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Better footpaths and cycleways are a socialist inspired plot?

Written By: - Date published: 8:06 am, April 14th, 2020 - 65 comments
Categories: doofus of the week, Environment, Media, national, public transport, same old national, social media lolz, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, transport, uncategorized - Tags:

Siri please show me the dumbest right wing take from the past few days.

Despite the bedlam that is happening in the US and in the UK the winner is a local entry, Simon O’Connor complaining about Julie Anne Genter announcing a relatively modest fund for local government to use to temporarily convert unused local roads into walkways and cycleways.

The upside is clear.  Greater social distancing and greater safety.  And who knows but some of these could become permanent which would be a good thing.  Auckland Council’s timid steps taken in relation to High Street shows what can occur when you design a street for humans rather than cars. The picture above is of High Street.

Simon’s hot take?  It is a socialist progressive left plan to push public transport ideology.

Wow, hear that brothers and sisters?  Not only was it a fiendish plot by socialists for world domination but also by the progressive left, who by definition are not socialists but are progressives and left thinkers, to um, push public transport ideology.  Making it easier for us to walk and cycle will cram us onto trains and buses because … wait a minute.

In Simon’s world it clearly is a slippery slope.  One day you are wanting to make your street more pedestrian friendly, the next day you are manning the barricades trying to tear down the capitalist system from the inside.

Poor National. Its MPs have been rendered irrelevant because of current circumstances.  So they have to attract attention somehow.

I suspect Simon’s technique, publicly making an idiot of oneself, is not one that Crosby Textor would approve.

65 comments on “Better footpaths and cycleways are a socialist inspired plot? ”

  1. Cinny 1

    Wowzers, I thought this was satire to start with, but he is for real. Dang

    Ladies and gentlemen, simon o'connor is simon bridges brother in law, go figure.

    • Paddington 1.1

      TBF I thought the original suggestion from JAG was satire. No wonder David Clark kept his job.

      • Cinny 1.1.1

        This will create jobs and that is a mos def a good thing as we come out of the lock down.

        • Paddington 1.1.1.1

          It is low value spending, funded by tax/rate payers at a time when many of those people are stuggling.

          • Craig Walsham 1.1.1.1.1

            No, low quality Government spending was giving the Tax Payers Union 50k. If only there was a real tax payers union that worked in the interest of hard working Kiwis that we could complain to about such inappropriate use of our money!

            • Paddington 1.1.1.1.1.1

              It's not a contest in bad spending. Although I suspect trade unions are getting the subsidy as well?

              • KJT

                Real trade Unions, unlike the Tax dodgers union, which have just shown their total hypocrisy, serve a useful purpose.

                • Paddington

                  Not much. That's why so few people belong any more.

                  • KJT

                    Because legislation rendered them powerless.

                    The need for them is even greater than before.

                    • Paddington

                      "Because legislation rendered them powerless. "

                      You mean the legislation that made unionism voluntary? Nah, it just enabled people freedom of choice.

                      "The need for them is even greater than before."

                      Before what? Before the industrial revolution? Look if there is a need, people will join. But the reality is most people don't. That's a commentary on the perceived need.

                    • KJT

                      The legislation that severely restricted the "right to strike".

                      "Freedom of association" was always just a mealy mouthed excuse to remove Union power. As Unions were democratic organisations workers had the power to change them, anyway.

                    • Paddington

                      "The legislation that severely restricted the "right to strike"."

                      And therein lies the problem. The unions in days long ago used strikes to great effect to bring much needed change. Then they just started abusing the right and pissed people off.

                      ""Freedom of association" was always just a mealy mouthed excuse to remove Union power. As Unions were democratic organisations workers had the power to change them, anyway."

                      Being forced to join a union is not democracy. If and where unions genuinely added value today to workers, people would and will join. Most don't.

                  • Cinny

                    Paddington, I used to work for a large company, if a person was applying for a labouring position (we employed hundreds of labourers) they would have to fill in a form.

