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Apologies
17.09.09 by Buffalo Bill

Two apologies:

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

“What was intended to be a humorous piece was clearly misjudged.”

Which one was written by Matthew Parris, in apparent contrition for calling for cyclist to be beheaded, and which one was written by James Martin, likewise as an act of contrition, for a similarly ill-judged comment?

I can’t tell them apart. The most offensive part of Mr Martin’s column in the Mail has since been removed, but if you missed it this is what he said:

Twenty minutes into my test drive I pulled round a leafy bend, enjoying the birdsong – and spotted those damned Spider-Man cyclists. Knowing they wouldn’t hear me coming, I stepped on the gas, waited until the split second before I overtook them, then gave them an almighty blast on the horn at the exact same time I passed them at speed.

The look of sheer terror as they tottered into the hedge was the best thing I’ve ever seen in my rear-view mirror. I think this could be the car for me.

The sentence ‘God, I hate those cyclists’ remains, along with a long rant about how much he dislikes their appearance and presence in the country-side.

There was, rightly, a storm of protest about Mr Martin’s comments, from amongst others, Brad Wiggins, the CTC and just about every cyclist in the UK. I guess we should accept Mr Martin’s apology with good grace. In future, as Bradley Wiggins said, James Martin TV chef, the word cock springs to mind, stick to Ready Steady Twat mate.

In the wake of Matthew Parris’ apology, Matt Seaton had this to say:

confronted by a blizzard of complaints, Parris has today offered a grudging and backhanded apology of the “I was only joking” variety, which seems a lame excuse for a prejudiced rant in very poor taste

which could equally apply to James Martin’s apology.

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  1. Poorly judged on several levels. I hope Martin takes up the offers of riding with a group of cyclists (Parris sure as hell didn’t) as he would have a lot to learn from the experience.

    Having been hit in the past myself it kind of irks me when people find it funny.


    Downfader    18 September 2009, 23:04    #
  2. The comments were included in a review of the Tesla Roadster, Tesla Motors have since publicly distanced themselves from the comments; Tesla’s spokeswoman Rachel Conrad went on to say that she and her husband have also participated in Critical Mass events in San Francisco promoting cycling.9 From Wikipedia


    — Gertie    23 September 2009, 19:52    #
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