A Bike better than an electric car? Sheer madness! MeshuGaas! and Sustrans cycling lobby MeShuganaahs to suggest it!

Better than a Bike?

The English made their language global before globalisation existed. It was honed in the Raj. Meanwhile, Tzoras, a Shemozzle and a real Meshugaas were words born in the Ghetto. Now in their DNA, surviving two thousands of years of racial persecution, pogroms, quotas, anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust, Jews have words honed by suffering, trial and tribulation with jokes born out of their eternal predicament.

For instance, there is the story of the old Jew seen repeatedly praying earnestly in front of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. When asked by a tourist, who had seen him more than once, what it gave him, the reply “Vell, I suppose that it’s like praying to a wall.” 

That is my experience complaining to the Local Government and Legal Ombudsmen. I need say no more. I do not need pages of narrative.

The English rely on the English understatement. Covid-19 is “just a little problem we’ll sort out on the day”. In Yiddish, only one word is needed, Tzsoras, very big trouble, to be accompanied perhaps by 0y vey. That says it all.

Your internet connection breaks down. Drat! Bother!  In Yiddish, it is another Shemozzle. As you say it, you feel your annoyance.

I have been writing at length bemoaning the cycling lobby. I have described them as political zealots, amateur planners, car-haters. The late Bernard Levin who, like me, was very Anglicised, would have called them “single issue fanatics”.

The Cycling lobby, Sustrans, has a vision. Six years ago, and we are now all stuck with it, their Annual Review 2013-2014 said: “By 2020, four out of five local journeys will be made by bike, foot or public transport.”  Then they put it another way, only one in five local journeys will be made by car with double the number of those who cycle.

 “We think a street should be designed for residents rather than those driving through, with slower speeds and slower moving traffic , so people are more inclined to walk and cycle for their journeys, some or all of the way .”

In English understatement, Sustrans’ vision is “well-intentioned but maybe a little over-optimistic.” In Yiddish, their vision is a Meshugaas and Sustrans are Meshuganahs. For those guilty of speeding at 22mph 70,000 drivers in London alone have been fined £100 minimum since January with 3 points on their licences to make cycling safer.  In Yiddish this is simply a real Mushagaas.

I flagged up the fact that the latest report from RoSPA said that the figures of serious accidents based on incidents reported to the police, not from the NHS, could be two or three times more. In Yiddish, their stats are currently worth Gornisht. Again, one word says it all.

Our rulers in Westminster and Whitehall throw billions to create cycle lanes where there are few cyclists and cause even greater polluting congestion, and probably cause more serious cycling accidents too, especially now more and more e. Scooters and e.bikes are being hired without helmets. Schlecht.

If they went to Brent Cross and the North Circular Road, they could see that London is not Amsterdam or Copenhagen. More Mushagaas. And More Meshuganahs. Why do I write pages when one or two words say it all?

For all of them the coming EV revolution with autonomous cars, Nissan’s single pedal Leaf made 270 miles North of London in Sunderland NOW, 100 million Americans already within a 15 minute drive of a fast charger with EVgo – now this may test you – so much better than the English understatement “Wakey, Wakey,”  get your tongue round this: “Mach nacht und geh schlafen.”

I am sorry if you think all of this is a bit of a chutzpah.


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