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  1. #1
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    Decapitate Cyclists!!!!

    I would appreciate forum moderators cross posting this across the entire site. This is not a shock-jock ****** radio DJ, this is an ex-member of the British Parliament writing in a column for a national news paper. Completely intolerable and in the worst possible way. An apology is not acceptable, 200 complaints to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) is not acceptable.

    Here is the link for making a complaint on PCC web site:
    http://www.pcc.org.uk/complaints/form.html?
    News paper: The Times
    Headline: What's smug and deserves to be decapitated?
    Date: 27/12/07 (British format day/month/year).

    From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_east/7168530.stm

    Cycling fury at beheading 'joke'
    Matthew Parris
    Matthew Parris was a Derbyshire Conservative MP for seven years
    Hundreds of people have complained to the press watchdog about a newspaper column which they claimed encouraged the beheading of cyclists.

    The Press Complaints Commission has had 200 objections to comments by The Times columnist and former MP Matthew Parris.

    Rhyl Cycling Club in Denbighshire, which lost four members in a crash two years ago, accused him of being vicious and ignorant.

    Mr Parris has now apologised for an article he said was meant to be funny.

    In his column on 27 December, he wrote: "A festive custom we could do worse than foster would be stringing piano wire across country lanes to decapitate cyclists".


    Accident scene
    Parris and The Times editor must be held to account - if necessary, through due process of law
    Roy Spilsbury, CTC Cymru

    Under the headline "What's smug and deserves to be decapitated?" he wrote of cyclists' "brutish disregard for all other road users".

    He also said that "the lynching of a cyclist by a mob of mothers with pushchairs would be a joy to witness".

    A Press Complaints Commission (PCC) spokesman said: "We have probably had about 200 complaints about it and we are currently in the process of considering whether there are any issues under the code."

    He said that, based on last year's figures, 200 protests would place the article among the commission's three most complained-about stories.

    The column prompted outrage at Rhyl Cycling Club, which lost four members when a car skidded out of control in icy conditions near Abergele on 8 January, 2006.

    Pictured clockwise: Thomas Harland, Wayne Wilkes, Maurice Broadbent, Dave Horrocks
    The four cyclists were killed almost two years ago

    Thomas Harland, 14, Maurice Broadbent, 61, Dave Horrocks, 55, and Wayne Wilkes, 42, died while on a practice ride.

    Club president Bill Twigg said: "From a club that lost four cyclists, anything that brings more conflict between cyclists and motorists is a bad thing.

    "If it wasn't for the first sentence, I could have dismissed the article as bad journalism."

    Mr Twigg accused Mr Parris of "vicious pig ignorance".

    Roy Spilsbury, vice chair of CTC Cymru - the Welsh arm of the Cyclists' Touring Club - said he was "closely associated" with the deaths of the four Rhyl cyclists, and had written to the PCC to complain.

    In his complaint, he wrote: "Less than two years ago four members of Rhyl Cycling Club, ages ranging over three generations, were killed on a public highway.

    Matthew Parris's apology in The Times
    Matthew Parris has now used his Times column to apologise

    "Messages of sympathy arrived from the four corners of the world - and the world's press reported the personal tragedies involved with appropriate sensitivity.

    "That Parris believes that such people should be beheaded beggars belief."

    He added: "Parris and The Times editor must be held to account. If necessary, through due process of law."

    The article prompted dozen of complaints from Times readers, and the newspaper has printed a response by triathlete Alison Steed, who said she knew of fishing line being stretched across roads at head height.

    She wrote: "What may seem a joke could end up killing someone - and for what, because you don't like cyclists, or cycling?"

    A spokeswoman for The Times said Mr Parris was out of the country.

    But in his latest column, Mr Parris, who was a Conservative MP from 1979 - 86, wrote: "I offended many with my Christmas attack on cyclists.

    "It was meant humorously but so many cyclists have taken it seriously that I plainly misjudged. I am sorry."

