It's quite an ugly word, is it not?
Just saying it makes most people shudder as it usually conjurs up all sorts of unpleasantness.
And of course it is against the law.
Sex, race, religious, age- nowadays all areas of minority are safeguarded against "discrimination" and so it should be.
But that being the case, why is it that there is one, blatant area which is discriminated against? Not only quite obviously so but usually encouraged by the vast majority of law abiding citizens. You in fact either support it by lack of knowledge or secretly think it is a "good idea".
Up until now I bet you haven't the faintest notion to what I am referring to and already I can sense the heckles rising in a "how dare he suggest I would discriminate against any minority" type way.
Let me enlighten you then. It is in regard to my favourite form of transport- the motorcycle. (See, you're starting to relax a bit now as they are noisy, anti-social, all ridden by hooligans and of course, most importantly they are DANGEROUS so we have to ban them for their own good)
Well, I am not going to put up the pros and cons here, we'll leave that for another time and another debate, however, I am going to prove why I feel motorcycle riders are being discriminated against, and whether you agree with bikes or not, as we have already established it is against the law (in most cases anyway) to do so.
At 17 (in the UK at any rate) you are able to learn how to drive a car. You pass your test (nowadays a series of tests) and then you are able to buy a car, sell a kidney off to pay for the insurance and off you go. Alternatively, beg your parents to be included on their insurance and borrow their wheels and lucky you if they might happen to own a Porsche.
Then you are able to drive on the Queen's Highway (in accordance to the Highway Code) as free as a bird or as long as there is no traffic jam and Dibble is not about with his mobile GATSO scamera.
Similarly with a motorcycle- take a series of tests and then buy your bike, get the insurance and off you go to terrorise old people- because that is why you pass your bike test, right?
Upon passing your bike at a similar age you are not able to jump onto any bike you fancy and ride off into the sunset with the wind in your hair. Well, you can't do that anyway as by law you need a helmet and more on that later too.
At 17 you are restricted to a power output of 33 bhp for two years (that, depending on make and style of bike is ~400 cc bike or lower). No such power restriction for cars, so why for bikes?
If that is not blatant discrimination I do not know what is, and yet we allow this to continue.
Rant over, but one final word about helmets as mentioned above.
By law we have to ride with one as it is for "our safety". OK, therefore a helmet by definition must be an item of health & safety or as we call it in the trade PPE- personal protective equipment, so why is VAT being charged on that?
PPE is VAT free, yet we have to lob out 17.5% on our crash helmets, which can cost up to £500.
Yes, that's all fair and reasonable then...