“… the only good cyclist is a dead one …” – editor of the richmond magazine – september issue

by ekynoxe   September 6, 2012  

I read something quite alarming yesterday in the editor's column of the September edition of the Richmond and Barnes magazine. Richard Nye (@TheRichmondMag on twitter, The Richmond Magazine / Sheen Gate on facebook) seems to think cyclists are a nuisance, and they should be dead.

Quoted straight from the editorial section of te September issue of the Richmond Magazine:

[...] as a daily driver on busy roads, I tend towards the temperate view that the only good cyclist is a dead one [...]

The rest of the editorial is also worth a read. Appalling views.
Richmond Magazine September 2012 Editorial

The full editorial is available on page 11 of the swanky animated online edition, but if it gets magically removed for whatever reason, here's a copy of page 11, and of the full September edition.

If you're a business who's advertised in this magazine, and especially if you're a sports related one (Virgin Active, or Moore's Cycles are in there), I urge you to consider removing your ads from a magazine who's editor clearly thinks your clients should be dead...

Nothing more to add.

Thanks @freespeedlondon for the initial tip off.

47 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

It's a pity it's not a northern irish rag

#outnye

sorry.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7320 posts]
6th September 2012 - 16:59

like this
Like (0)

Let's wait and see if the offending article mysteriously gets deleted from the online edition of the magazine.....

Really, though?

posted by workhard [378 posts]
6th September 2012 - 17:07

like this
Like (0)

dave_atkinson wrote:
It's a pity it's not a northern irish rag

#outnye

sorry.

That's grand, so it is.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3099 posts]
6th September 2012 - 17:33

like this
Like (2)

Whilst it's a fair point that there are more consequential things to complain about, I think things like this contribute to the foundation that underpins those consequential things. The consequential things are the symptoms, not the disease.

It's the fact that we, as a society, are tolerant of shabby standards of driving that means cyclists get hit and killed by people who had no intention of killing anyone. A harsh sentence for an unintentional death, however stupidly it was caused, is a stable door shut on a bolted horse. Make the sentence as harsh as you like, the fact remains that in nearly all cases the driver was just stupid or lazy, not malevolent.

And it's the fact that we, as a society, are tolerant of bigoted and aggressive attitudes to other road users that means people take dangerous action on the road and call for "the others" to be removed from it, or for other legislation which offers no benefit at all for anyone other than to make one group feel that they've got one over on the other. Ignoring editorials such as this says that it's an acceptable view, that it's ok to hold that view.

Verbal discrimination and demeaning language have been made unacceptable not because it's an actual physical oppression but because it undermines equality in terms of people's attitudes. If the article had essentially said that "a temperate view is that the only good gay man is a dead one, so I find it very strange that I enjoyed George Michael's bit at the closing ceremony, but then I saw a chap coming out of a gay nightclub and vomiting the pavement so I shouted abuse at him and was so relieved to be able to feel able to hate gay people again" then would we still be saying, "yeah, that's fine, it's just a bit of comic exaggeration"? Of course not: you don't publish stuff that says it's ok to hate gay people, because it's not and as a society we don't put up with that any more.

The point is that it remains socially acceptable to hate cyclists, and that attitude leaches through to things which affect us on a frequent basis. Campaigning for harsher sentences for killing people is all very well but I don't believe for one second it will actually make any difference to the accident rate or the fatality rate.

Campaigning for just a bit of basic understanding of one another is something that might just stop people cutting cyclists up, might just stop people bellowing red-faced expletives at cyclists for no reason whatsoever, might just stop people trying to get counterproductive legislation in place, and might just encourarage a few more people to take up cycling without fear of people like Mr Nye fantasising about mowing them down on their way to work.

I don't think a lynch mob is productive, but I do think it's incredibly important to provide a loud and collective voice that makes it clear that it's not acceptable to publish views like Mr Nye's, let alone be in charge of an entire publication whilst doing so.

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [371 posts]
6th September 2012 - 18:03

like this
Like (2)

Bez wrote:
Whilst it's a fair point that there are more consequential things to complain about, I think things like this contribute to the foundation that underpins those consequential things. The consequential things are the symptoms, not the disease.

...