                    If they checked the box that said 'belongs to a union' we were under strict instructions by management not to employ them.

                    Should a union worker slip through the cracks and end up employed, we were also under strict instructions to do what ever we had to to get rid of them.

                    And that's how large corporations ensure they don't have any employees who belong to a union.

                    It maybe illegal, but that's what really happens by tories and capitalists to make sure union numbers are kept down.

                    Said employer proudly received a knighthood from none other than john key.

                    • Paddington

                      I'm sure it happens, but the vast majority of busnesses in NZ work in SME's, like the ones I run. I do nothing to discourage union membership, yet not a single worker in any of the businesses I run is currently a member of any union. Most people just don't see any value in it.

              • Craig H

                Some probably, public sector unions aren't affected yet.

                • Paddington

                  The Public Sector unions are the last bastion of unionism. Most private sector unions declined to such an extent they ended up swallowing each other. I have nothing against unions, per se. In fact they have done a great job over the years. They just have far less relevance today, which is why they can't attract members like they used to.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    I've nothing against unions either – considered their campaigns for annual leave and sick pay to be generally for the good of all employees.

                    • Marcus Morris

                      The real joke about Paddington's argument is that every so called "professional" organisation as its own union and it exists largely to protect and further the interest of its members. Doctors have one. Lawyers have one, accountants have one. They usually go under the more "respectful" name of society or association. What's the bet that Paddington subscribes to the Employers Association and I daresay that he subscribes to the National Party. If he is involved in transport he will belong to the Road Users Association. and they have had an enormous influence on successive Tory governments. I suspect that the situation that Cindy describes is widespread. Bill Birch with his tribe set out to destroy the one movement that stood for employees and he was very successful. It is his legacy.

  2. Oh for heavens sake doesn't he realise that walking is PRIVATE transport? and should get the same sort of support that other forms of private transport get?

    Maybe he doesn't really understand what Walking School Buses are

  3. mike 3

    Looks like Angela Merkel is a 'socialist leftist misuser' now. Extended cycleways in German cities.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/13/pop-up-bike-lanes-help-with-coronavirus-social-distancing-in-germany

    Given the state of America now wouldn't you think that extremist christians like O'Conner would pull their head in?

    • Sabine 3.1

      this is when government have run out of shit to do and have nothing left to do.

      Most cycle ways in Germany are already wide, many cities don't have any car traffic and are foot and bike only.

      good grief, the world is fucked.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        The only places footpaths are used in New Zealand is central Auckland, central Wellington, George Street Dunedin, about two streets of Tauranga.

        With the collapse of students walking and cycling to school over the last decade, footpaths are just a suburban road border.

        • greywarshark 3.1.1.1

          Good controversial line Ad. 100% for evoking passion about walking free and old people being neglected in planning, despite the medical advice that walking will keep them, and other needy groups like computer users and tech nerds healthy.

        • Sabine 3.1.1.2

          The post that i answered to relatated to germany.

          And don't blame the kids for the parents who drive to the dairy to pick up milk.

          My answer to the bizzaro world headline from the Herald is below. As for the no mates no ideas party who cares.

          What i find worrying is that this is a legit headline in the herald, and that this is obviously discussed.

          How about a headline that the government will be in the hospital and clinic building business to make sure that the next wave of covid or any other virus is not going to 'collapse' our health care system. Which is literally the only reason we are in lockdown.

          how about a headline the government will invest in training free of charge people to work in the future labs they create to assure timely testing of all citizesn?

          But behold we are having a post on an extra 2 m wide stance on a foodpath, that is what we discussing here. The idiocy of the no mates party goes hand in hand with the idiocy of the NZ Herald headline. And obviously the government has got nothing much else to say otherwise MickeySavage would let us know, right?

        • Gabby 3.1.1.3

          Time we got off our lazy arses isn't it.

