Cycling causes problems for politicians

In Dresden, the mayor of the city of Dresden is constantly breaking rules on a tour of the city, and in England, the parliamentary leader of the Tories has to resign because he would not accept a ban on bicycles passing through the city

The CDU politician Jorn Marx has been the mayor of Dresden since 2008 and is not entirely uncontroversial in this office. Last week he organized a bike tour through his city with Dresden’s cycling commissioner Nora Ludwig, his personal assistant Hanka Bohm and some other staff members. On this one, he wanted to examine projects, get first-hand impressions – and do some political advertising for himself. To this end, he had invited the local press to accompany the convoy.

She then reported not only on the projects visited, but also on numerous traffic violations committed by the department head and his companions – including ignoring directional arrows, red lights and obligations to drive on a certain side of the road and in a certain lane.

When things got very tight at one point where cyclists were riding on the Burgersteig, a Dresden Fubganger demanded that Marx "more order". But bicyclists also complained – for example, about uncontrollably parked-up traffic lanes and bike paths, angular bike bulbs (which, although they helped the "Design manual" the city, but scratch bicycle frames) and the blocking of the Elbe cycle path by a decidedly inflexible EU species protection.

A politician from England who rides a bicycle fared worse than the master builder: Andrew Mitchell, the Tories’ parliamentary leader, was forced to resign last week after he argued with police officers who refused to allow him to pass through the main gate of Downing Street on his bicycle. According to the police report, Mitchell called the officers on it "fucking plebs" and ordered them: "Learn your fucking place!" The politician denies that he has done so. According to him, the only thing that escaped him was a "I thought you guys were supposed to fucking help us", for which he apologized.

cycling causes problems for politicians

Andrew Mitchell. Photo: The Health Hotel. License: CC BY-SA 2.0.

The fact that Mitchell is now taking his hat off for the incident, which happened on 19. September, now had to take his hat, "so as not to harm the party", is related to a second transport incident that is currently stirring the British public: it concerns Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who was caught using a second-class ticket to travel in a first-class train compartment. The opposition Labor Party has since spoken of a "Patterns of behavior" and a government that believes rules apply only to others and not to itself.

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