BBC World Service: Cycling Across Europe In The Pandemic

The countries of continental Europe and the European Union itself have been much criticised in the (right-wing) British media in recent weeks on matters relating to the distribution of the COVID vaccines. In those criticisms there is, of course, a non-too-subtle dollop of British smugness. To at least 48% of the British population (of which I am part), these are sentiments that make us squirm. They are predictable and fail to take into account the ‘bigger picture’ of a continent which, in terms of the quality of people’s lives, is light years ahead of most parts of backward, squalid Britain.

Alas my country continues to be governed by the privileged who have little insight into the lives of the ‘ordinary’ folk like you (probably) and me (certainly). They hide under the sham of first-past-the-post / appointed politician democracy and take decisions based upon not the quality of people’s lives but cost effectiveness. When the reckoning is done as to why more than 125,000 people in Britain have lost their lives to COVID, I fully expect it to point in the direction of inequality, poverty, poor-quality housing and low levels of general health. I also fully expect such findings to be dismissed by those in charge and, ultimately, for nothing to change. Is it a surprise that the happiest people in the world live, predominantly, in continental Europe? I think not…

This cycling-themed documentary from the BBC World Service shines a light on a continent which, despite its faults, has basically got things right. Is it any wonder that many of those politicians also want to defund the BBC? Reports like this must make them tremble with fear as they head back in their expensive cars to their comfortable lives in the shire counties…

“Over a billion euros has been invested in cycling across Europe since the start of the pandemic. Some of the continent’s biggest cities are being transformed as people seek alternative, safer, greener ways to move around. Anna Holligan travels across Europe to see how people are getting on their bikes and asks if the surge in cycling is the start of a much bigger change in the way we travel.”

Categories: Cycling, Travel

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What do you think?