        • Incognito 3.1.1.4

          One way to create a good city vibe and make cities more liveable and vibrant is to ban cars from city centres and create pedestrian-only zones and squares, for example. With urban intensification around to corner [pardon the pun], city planners will need to do something about the choker-hold of cars on city centres. It is worth noting that air pollution levels have dropped heaps in Auckland and Wellington 🙂

  4. tc 4

    "Poor National. Its MPs have been rendered irrelevant because of current circumstances…"

    Not all bad Mickey as they get to show how idiotic, disconnected, unable to grasp the reality of current events, next steps etc

    Fit to lead their media poodles for a walk is about it currently.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Simon's correct. Everyone from every point of view is hoping their pet project/world-view will flower now, from the changes COVID 19 will bring about. Julie Anne will leverage it, Simon will leverage it, as will Boris, Jacinda, Bill Gates and Brian Tamaki.

    • mac1 5.1

      As did the anti 5G movement.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/120941014/cell-towers-targeted-as-5g-conspiracy-theory-spreads

      What leverage produces when false, malicious, conspiratorial, 'woo-woo' science is used and people pronounce outside of their areas of expertise.

      • Alice Tectonite 5.1.1

        5G conspiracy fuckwits are so stupid they can't even read publicly available 5G coverage maps. Rural cell towers ain't 5G, nor are most urban ones…

        NZ 5G coverage is very limited.

        (But if they weren't that stupid they probably wouldn't believe that sort of nonsense. )

        • Wensleydale 5.1.1.1

          It's a deadly combination — painfully stupid and with low impulse control. "5G means the Lizard People will take control of my children's minds! I'd better drive down to the local cell tower and start wrecking shit!"

          • joe90 5.1.1.1.1

            It's all that smart dust…

            • Wensleydale 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Jesus. This is L. Ron Hubbard levels of mental. Even Lord Xenu would be like, "Yeah… this shit is too far gone even for me."

              • mac1

                5G, the IRA/CIA/KGB/, the Chinese, the Russians, the Commies, the Aliens, the flying saucers, the Yanks, the Muslims, the Christians, the list is endless back through the centuries.

                The Science Fiction/horror/action fiction categories with their enemies from Daleks to giant apes, killer plants lurking in the shrubbery…

                Comic books with world dictators looking into ordinary homes to control dissent, war comics….

                Now we have futures full of alien intruders, galactic dictators, death stars…..

                Fiction to frighten us, in print, film, TV, Internet.

                It's Them, the Other, the goblin, deformed, murderous Foe…

                Who want our bodies, minds, money, land, culture, property, body parts, culture,

                THEY Want US!

                So, who is us and who are they?

                They are us.

  6. Sabine 6

    This is not out of a different dimension called , We are so fucked?

    This is it? wider foot path to allow people to be outside on a footpath with 2 m distance? why not set out for set types of citizens to leave their house for 'shopping'? Maybe classed by ranking, i.e. govmernment, essential worker and non essential people? To unpleasant to contemplate?

    We are so fucked. I hope the government has some more and some brighter ideas for the future of NZ.

    • Robert Guyton 6.1

      The footpaths already were designed to allow people to pass each other relatively comfortably – does that mean "we were fucked" even then? Was that a "bright idea from the Government" that should have been decried the time? Did you call them out on it, Sabine?

      • Sabine 6.1.1

        no we are fucked because the headline should be

        investment into healthcare – so it does not collapse every time a new virus raises its ugly head

        investment into healthcare staff – i.e. no studentloans and decent pay, and hazard pay

        delivery of santizer, gloves, mask to all expendable workers

        re-thinking of the food distribution centres in towns as obviously we are going to need longer foothpats rather then wider ones if people are to stand in line for hours to buy eggs and bacon.

        But then, you are good Robert, i guess? AS for the government, yes, if that is what they consider a bright idea, then indeed we are fucked. How are is the mushroom season? I see you have got lots of space obviously to self isolate.

  7. Sabine 7

    wider footpath? We have several kilometer long lines in front of supermarkets and this is a real fucking headline?

    Good grief, Good grief.

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      You think the gummint should have hidden their proposal to make footpaths wider, Sabine?

