This morning’s cycling item on Radio Four’s Today programme raised the idea that cycling is a natural Tory past-time. No doubt prompted by the number of Tory MPs who now cycle to work at the House of Commons, correspondent Norman Smith asked Tory MPs what was so “right wing” about cycling.
This intriguing answer emerged from Ed Vasey MP:
The heritage of cycling (is) very much woven into the British character. It’s also a right wing issue, because it’s about the freedom of the individual. It’s about taking one’s own action against an over-bearing state.
Setting aside for a minute the vast numbers of Tory councillors we see regularly cycling through Darlington, does this imply that the next Tory government will be challenging the hegemony of the motor car, due to the latter’s role as the bastion of our over-bearing state?
Or will this lead to cycle-friendly towns and cities becoming the new bastions of state control, with Tory MPs (and councillors) driving their cars as a statement of individual freedom?