Call me Mr Challenged.
Today, Guido’s posted an article about MP Colin Challen falling off his bike in London. I was tempted to title this post the Merys effect after my friend and fellow blogger Merys Jones who has posted a number of times about falling off her bike, again and again.
Mr Challen’s story is covered in the Leeds Evening Post:
Colin Challen, Labour MP for Morley and Rothwell, was on his way to work at the House of Commons when a pothole jammed the front wheel of his cycle and sent him flying over the handlebars.
He was knocked unconscious, and rushed to hospital after a member of the public raised the alarm.
He said: “I was lying unconscious in the middle of the road and was extremely lucky not to have been hit by oncoming traffic.”
The MP is furious about the state of the road and intends to take the matter up with the local council in London.
He said: “I am considering possible legal action. Westminster City Council prides itself on its low council tax rates, but all that happens is someone else has to pick up the tab.”
Mr Challen spent a night in St Thomas’s Hospital in South London, where he was treated for severe cuts and grazes.
He has now returned to work, despite being advised to rest for at least two weeks.
“I plan to get back on the bike and continue to cycle”, he said.
“It would be a bit boring not to be back at work. Next week I’m heading to Nairobi for follow-up talks on the Kyoto Protocol”
Mr Challen is a champion of road safety and has often expressed strong views about traffic congestion.
Does this all sound a bit overblown to you?
It was obviously a Conservative pothole – just jumped out and jammed his wheel (nasty Westminster council). We can only conclude that Mr Challen wasn’t lookng where he was going – maybe he needs to go to Specsavers. He was supposedly unconscious – so, a head injury then (wasn’t he wearing a helmet?) – but is only treated for severe cuts and grazes. For my money ‘cuts and grazes’ and ‘severe’ are mutually exclusive.
He’s kept in overnight – yeah right! He crashed early morning and he was in St. Tommys for 24 hours: not even their A&E department is that busy and you certainly don’t get ‘kept in’ for ‘cuts and grazes’ no matter how ‘severe‘ you think they may be. He’d have been patched up and sent on his way with a head injury card – assuming he ever had a head injury. Apparently the doctor told him to rest for at least two weeks; at least two weeks, maybe it should have been three, or even four. This sounds like a load of tosh! Even so, our intrepid MP will be back in action next day, after all, he won’t want to miss out on that ‘jolly’ (at taxpayers expense) to Nairobi will he?
I’ll give the last word to Guido
The problem with his story is that there were witnesses who say he is telling porkies:
“He was never unconscious. I saw the whole thing and helped him off the road, where he was for a matter of seconds. I called 999 on my mobile and they sent an ambulance but the ambulance service made me feel pretty silly for calling them out for someone who wasn’t seriously injured. He’s now exaggerating the incident and making false claims about being unconscious – why can’t politicians tell the truth?”