  2. #2
    Senior Member AtomicCactus's Avatar
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    No. It was not some "humourous little white joke".

    Charge the insolent with utter threat by indictment.

  3. #3
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    Sounds a lot like the stuff members of this forum write in regards to motorists.

  4. #4
    Generic Title ProFail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Sounds a lot like the stuff members of this forum write in regards to motorists.
    What's smug and deserves to be beheaded? Cagers.

  5. #5
    META Severian's Avatar
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    I read that a few days ago, when it first showed its ugly head, and the appology today. It's reminicent of Paul Soglin's comments a few weeks ago on his blog.

    Personally it's just a mark of smug bourgois what's mine is mine, what's yours is mine attitudes that seem to be more commonplace as time goes on. I could be wrong on that score, maybe I'm just noticing it more.

    I think that writers of drivel such as this should have their punishment be 100 hours of community service teaching underprivelaged and developmentally disabled kids the joys of cycling.

    And to ram the point home a public flogging with a giant floppy purple *****.

  6. #6
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Really, saying cyclists have a "brutish disregard for other road users" and need to be "decapitated" is foolish, considering that cyclists are on the "weak" end of any motorist-cyclist road-rage conflict.

    Pretending to joke about it just makes it look worse.
    No worries

  7. #7
    Blasted Weeds Tude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Severian View Post
    I read that a few days ago, when it first showed its ugly head, and the appology today. It's reminicent of Paul Soglin's comments a few weeks ago on his blog.

    Personally it's just a mark of smug bourgois what's mine is mine, what's yours is mine attitudes that seem to be more commonplace as time goes on. I could be wrong on that score, maybe I'm just noticing it more.

    I think that writers of drivel such as this should have their punishment be 100 hours of community service teaching underprivelaged and developmentally disabled kids the joys of cycling.

    And to ram the point home a public flogging with a giant floppy purple *****.
    ooooooo - very nice - I was reading and agreeing and hit the mere 100 hours of community service and was thinking to myself that that is not quite enough ... whoopsie and then enter ye ole purple attachment

    People who write any kind of these poor humor type of things that laugh at and take such fun <insert canned laugh here - wasn't that funny?> should really just not be associated with the publication anymore. Locally we had someone take good fun at some racially high powered items, he was canned - quickly - he put up a front for a bit and then faded away - however several years later I think he's now back in the column writing. Fine hand slapping complete. Idiot. There's things you can poke fun at, and things that are just arse-inine. Total poor writing. Not even humor. Can their butts - there's far better things to write about - and most likely a field of writers out there waiting to be noticed and write.






    <edit>

    BTW - I sent a very nice e-mail to them using your information - which, btw, thank you very much.

    I just stepped down as Publicity Director for my club - but hell - I flailed every flag I could muster.




    effin idiots anyways.

    next?
    Last edited by Tude; 01-04-08 at 05:18 PM.

  8. #8
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Made me recall the hilarity of the Bike Forum A&S thread where we all mocked the lady who lost her arm in an auto accident.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber View Post
    Made me recall the hilarity of the Bike Forum A&S thread where we all mocked the lady who lost her arm in an auto accident.
    Well, it was her fault. She should have had a helmet on.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Its not something you would make a complaint about in the US. Our radio. Its much too common and widely accepted. Good luck. Its not funny what so ever.

  11. #11
    Blasted Weeds Tude's Avatar
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    Had a reply!



    Dear (me)

    Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding a Matthew Parris column in the Times headlined ‘What’s smug and deserves to be decapitated?’. The Commission has received a high volume of complaints about this piece.

    Consequently, the Commission is shortly to consider whether the article breached this Code of Practice (http://www.pcc.org.uk/cop/practice.html). We will endeavour to revert to you with the outcome of the Commission’s assessment just as soon as possible.

    Do let us know if you have any queries in the meantime.

