Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Top Gearist extremism and other distracting stereotypes of justifying violence 

OK it is totally unfair to link the current spate of letter bomb attacks on establishmenst inimical to Unrestricted Motoring* with the kind of rhetoric sometimes used on the Top Gear TV show.

Though that issue of fairness wouldn't stop some commentators doing minute forensic examination of 'Islam' if 'Islamic Extermism' could be used as a peg for a story in parallel circumstances.

For my part, I think a root of the problem is the legitimisation of violence as a political process available and justifiable by any sufficiently self-indulgent interest group. We legitimise this at a state level, for example, when we too easily use the rhetoric, and indeed the fact, of War.

The Association of British Drivers issued this statement:

...it makes us feel a bit guilty that we haven't campaigned hard enough on the legitimate front against the things that we oppose, to do with criminalising and bullying motorists and because of our failure to campaign hard enough, somebody's had to resort to this.

No, present or absence of 'legitimate campaigning' nobody 'has to resort to this'. Period.

*Congestion Charge Office, Speed Camera adinistrators and the DLVA, so far.

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