  8. Kay 8

    Except all the wide footpaths in the world aren't going to make the slightest bit of difference while we still have so many self-centred citizens oblivious to the basic concept of the 2 metre rule, or just don't give a fuck.

    On many footpaths in my area, it is quite possible to maintain the distance if both parties pass on the edges of said path. Except for the many (often pairs or family groups) who haven't mastered this art of common courtesy, yet alone necessity and continue to walk down the middle of the path with no intention of moving aside, or even getting into single file. The 'it's all about me' mentality is still alive and kicking. Sadly the majority of offenders are younger, but it's been observed in all age groups. Personally, I'm getting quite annoyed at always to walk out onto the road because the other party shows no concern about bumping into someone else.

    So wide footpaths- yes. But a with median barrier for the idiots who don't know how to use them.

    • BArely Here, or There 8.1

      The four metre wide path that is supposed to be shared ped/cyle space is usually blocked by groups walking five abreast – pre covid. They could concrete a path the width of Earth and still people would block it.

  9. BArely Here, or There 9

    The government's public transport ideology? The fuck? Has he seen what Auckland Transport has done to bus routes? It is essentially a private commuter service now, nothing near useful public transport at all. The guy is totally fucking out of touch.

  10. Chris T 10

    I assumed the idea was a joke

    At the rate infrastructure gets built in this country, we will be opening new wide footpaths while reminiscing about that Covid thing 5 years ago.

    • alwyn 10.1

      Five years you think?

      Put Phil Twyford in charge and it will be fifty.

      • Wensleydale 10.1.1

        You really need to make yourself a voodoo doll of Phil so you can curl into the foetal position under a duvet and stab it with a knitting needle while shrieking "Bad Phil! Bad Phil!"

        Everyone needs to vent, Alwyn, and it's only a little bit creepy.

    • tc 11.1

      Almost forgotten about the shonky 'GFC begone' cycleway distraction.

      What an embarrassing moment for the NZ MSM covering that as if it was the magic bullet knowing a) it wasn’t solving anything and b) any criticism would cop his ire.

    • bwaghorn 11.2

      I wonder how many realise large parts of keys cycle ways are just signs and the odd painted line on preexisting rds.?

      • alwyn 11.2.1

        Have you even tried them?

        Most are pretty easy and there are only limited sections that are on roads.

        Come on. Show us what you are made of. I suggest that a beginner like you should start with the Hauraki Rail Trail, if you're a Jafa, or the Otago Central Rail Trail if you are from the Mainland. Do not try The Old Ghost Road though.

        You'll have to wait until the lockdown finishes of course but that will give to time to get a bike and to learn how to ride it in your local area.

        https://www.nzcycletrail.com/find-your-ride/22-great-rides/

        • KJT 11.2.1.1

          Both planned before Key. LOL.

          • alwyn 11.2.1.1.1

            You are right about Otago. That was a creation of the Bolger National Government of course. Gave them the idea for all the others didn't it.

            You are really pushing s**t up hill about the Hauraki Trail though. "Planned before Key"? Rubbish.

            Have you ridden any of them? bwghorn seems to have gone all quiet.

            • KJT 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Biked and walked the Gorge.

              With one of the people who first proposed it.

              They were pushing for it years before, Key.

              Pretty much from when the railway line was closed.

              • alwyn

                I guess you will call the proposal to put in the rail link to the Airport plagiarism then. Twyford claims to be the father of the scheme doesn't he. All my own idea he warbles.

                Well it isn't his idea. It isn't even new That was Dove-Myer Robinson's dream back 50 years ago.