Verbal discrimination and demeaning language have been made unacceptable not because it's an actual physical oppression but because it undermines equality in terms of people's attitudes. If the article had essentially said that "a temperate view is that the only good gay man is a dead one, so I find it very strange that I enjoyed George Michael's bit at the closing ceremony, but then I saw a chap coming out of a gay nightclub and vomiting the pavement so I shouted abuse at him and was so relieved to be able to feel able to hate gay people again" then would we still be saying, "yeah, that's fine, it's just a bit of comic exaggeration"? Of course not: you don't publish stuff that says it's ok to hate gay people, because it's not and as a society we don't put up with that any more.

...

+1 Well put Bez.

posted by miuzikboy [54 posts]
6th September 2012 - 18:57

like this
Like (1)

You've probably just quadrupled the number of people who bothered to read the editorial. Well done

posted by spen [81 posts]
6th September 2012 - 18:58

like this
Like (1)

its now top read story on thetimes website

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
6th September 2012 - 19:46

like this
Like (2)

Milky88 wrote:

This road.cc article could equally well have harped on about how Team GB's cyclists are turning even the most ardent cycle-haters into bike lovers... well, maybe that's stretching it too far.

Can I just point out (as you've said it twice) that this isn't a road.cc article, it's a post on the discussion forum which has been posted by a user. Nothing to do with the road.cc editorial team (who incidentally do bring us a wide variety of stories from the cycling world)

posted by nellybuck@msn.com [156 posts]
6th September 2012 - 20:02

like this
Like (0)

Sure we might look reactionary to a point, but when our lives are actually endangered by irresponsible, reckless drivers, then anything that may firm up a person's "anti-cyclist" sentiment is not something that we should take lightly.

We don't need to lose our sense of humour over it, but it should still be highlighted. The pressure brought to bear on the Auto Express article did cause a rethink of sorts (even if just to protect the commercial interests of the publishing group).

posted by moonbucket [55 posts]
6th September 2012 - 20:31

like this
Like (0)

On-line lynch mob? How about a real lynch mob. Much more fun.

posted by fixer [23 posts]
6th September 2012 - 20:47

like this
Like (1)

Hi Bez,

As I said above I'm not suggesting that his comments should be ignored just that the response should be proportionate to the likely harm they will cause - ekynoxe was spot on to post this on the forum and bring it to wider attention. What people need to decide is what is the right way to respond to stuff like this.

Personally while I think it's great that people react so quickly to face down stuff like this it's also slightly depressing that a forum post about a man whose influence stretches barely to the end of his desk is the most read item on roadcc today above the story about the convicted careless driver who broke a cyclist's neck in two place and who has just been given influence over the UK transport network.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
6th September 2012 - 20:54

like this
Like (1)

Not exactly the worst anti-cycling artice I've ever read. His 2 negative comments seem to be a rather exaggerated (for comedy effect) position of his real feelings towards cyclists, which I suspect are slight anoyance mixed with mild envy. Nothing to get worked up about.

posted by daddyELVIS [394 posts]
6th September 2012 - 21:41

like this
Like (3)

This seems to be a prominent editorial piece, not some sad old geezer's attention-seeking whine hidden on a narrow column in the fold on page 7. It sets the tone for the rest of the publication. If you substitute 'cyclist' for another outgroup (muslims, gays, gyspies, racial minorities?) the tone may be seen for what it is: abusive and hateful. There is really nothing humorous in it.

The reaction may seem disproportionate but road cyclists of all persuasions are sick and tired of this unwillingness to share the road, of being abused and threatened or the victims of selfish, inconsiderate driving. We're only getting from A to B like everyone else!

If we don't highlight this kind of offensive crap as unacceptable it will grow and cyclists will be even more vulnerable; it will be seized on by some as acceptable. It could well lead to an increase in road rage and I have a very real fear that someone will die as a result. @daddyELVIS is it still OK if that is a member of your family?

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
6th September 2012 - 22:20

like this
Like (1)

I doubt very much that a member of my family is in any more danger on a bike than they were before this editorial was written (my wife certainly isn't judging by the thick layer of dust on her bike).

The guy (who I think is an idiot for writing this, by the way) is obviously making the 2 exagerated remarks in an unsuccessful attempt to put a 'grumpy old man' comedy spin on his enjoyment of the Olympics.

I cycle a lot, and I drive a lot.