    Yours sincerely

    Patrick Evenden

    patrick.evenden@pcc.org.uk

  12. #12
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    I swear if Saddam Hussein used the 'I was only joking' defence, he'd be a free man now.

    Part of the art of humour is making your audience laugh, not angry. I enjoy shock humour as much as the next man, but that's not what this is - it's just plain old bile. His insincere 'apology' isn't worth the paper it's printed on, either. He's basically saying 'I'm sorry everyone took it so seriously' - that's no apology, that's blaming his audience for not laughing at his 'humour'. He should be made to aplogise for his apology as well, and do it properly this time.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  13. #13
    Blasted Weeds Tude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister View Post
    I swear if Saddam Hussein used the 'I was only joking' defence, he'd be a free man now.

    Part of the art of humour is making your audience laugh, not angry. I enjoy shock humour as much as the next man, but that's not what this is - it's just plain old bile. His insincere 'apology' isn't worth the paper it's printed on, either. He's basically saying 'I'm sorry everyone took it so seriously' - that's no apology, that's blaming his audience for not laughing at his 'humour'.
    He should be made to aplogise for his apology as well, and do it properly this time.
    Ditto on that! In my e-mail to them I sited an instance that happened here in Rochester a few years ago where one of our columnists (who over the years had a decent following, but had also crossed the line on some unsavory topics) and published a column that I believe touched on the racial factor or something else where the public once again rose up in anger - but this time it was more in force - letters to the editor, editorials, verbal complaints to tv stations and lots more - some city/town officials also jumped on board as well as others - and this columnist was eventially discharged from the newspaper - even after a mild apology (no bent knee there). He was out of the newspaper/public business for several years - and I believe was hired back into the writing system - but by a local news sheet - nothing like what he had. And yes his sincerest followers belly ached about the whole thing - how the public was taking it too much to heart, etc. Well I say those "few" people have one hell of a crappy "sense of humor" if they found his (local man) humor funny - much like Howard Sterns and other columnists/radio DJ's, etc. - some their extreme (meaning totally tasteless like laughing about 1 armed people, dead people, etc) "humor" may appeal to some, but not to the masses. And we bicyclists have such a hard time as it is with the driving culture that this was hardly appropriate.

    <smiles> hope he gets more than just a little handslap

  14. #14
    Blasted Weeds Tude's Avatar
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    OK, in case anyone is interested, I had another follow up to this ...

    Dear xx


    As you may know, the PCC received a large number of complaints about the Matthew Parris article about which you recently raised concerns.

    The Commission has now assessed whether the article in question, headlined “What’s smug and deserves to be decapitated”, breached the terms of the Code of Practice (which can be seen on our website at www.pcc.org.uk). While it acknowledged the deep concerns that many readers had about the piece, the Commission’s decision was that there was no breach of the Code and a full explanation is enclosed. Please let me know if you would like further clarification of the reasons for the Commission’s decision.

    Although the Commission has come to this view, we will be writing to the editor of the Times to let him know the scale of complaints we received about Mr Parris’ column.

    If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your complaint has been handled - as opposed to the Commission’s decision itself - you should write within one month to the independent Charter Commissioner, whose details can be found on our website.

    Thank you for taking this matter up with us.

    Yours sincerely

    Patrick Evenden
    Administration Manager

  15. #15
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber View Post
    Made me recall the hilarity of the Bike Forum A&S thread where we all mocked the lady who lost her arm in an auto accident.
    I dunno I also find this kind of funny knowing how most cyclists don't know how to ride on the road, they're either on the sidewalks dodging people, or running head-long into traffic, I've only seen hardcore cyclists going with traffic on the road.

  16. #16
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    Where is the outrage at my post? I'm on a schedule for accepting the passionate anger I so justly deserve.

  17. #17
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    The thought, idea, suggestion, or act to "Decapitate Cyclists" is not only macabre but outlandish and stupid.
    After all, once the act were to be take place more than a few times after it would be published in a newspaper or broadcasted on radio or TV stations, the people who brought it up and supported it can't very well just sit back and say, "It was only a joke."

