 15 years we may get to a tipping point.

There's no overnight fix for the problems cycling faces in this country, it's not all about infrastructure or having a legal system which protects cyclists and pedestrians, it's about education too, education right at the start and changing and building positive views at young ages.

* I might go as far as to say that learning to ride is made mandatory for all children in a similar way most primary schools used to teach swimming. Add on top of that lessons for riding on roads and the mandatory profiency test and hopefully the next generation of cyclists will be better prepared than ever. Also, more sport in school's is no bad thing.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
30th August 2012 - 12:32

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