When I'm driving some cyclists infuriate me too - in fact it happened today when a cyclist passed me on the near-side, between kerb & car, at a very busy junction as I was moving off and veering slightly left to avoid the attentions of a large truck in the lane next to me. I thought I was going to clip him - luckily I saw him just in time. As he looked at me I mentioned that his male appendage was located on the fore of his head! Now, that guy needs to learn how to cycle properly if he wants to stay alive.

Having said that, when I cycle, I know that I take the odd risk - afterall it's difficult to ride fast if you've gotta keep stopping Devil , so I'm sure I've annoyed drivers too.

I find that taking an aggresive position on the road, riding fast, staying aware and anticipating is the safest way to ride. It keeps me alive (or at least it has done so far - nearly 40 now). However, I'm sure this style of riding annoys the hell out of people like the guy who wrote this article. I doubt he'd ever try to kill me though. You usually find that people like him are all mouth (or pen) and no balls.

posted by daddyELVIS [394 posts]
6th September 2012 - 23:21

like this
Like (0)

No, he has to step down.

That is a pretty shitty collection of words, and him the editor?

I almost resent RoadCC for sending me there & boosting their stats.

posted by Mountainboy [72 posts]
6th September 2012 - 23:30

like this
Like (1)

All it is is a local free glossy that sells advertising space, and is largely put straight in the recycling (or bin) in most households. The few who do open the pages probably flick straight to the back to dream about the property being advertised, before putting it in the recycling also.

I wouldn't worry about him. If he'd have made the comment over a pint with his mates down the pub, he'd have had a wider audience that his editorial column has.

posted by daddyELVIS [394 posts]
6th September 2012 - 23:40

like this
Like (1)

Hmm… yes it would be offensive (and against the law)if Mr Nye had substituted 'gay', 'black', or 'muslim' for the word 'cyclist'.

However I'm not sure that the analogy of comparing cyclists with those sections of society that have suffered generations of discrimination works, for the simple reason that most cyclists unless they are also black, moslem, female, or gay will the moment they get of their bikes instantly revert to being part of the least discriminated against, least disadvantaged group in British society - middle class white blokes.

Also I'd have to say that historically our problem as cycists has not been that we are discriminated against - somebody actually has to notice you're there to do that. Our big problem is that for the most part we've been invisible to or ignored by our fellow road users, and by planners and traffic engineers, and politicians although maybe that's not the same if you live and ride in London?

When Clarkson started sounding off about cyclists all those years back I was pleased because it put us on the media map and our responses to him helped make cyclists more visible as a group while also demonstrating our collective power. Over the years the Clarkson schtick has all got a bit boring, and attitudes have started to change - if you notice Clarkson hardly ever mouths off about cyclists these days that's left to less media savvy wannabes like blokey from Richmond.

It seems to me that we need to find a way to respond to stuff like this that is less knee jerk, more considered, and more humourous so we can save our anger for those things that really deserve it - see above.

Personally I find it slightly ironic that while people rightly rail against the 'language of hate' used by anti-cycling commentators they often respond with what looks suspiciously like language of hate of their own - not that anybody here has.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
7th September 2012 - 0:07

like this
Like (1)

Heh. I was mulling it over whilst driving home yesterday and my conclusion was pretty much point-for-point the same as your last post, Tony Smile

Do you think road.cc has a potential role to play in dealing with the meatier issues, such as inappropriate ministerial positions, or the issues of poor driving standards, or unfathomable inequalities of sentencing? I appreciate there are bodies such as the CTC already doing this, but road.cc has a different if not wider audience and is a bit more dynamic in terms of communication.

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [371 posts]
7th September 2012 - 9:02

like this
Like (2)

Tony, I wasn't intending to comparing the lot of the UK's cyclists with persecuted social groups, merely trying to show that by substituting one for the other it more obvious that what is being said is not acceptable.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
7th September 2012 - 9:29

like this
Like (3)

Thanks Nellybuck, I hadn't realised this wasn't a road.cc article (doh). I thought the tone was a bit unusual! My faith in road.cc's thoughtful contributions to the meatier issues around cycle safety and driving standards remains intact.

posted by Milky88 [10 posts]
7th September 2012 - 9:42

like this
Like (2)

On the subject of Stuff That Is Actually Worth Doing Something About, how about the serial offender's get-out-of-jail-free card, the "exceptional hardship" plea?

