Tuesday 15 July 2014
A questionable devolution
Devolution of power and responsibility from Westminster and Whitehall to regional and local government has been part of the Liberal/Liberal Democrat creed for a s long as I can remember. So I suppose we should welcome the government's decision to devolve a power to local councils.
But what a daft power: the right to close roads and abandon speed limits so as to run motorcar races.
I've never regarded motor racing as much of a sport. I acknowledge that driving a car very fast requires both physical and mental skill, and designing a car that goes very fast requires clever engineering. But it is a noisy, smelly practice which isn't really much of a spectator sport. There is a well established Formula 3 road race in Pau and I went to watch it during the "year abroad" of my French course. The cars zoom past, you wait a bit and they zoom past again, and if you have sharp eyes (which I have not) you may notice that the order has changed.
If some people get a thrill out of that, good luck to them, but it seems a curious area for a government which promised to be the greenest ever to promote. Surely at a time when we are doing our best to cut down pollution, including noise pollution, and conserve non-renewable resources, particularly oil, we should be taking measures to limit this "sport" rather than promote it.