Published: 17 August, 2012
• IT’S hard to know where to start when pointing out the fallacies in Greg Foxsmith’s Forum article about cyclists arrested for deliberately riding in the Olympic lanes (For cyclists, justice is in a critical mess, August 10).
I hope he does a better job as a lawyer for his clients than he does when arguing in his own cause.
There were obviously good public policy reasons for making clear right from the outset that the law would be applied properly to people seeking to disrupt the Olympic Games.
A clear early statement of intent will almost certainly have prevented many later possible incidents from happening at all.
The Olympics were of huge public value and interest and deserved protection.
Talk of tolerating robbers, rapists and burglars is just a red herring – it is clear that nobody has decided to ignore those crimes and to chase down cyclists instead, both still were being dealt with as usual.
Second, the Olympics lanes were there to allow the Games to run smoothly.
Talk of fat cats, bankers and officials is another red herring and a cheap shot – the lanes were being used by people whose presence on time was essential.
There was a very tight timetable for all the events and the televising of those events; traffic delays would have caused us, the worldwide public, to miss seeing and enjoying great personal achievements and drama as well as possibly preventing those great personal performances from being achieved at all.
As regards the consequences, as a lawyer Mr Foxsmith should know that if you deliberately break a law it is no good whingeing afterwards.
During the Olympics we all, pedestrians, motorists, family people, businesses and cyclists, put up with huge change and disruption to our usual routines.
We all found it had for a short period become illegal to do what we usually do: exiting the underground in our usual walkway, driving in a right-hand lane or making a right turn and cycling in particular places.
The Olympics needed that, and most Londoners gave in with good grace and understanding.
Mr Foxsmith’s po-faced objections and rather absurd attempts to link his deserved fate with real cases of genuine injustice are shabby and opportunistic.
He should be encouraging sporting achievement and not sneering at it.
He doesn’t deserve it but I expect he will be leniently dealt with.