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/local/darlington/9915984.Darlingto...

The sole purpose of this gambit is to allow people who are serial driving offenders and/or extremely dangerous drivers (ie earning an instant ban) to drive. If their family's welfare is genuinely dependent on their driving licence, then it's up to them to keep and earn their licence, not up to the court to dismiss everyone else's safety on their behalf.

It's a piece of sheer legislative lunacy, akin to being let off for stabbing someone on the basis that you're a butcher.

So: anyone sparing some bile on Twitter or Facebook for Mr Nye, please divert it to the "exceptional hardship" plea or something.

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [371 posts]
7th September 2012 - 9:47

like this
Like (0)

Nye Nye Nye, I cannot believe the stupidity of those comments. Certainly in bad taste; and it's a racist comment. He needs to be taught a lesson! I'm shocked that it was published in a Magazine at all; even though it's borough mag.

Anyone driving a motor vehicle should be grateful for every cyclist he/she sees on the road, it's one less person clogging the over congested highways in a unhealthy polluting motorised vehicle.

Sit in a traffic queue for an hour or so; and you'll soon wish you were riding a bicycle! Oh, and while your on the road in your motor vehicle, remember that it's a human life form riding the bicycle; and life is precious to all.

Take care.

posted by Mostyn [407 posts]
7th September 2012 - 9:48

like this
Like (2)

Good grief. Some idiot makes a bad taste joke in the sort of freesheet nobody reads and the internet catches fire. Can't you think of another journalist we should be discussing, or does omerta go further than I thought?

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
7th September 2012 - 17:58

like this
Like (0)

The editor is a moron, too stupid to appreciate that more cyclists on the roads means less road congestion for car drivers like him.

I emailed him to complain and suggest that others do the same. It might be an idea to get the publisher's email and complain. I suppose a complaint to the PCC would also be a good idea. I'm not sure of the procedure involved though.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2189 posts]
8th September 2012 - 22:00

like this
Like (2)

What a stuck up idiot!

Car drivers are better off dead, least then cyclists would'nt get run down and killed.

Works Both ways Wink

2 wheels > 4 wheels

posted by allez rikki [18 posts]
9th September 2012 - 1:09

like this
Like (1)

The Rumpo Kid wrote:
Good grief. Some idiot makes a bad taste joke in the sort of freesheet nobody reads and the internet catches fire. Can't you think of another journalist we should be discussing, or does omerta go further than I thought?

Problem is, you substitute cyclist for a religion/nationality/gender the same comment will ensure you a wee trip to visit the beak more than likely with the charge of 'incitement to hatred'. The editor could have taken a pot shot at cyclists without this phrase and nobody would have reacted. Beyond that it was a totally insensitive comment in regards to the high number of fatalities of cyclists in London over the last 8 months

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1048 posts]
9th September 2012 - 11:32

like this
Like (2)

Yes giff, but cycling is not an ethnicity, sexual orientation etc. If he were to substitute "White van driver" for "cyclist" would you still feel the same? (N.B By that I mean people who drive white vans and not)... I am not defending this man. He is an offensive, unimportant dick. Let's not make him an important one.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
9th September 2012 - 13:01

like this
Like (2)

I wonder if it was the same guy who deliberately pulled over to block me cycling on the left hand side of the traffic today (where there was a good space made by all other car drivers to allow cyclists through) while he was stuck in traffic today, so he could yell at me for riding my bike on the road ... Poor little angry people make me laugh..

posted by Jasonnz1 [23 posts]
9th September 2012 - 23:30

like this
Like (3)

Jasonnz1 wrote:
I wonder if it was the same guy who deliberately pulled over to block me cycling on the left hand side of the traffic today (where there was a good space made by all other car drivers to allow cyclists through) while he was stuck in traffic today, so he could yell at me for riding my bike on the road ... Poor little angry people make me laugh..

Could be, bet he has teeny wiener as well.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2189 posts]
10th September 2012 - 9:21

like this
Like (2)

Perhaps he should move? H*** would seem like a good location for someone who promotes hostility at this level.

PF
From the Gaelic ‘Iyadwyhadywagwyhag‘ said with a Wink

posted by Permanently-Fixed [3 posts]
10th September 2012 - 9:28

like this
Like (2)