Monday, 13 August 2007

M40 Shooting

I didn't go to the Bulldog Bash this year; largely because I really didn't want to see the headline act Status Quo (again).

With an HA member shot dead on his way home from the festival, the news coverage would have you think that the three day event was something like a cross between Sodom and Gomorrah and the gunfight at the OK Coral.

The papers are again full of hysterical stories about imminent gang warfare coming to Britain, and 'background' pieces about back patch clubs. There's even references to Sonny Barger and Altamont.

I've been going to these festivals on and off for years and can vouch for the fact that they are more genuinely laid back and less commercial than anything else on the festival circuit. I still remember the first time I went to the HA's Kent Custom Show - having worked on the Saturday I arrived pretty late at night - the HA on the gate took pity and only charged me half the entrance fee. Try arguing that one at Glastonbury or WOMAD.

And I know it's a cliche that you can leave your tent unlocked and your helmet on your handlebars without fear of theft, but it is also TRUE. And with the HA vetting the price lists of the various food and drink vendors there is not the same shameless rip-off of other festivals either.

I'm not naive. Anyone with any sort of knowledge of the bike scene knows that when the shit comes down with the clubs it will undoubtedly be some very bad shit. What happened yesterday, was I'm sure, in one way or another, a part of that. But that is a matter for the guy's family and his club brothers. To suggest that it is representative of what goes on in the UK biker scene or that we now face an escalating 'biker war' is hysterical bollocks.

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