Friday 9 December 2016

Accusing the Victim

A lot has happened to me recently. You'll know from previous stories and blogs that I've had tacks placed at the end of my path. I've had stones thrown at my house and car. Recently a letter was sent to my neighbours suggesting that if I don't stop reporting drivers to the police that thugs would vandalise the area and perhaps poison local animals

You can read it in this tweet.
So, please excuse me a little, that when I get an egg thrown at me a few days ago and I post about it on Facebook, that I get a little angry with one particular woman who, rather than demonstrate any anger at the incident itself or concern from me, gets angry at me for thinking the egg was thrown from a particular unidentified car.

Here is the text of this particular conversation, just in case it should disappear.....

Laura D:
Watched the video and i have no idea why you think is acceptable to blame one particular car without knowing for sure. I would be absolutely raging if I had innocently driven passed you as this incident happened to later find a photo of my car on the Internet and the finger being pointed to me.
Whatever happen to innocent until proven guilty?
"this is the vehicle the egg was thrown from"
Where is the proof?
Shocking accusation from a so called health professional
My reply:

Have you read what I've written above? The bit where I say I have no proof. The bit where I say keep an eye out? Exactly where have I shared anything apart from a make of vehicle? Is that identifying in any way? Which other vehicle exactly could this have come from? Possible from the houses? Perhaps, but incredibly unlikely due to speed and angle that it hit me, and lack of any images of anything untoward on the video. Most importantly where have I accused any person of being guilty? 

Oh and thanks for your concern. I'm fine thanks
Laura D:
Don't be flippant with me, this post isn't about how you are, it's a post trying to identify a car, on a road where there are many cars and also houses, like you've said. 
Yes I've read your comments, but those were made after you had originally posted this and advert others had put their valid points over. 
You are not always in the right,although it appears that you think you are. 
Other people are allowed their opinions, that's what happens when you create blogs,or Facebook accounts, we are allowed to say what we think, just like you are. 
And that's what I'm doing here. 
Have you ever thought of a career change, clearly you think you should be part of police Scotland. 
I have never had any issues with cyclists on the road, being a horse rider and being on the roads myself i know exactly what is like. 
But your tone, your attitude and your false accusations are giving other cyclists a bad name. 
I just pray.i never pass you and accidently sneeze, or look at you the wrong way or ill end up players ask over the Internet. 
Your very bizzare

My reply:

Hi Laura, I am writing this from my own account, just to be sure there isn't any misunderstanding about who is writing it. 
I can assure you, in my reply I was not being flippant. In fact I was being quite serious. I was pointing you in the direction of the comments above, where one poster had commented on my claim, and I agreed that perhaps it had been strongly worded, and thus I corrected it. The tweet itself, in which I did state that it was 'definitely from the car', was an initial reaction to viewing the video. You'll notice that posters above comment that they can't see the link. The reason they and you can't link to it is because I deleted it.
Now, remember I posted this that evening having got in, and having had an egg thrown at me (quite hard I might add, it stung quite a bit). So that was my initial response. I corrected it without any issue. 
Remember also I have recently had a letter sent to my neighbours which has been threatening, that I have had bricks thrown at my house and car, and tacks left at the end of my path. All things considered, I think I was rather restrained. Despite all of this you come onto the thread and without any comment about the incident itself, or about how wrong it is, started accusing me of being unprofessional. 
In fact it is of particular interest that you mention my profession. In fact you edited your post to make sure you mentioned that I am a 'health professional'. You are quite correct I am (although only part time these days as I am also part of an exciting new spin out company developing a diagnostic and therapeutic in stroke, but you won't be interested in that....). Anyway...what does my job have to do with any of this? What does my career in Medical Physics have to do with me tweeting about being hit by an egg whilst cycling? My impression from this, and this may not be your intent at all, is that you are suggesting I am not fit to do my job, and that perhaps someone should put a complaint in. That's how that comes across. If that is indeed your intent, please feel free to. You wouldn't be the first. 
Am I always right? Well, of course not. However, I reacted to your posting on here, the way I did, for the reasons above. 
I am glad you have not had any issues with cyclists on the road. Neither have I. I have though, as a cyclist had many issues with drivers. I am not alone. If you don't believe me have a look at the Near Miss Project ( It's an enlightening read. Also as the father of a daughter who rides horses (and who's wife used to) I too understand the needs of riders. I also know that sometimes riders are treated very badly on the road (
Then you mention the most bizarre thing...false accusations. Who am I falsely accusing and of what? I have accused no-one of anything, I have even at the very earliest point, only suggested that the egg appeared to come from the vehicle. I have no idea who owns this vehicle, or even exactly which type of vehicle it is (although I think it might be a Mitsubishi L200). By posting this I am warning others to keep an eye out for such vehicles and to be careful around them, as it would appear they have a grudge against cyclists. Is that so bizarre?!
As for praying you don't sneeze when you pass? If I am honest that is just condescending. Do you ride a bike on the roads? Have you experienced being knocked of your bike, or having a vehicle driven at you? Have you experienced the abuse and intimidation? I have, and I can assure you it is not nice. I also know families of cyclists who have been killed. I was honoured to have been given a fallen cyclist's bike by one family as a thank you for the campaigning that I do. So, pardon me, if I get a little angry when I see people getting 'flippant' about the incidents that many cyclists face on the road.
Finally, do I understand how blogs and Facebook works? Well, it turns out I do. Public posts are, public, and thus free to be commented on and..... shared. Just to prove the case, have a wee look here (Link back to this blog). I think I managed to post the blog right..... 

1 comment:

  1. In my view, the Laura's of the world perpetuate the culture of bad driving and victim blaming when it comes to incidents between those driving motor vehicles and vulnerable road users. They completely miss the point that the current status quo is unacceptable and has to change and will change whether they like it or not. The level of pollution in our town and cities is already dangerous and will become more so. Recently we decided to trade in our main car which is a diesel for the same car but with a smaller petrol engine. I would love to get a hybrid but that's beyond me at the moment. Best thing to do is when going into town, walk, cycle or maybe get the bus.