    Indeed, those who came up with their origional idea wouldn't be able to live it down despite innumerable apologies and retractions. Their drivel is unacceptable.
    Last edited by powerhouse; 01-30-08 at 02:46 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonB View Post
    I would appreciate forum moderators cross posting this across the entire site. This is not a shock-jock ****** radio DJ, this is an ex-member of the British Parliament writing in a column for a national news paper. Completely intolerable and in the worst possible way. An apology is not acceptable, 200 complaints to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) is not acceptable.


    "That Parris believes that such people should be beheaded beggars belief."

    But in his latest column, Mr Parris, who was a Conservative MP from 1979 - 86, wrote: "I offended many with my Christmas attack on cyclists. It was meant humorously but so many cyclists have taken it seriously that I plainly misjudged. I am sorry."
    For heavens sake Houston, he has already said it was meant as a joke, which of course it was. Did you really think he was going to start beheading cyclists?

    To coin your phrase: "It beggars belief that any adult could be so stupid as you, or indeed anyone who complained at something that was nothing but a joke.

    It's a shame you haven't anything better to do.
    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt"!
    ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809 - 1865)

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tude View Post
    OK, in case anyone is interested, I had another follow up to this ...

    Dear xx


    As you may know, the PCC received a large number of complaints about the Matthew Parris article about which you recently raised concerns.

    The Commission has now assessed whether the article in question, headlined “What’s smug and deserves to be decapitated”, breached the terms of the Code of Practice (which can be seen on our website at www.pcc.org.uk). While it acknowledged the deep concerns that many readers had about the piece, the Commission’s decision was that there was no breach of the Code and a full explanation is enclosed. Please let me know if you would like further clarification of the reasons for the Commission’s decision.

    Although the Commission has come to this view, we will be writing to the editor of the Times to let him know the scale of complaints we received about Mr Parris’ column.

    If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your complaint has been handled - as opposed to the Commission’s decision itself - you should write within one month to the independent Charter Commissioner, whose details can be found on our website.

    Thank you for taking this matter up with us.

    Yours sincerely

    Patrick Evenden
    Administration Manager

    See my answer to Houston, babe. GET YOURSELF A LIFE!
    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt"!
    ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809 - 1865)

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Well, it was her fault. She should have had a helmet on.
    Nice one Six Jours!
    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt"!
    ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809 - 1865)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    Really, saying cyclists have a "brutish disregard for other road users" and need to be "decapitated" is foolish, considering that cyclists are on the "weak" end of any motorist-cyclist road-rage conflict.

    Pretending to joke about it just makes it look worse.
    LittleBigMan - another clown! So he was "pretending to joke about it" was he?

    Oh right, so he was really going to decapitate the cyclists was he? Silly me........ and there's me thinking he was really joking. Well I never! ROFL.
    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt"!
    ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809 - 1865)

  22. #22
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    Not sure if I've psoted this anywhere on this forum, but it bears repeating anyway

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/nation...578642487.html

    What larks, eh?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Easyrider View Post
    he has already said it was meant as a joke, which of course it was.
    How many legs does a dog have if you call it's tail a leg? Four.
    How many jokes were told by someone suggesting killing people if he says it was just a joke? None.
    You can call anything anything you want, but it doesn't make it true.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeWill View Post
    Where is the outrage at my post? I'm on a schedule for accepting the passionate anger I so justly deserve.
    You are quite right and that's no reason for anger. An idiot on two wheels is no smarter than an idiot on four wheels. There was a post somewhere in here a while back, some doofus was trying to figure out why so many motorists yelled at him, threw stuff, etc. After a few questions it turns out that he's riding against traffic on a busy road. Personal injurry and death are always tragic but sometimes these things are nothing more than a tax on stupidity.
    And that's my rant for today.

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