Speed Limits

“Something must be done. This is something. Therefore we must do it.” Yes Minister Jim Hacker’s famous response. Last week’s commotion about 40 limits is just the same. Hapless Jim Hacker - hapless real-life Tom Fraser – Minister of Transport who brought in the 70mph limit at Christmas 1965, “doing something” about motorway accidents in fog.

They weren’t 100mph crashes. Hardly anybody was doing more than 50. It was a fatuous response yet, astonishingly, voters liked it. Voters love speed limits. The average voter would bring back capital punishment and now we have a government that before the election promised not to wage war on motorists, reacting the same way the socialist dirigiste useless Fraser did.

Only months ago it was talking about an 80mph limit. I didn’t believe it then and I don’t believe it now. Road casualties are up; they want to be seen Doing Something.

Yes Minister, they really are all the same.