                "Robinson's main focus during his second period as mayor was his advocacy for rapid transit system for Auckland. Robinson's proposal for a bus-rail rapid transit plan was "to provide fast, modern electrified railways through the main traffic corridors of the region".[4] The proposal had passenger trains every three minutes running from an underground subway terminal in the city centre with above ground tracks leading to Howick, Auckland Airport and a tunnel to the North Shore. The scheme was heavily criticized for its cost (an estimated $273 million in 1973) and both the ARA chairman Tom Pearce and most of its members opposed the scheme. The Third Labour Government reneged on an election pledge to pay for the scheme and the rapid rail proposal disappeared"

                What happened to it . Look at the last sentence of that quotation. Every significant project has someone who thought of it before it took place.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dove-Myer_Robinson

            • KJT 11.2.1.1.1.2

              I will give National credit where it is due for financing them, however.

              About the only good idea to come out of Keys Government.

              And one of my retirement aims. If I have any savings left after this.

              • Graeme

                The Queenstown trails have been an unqualified success. Both through their construction and in subsequent operations. There's quite a few business hiring bikes and providing transport to and from trails. The ride from Queenstown or Arrowtown to Gibbston to do the wineries, with bus transport back to town is very popular.

                Local recreational use is huge as well and there's considerable commuting on the sections near town. There's a few bits like between Frankton and town that predate Key's idea but they got a major upgrade as part of it. The trust also pulled in huge amounts of funding on the back of it and it's still a work in progress.

                A few ironies with it though. Lots of National stalwart farmers got seriously pissed off by it, lots of vigorous discussions in paddocks, leading to Bill having to come up and sort it out. Trails still went through as planned. And all the lefties building the thing, strange we didn't get invited when little johnny came down to open it.

                The trail from Kingston to Walter Peak via Mavora hasn't done as well, that's a fizzer and looks like most of it will be abandoned. The Clutha trail east from Alexandra is doing well and a trail through the Cromwell Gorge south of the river is under construction. Through the Kawarau Gorge from Gibbston to Cromwell is being planned and could almost be 'shovel ready'

                Then there's the original Central Rail Trail which is just magic. A must do for everyone, and at any time of the year, every season has it's charms, even in the middle of winter.

              • alwyn

                "And one of my retirement aims". Don't leave it too long.

                I've tried a few of them. Only the very easy ones mind, and even those are pretty much behind me on a normal bike these days. Perhaps I should look at an electric one. That seems to be all the fashion with the wrinklies.

                I have done The Otago Rail Trail, most of the trails in Hawkes Bay and the Hutt Valley section of the Remutuka Cycle Trail. Plus a few little bits of the Clutha Gold Trail.

                Ah for the days 60 years ago when, with friends, I thought nothing of a trip from Napier to Tauranga via Taupo, Rotorua and Whakatane and then returning via the Desert Road, Palmerston North and the Manawatu Gorge.. All camping gear was carried on the standard Raleigh bikes of the day with the only luxury being those 3 speed Sturmey Archer gears.

                Twas bliss to be a teenager.

                • KJT

                  I recommend the Nelson one, also, which I have ridden.

                  Through Clearwater inland, and also along the coast to Motueka. There is a ferry from Rabbit Island to Mapua in the summer. NW Nelson, where I used to tramp years ago.

            • bwaghorn 11.2.1.1.1.3

              Bits of real bike trails not the road bits . You need your head read to ride a bike on nz roads imho .

  11. O’Connor is a scummy RW troll. What an arse (this is from last year)

    • Wensleydale 12.1

      It's classic "someone pay attention to me" behaviour. When everyone's largely forgotten you exist, say something controversial and/or borderline offensive. There's no such thing as bad publicity, especially if you're a National Party MP. (I bet Simon congratulated himself heartily after that tweet. He probably thought it was incredibly clever and witty… and not at all snide and pathetic. He may even have gotten a chocolate fish for his brave efforts on behalf of his betters. Go Simon, you winner!)

  12. Jum 13

    Some wag suggested opening the roads to cyclists, walkers, skateboarders,….

    And suggested cars drive on the footpath…

    I like it.

    However, I’d rather take the train.

  13. millsy 14

    All the more reason to vote Labour in September/November.

    If making some alterations to footpaths is somehow 'socialism', we are all screwed.

  14. KJT 15

    Following the example of the right.

    Who have been inflicting disaster capitalism on us forever.

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