Thursday, April 20, 2006

Off message?

Shadow transport minister Owen Paterson at the wheelThe Boy King may be hugging his (retreating) glacier in Norway today, choosing an eco-friendly dog sleigh as his mode of transport to deliver him to the famous site.

Recently, across the border in Sweden, however, his shadow transport minister, Owen Paterson, chose a more practical, although slightly less eco-friendly form of transport – a 60 ton "super-truck".

Not content with powering it round the Scania test track, Paterson then exuded enthusiasm for this 72 ft long rig, declaring that, "These trucks are far from being anti-environmental". Compounding his felony, he added, "I think the Government has muddled up large volumes with high weight. The way to do it in this country is to think about low-weight, high-volume products; breakfast cereals for example. If you talk about 60-tons no one will listen."

Parking your truck on the Boy King's lawn?His enthusiasm did not escape the attention of truck enthusiasts on the Big lorry blog who headed a posting: "A politician talking sense about heavy trucks? Shurely Shome mishtake." "A Tory MP in favour of trucks…?" they spluttered, barely able to believe what they were hearing.

Paterson is now calling for limited trials of what are known as LHVs, on the basis that their introduction in the UK could drastically reduce the number of trucks pounding up and down the motorways.

But, as he pounds the Arctic wastes in his dog-mobile, one wonders whether the Boy King knows what his transport spokesman is saying. Perhaps he should be told?


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