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Labour MP: motorbikes should have no place in this world

April 1, 2010

Barry Sheerman, UK Labour MP

According to Mr Barry Sheerman, member of the United Kingdom Labour Political Party, we are all supposed to use cars, trucks and lorries to get around, and not even think about getting on a motorbike, per his latest statements:-

“If you have a husband, boyfriend or son who wants to get a motorbike, please try and persuade them to get something with four wheels instead”.

Because, he says “the widow-makers and orphan-makers are the people who drive such vehicles and are killed. That is disgraceful in a civilised society.”

What a silly thing to say just a couple of months before the General Elections in the UK, at a time when the Labour Party seems to be struggling to keep its electorate up against the Conservative Party.

We are amused by the word “something” in Mr Sheerman’s statement, which suggests that any four wheeler is better for the environment, in a country made up of highly polluted and congested cities such as the United Kingdom. We also like Mr Sheerman’s assumption that all motorcyclists are males, as if there were no female bikers whatsoever. Could it be that Mr Sheerman is a sexist individual, because we believe his statement can be categorised as such.

Mr Sheerman goes on saying “around 650 people on motorbikes die each year, which is an astonishing figure. In two years nearly as many people are killed in motorbike crashes as British soldiers killed in combat in the last 40 years”. You should get your facts right, Mr Sheerman, as the latest figures published by the British Government show that in 2008, there were 493 motorcyclist fatalities. This is slightly different from 650, isn’t it? But just in case Mr Sheerman can’t add up numbers because he seems to be from the old school, we are kind enough to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, we will say no more as a keen motorcyclist has today taken the time to send Mr Sheerman a nice email designed to gently put him back into his place. With the author’s permission, we have published the contents of the email, for which a response from Mr Sheerman is impatiently awaited. Be careful pushies, you might well be next on Mr Sheerman’s agenda!


Dear Mr Sheerman,

I have just read your thoughts about Motorcycles, and think you should be ashamed. Suggesting, as you certainly did, that riding a motorcycle is “uncivilised” shows you are entirely out of touch with the minority group you are talking about. You obviously have no real world understanding of riding a motorcycle, and have based your conclusions purely on what you have read. If I were to do the same I would naturally come to the conclusion that all Members of Parliament are lying thieves with no interest in anything but themselves. However, I know this cannot be entirely true, as my intellect allows me to push beyond mere statistics.

I understand that you are the Chair of trustees of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety. I wonder how many of that Council are bikers, or have any real world experience of riding a push bike, driving a train or a lorry or anything remotely connected to life on the Tarmac? If so, you would come to the conclusion that decreasing the number of serious accidents involving motorcycles would mean doing two things: educating drivers properly (I’m sure you know that the statistics show that other road users are more likely to be at fault in a collision than the rider that will bear the brunt of the injury) and changing road furniture (Again, I’m sure you are aware from reading your detached statistics that paint is slippery for a motorcycle, that collisions with the tarmac rarely kill, but collisions with badly designed signposts do). You would also know that a motorcycle is not inherently a dangerous object: a badly ridden motorcycle is. As, indeed, is a badly driven car, a badly wired plug or even a badly cooked piece of chicken.

I am disgusted as well that you compare losses on our roads to deaths in the Armed Forces. As a former Army Officer I find your comment distasteful, and typical of someone who has absolutely no understanding of what that life is like. I also find it ridiculous of you to point out one figure, and ignore a bigger one: If 2 years of biker casualties is the equivalent to the number of service personnel killed in 40 years, then what about deaths of car drivers in the same time? You and I both know that each year over 2,000 drivers are killed on the roads; do you intend to prevent people driving cars too? Perhaps only MPs are of a high enough intellect to be trusted to use the roads?

Finally, I sincerely hope that you either retract your statement, or that you lose your position in the long-awaited General Election. I – as many other road users – am sick of people like you assuming you know what is best for us. I ride a motorcycle because this is a free country, despite the efforts of your peers, and it is my choice to ride a motorcycle. It would also be my choice to bungee-jump, ride horses, ski or anything else that could kill me. No matter how hard you and your peers work to reduce the freedoms of people in this country, there will always be enough of us who believe in free choice to ensure you fail.

Yours most sincerely


Further reading (click to view):-

Labour MP: Tell loved-ones not to ride motorbikes


Please join and support the campaign to stop Westminster Council from stealth taxing motorcyclists to park before their scheme spreads all over the UK and the rest of Europe. For further details, visit

Rejoignez le groupe de manifestants contre le stationnement payant des motocyclistes a Westminster avant que cela ne se propage dans le reste du Royaume-Uni et l’Union Europeenne. Pour plus d’informations, consultez


If you have a story you would like to see published on UK France, please contact us here.

Si vous avez une experience a partager et que vous souhaiteriez voir publiee sur UK France, n’hesitez pas a nous contacter en cliquant ici.

  1. Phil Randome permalink

    A well constructed response from a biker. This is another example of why I believe a car licence should NOT be issued until the applicant has ridden a P2W for two years. I despair at the thought of having patronising politicians trying to rule my every action and I’m amazed by their naivety & lack of empirical experience. I’ve been a rider for 45 years & a driver for 39 years and never been prosecuted/fined – even for a parking ticket. I’ve driven throughout Europe, across the USA and Mexico & on that basis I offer an open invitation to Mr Sheerman to meet me to discuss his outrageous statements.

    Une réponse bien construite par un motard. Ceci un autre example de pourquoi je pense qu’un permis auto ne doit pas être deliveré tant que le demandeur a monté un P2R pendant deux ans. Je désespère à l’idée d’avoir des politicards condescendants essaie de dominer toute mon action et émerveillés par leur ignorance et naïveté. Je suis un vieux bonze, un motorcycliste de 45 ans, un conducteur de 39 ans, n’a jamais été poursuivi/amende – même pour “une contredanse” de stationnement. J’ai conduit partout en Europe à travers les USA et le Mexique et sur cette base j’offre une invitation à M. Sheerman me rencontrer pour discuter de ses déclarations scandaleuses.

  2. 1frog permalink

    I hope that such an idiot doesn’t get re-elected !

  3. Ross permalink

    That is a well crafted letter, it’s excellent!

    Politicians with views like this “have no place in this world”.

    If anyone else wants to write to Labour MP Barry Sheerman, you can email him on or use the contact form on his website at

    We should all take a few moments to let him know our feelings.

    Politicians need reminding that Riders Are Voters!

  4. thegrimpeeper permalink

    Phil, never thought of that, what a great idea!!!

    Problem is that this government is a master at splitting principled opposition into smaller packets which it can then easily ignore. For example, I should imagine that many bikers who are furious about this piece of bilge will probably be in support of the ban on smoking. In the same way, many aggrieved smokers probably support the ban on hunting.

    What we all need to do is hold our noses and support every group that is protesting against the government intruding into their lives whether we are in support of what they do or not, as the much more important issue is to get the state out of our lives.

    Ooops, sorry, rant over.

    Great site by the way.


  5. La Fronde permalink

    Not everyone can claim taxis and soft toilet tissues as an expense Mr Sheerman !

  6. RedHotScot permalink

    I wonder how long it will take the Labour Party to ban all Poles from flying!

    And why is it called the Labour ‘Party’…………No one seems to be having much fun.

  7. Labour! Need I say more?

    Mr Brown have you dug the hole deep enough or can we still get out?

    We all work for the goverment they can’t efford to lose us to other countries this is why they raise the price of petrol, living etc so we have just enough to survive but not enough to think about moving from the UK

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