If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Sunday, 14 March 2010


Too late, didn't know, and missed it:

Thousands of bikers have been riding through Wootton Bassett to honour the people of the Wiltshire town - and the soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

I should pay more attention to Facebook. This massive ride-out started with a young girl rider and a local bike club planning to ride through the town. She put it on Facebook, and it exploded. An estimated 15,000 people took part, each paying £5. I make that around £75,000 to the charity Afghan Heroes. In fact, organisers are claiming over £100,000.

The town's mayor Steve Bucknell said the "vast majority" of the people in the town "fully support" what the bikers are doing. "Too many times the town has had to stand still in silence but today is all about noise and movement."

Local MP James Gray added that people in the town appreciated the gesture and were "very supportive of it indeed".

Denise Harris, the founder of Afghan Heroes, said troops on the front line had sent her e-mails backing the event.

She told the BBC: "It boosts morale for them. I mean they just are so grateful to the general public for their support and their kindness."

The Bike Run was the idea of 18-year-old biker Elizabeth Stevens.

If I had known about this yesterday, I would have made the trip and showed my support. It is good that people are not only showing their support for the troops, but also their appreciation for the people of Wootton Bassett, who have turned out to see the boys home on countless occasions, with great dignity. These people show the real face of Britain - proud of our troops, and grieving their loss, whatever their opinion of the war itself - in contrast to our penny-pinching, mendacious, manipulative, dishonest and shameful Government. I hope today's events made Gordon Brown feel just a tiny bit uncomfortable, but I doubt it.

I'm sorry I wasn't there, but a nod and a wave of the left hand to all those who made the run. If anyone reads this who was there, perhaps you could leave a comment?

Donation duly made.

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