Issue 15 Mar-Apr 2008
Back Issues

Word from the Chair

Chairman Jane provides an overview of MAG's progress

Greetings to everybody. Can I wish you all a belated happy new year.

The sun has been shining in Jackson Bridge recently and with the days getting longer in a creeping kind of way, I get a growing feeling of optimism as we head towards a new season.

I managed to get out and about over the festive period to some great bikers' parties, which kept the spirits up through the long dark evenings. Sadly I couldn't make the North East Lincs 'Dave's 98th Xmas Musical Party - (bring your own instrument or we will sell you one at a nominal price). or was it Dave's 427th Musical Join in?

Apparently the gathered crowd wasn't very musical, but some of the male fraternity had decided to go all the way and dress up as girlies a la St. Trinians, gym slips, make up and all - a great success I am told, though I'm not quite sure what the parameters for success where. I hear that the better looking one of the three has now become their Local MAG Rep, is starting a branch news letter and with the help from MAG's Vice Chair, has already booked another party. Well done that man and that group.

I did make Blackpool MAG's 'Wicked Christmas Party', which followed the North West Region AGM run by Tony Cox - an excellent, positive, pro-active meeting with debate showing MAG at its best. I thought the poster and advertising for this event where outstanding. 'Wicked Christmas Party' - well you've got me hooked straight away.

What a good do. Nobody told me it was fancy dress and I was definitely over dressed for the evening - not that it mattered. Hidden fruits I say! The silly games were very silly and I laughed 'til my sides ached.

Sometimes in life you meet people who seem to have a presence about them. Those who touch people and merely being in the same place as them lifts your spirits. Those who enable you to laugh at yourself, see the humorous side of life and want to be near them. They walk into a room and people are pleased they have arrived. We've captured one already in MAG, Mr Fergus O'Connell, MAG's Vice and Clubs Officer, who has successfully made relationships with Clubs around the UK.

I remade the acquaintance of another such fellow at this party. I first met him at the 'Perverts in Leather Rally' many years ago, at the Blackpool MAG Rally and at numerous other events attended by a small group from 'The Jesters' bike club. Here he was again on his own territory, at the Blackpool MAG Christmas Party, making everybody feel that he was their best friend who you hadn't seen for years. Sadly 'Joker' won't be reading this as he let his MAG membership expire. So if you're one of his mates, give him a nudge, it would be great to have him back.

Finally I spent New Year in Guernsey with family. With a population of 50,000, it felt a bit like Jackson Bridge but on an island. There appear to be a number of bikes clubs present and I intend to return in the summer to check this out and promote a MAG presence. In the mean time I have tasked my 3 teenage nephews to do background research. Guernsey has its own government and a lot of common sense from what I can see. People still don't bother to lock their houses or cars. Interestingly Guernsey operates a very successful 'Home James' system as recently shown on Top Gear by Clarkson, May and Hammond in London. In Guernsey this scheme has been successfully operating for about ten years. You make a booking, drive your car to your social event, sample a modest tipple without a care and at the end of the evening are driven home by a man who pops his collapsible motorbike in the back of your vehicle.

MAG is trying hard to attract bikers from across the entire spectrum of the motorcycle world and across the entire age range of rider. In this connection the way the EU is making it harder to gain a motorcycle license is hardly helpful. The long awaited Second European License Directive will finally come into force later this year and it's looking like we wont have the new test centres ready in time. There will be egg on faces and the UK could be heavily fined by the EU for failing to get its house in order by the September deadline

This might be quite amusing were it not for the fact that a lot of new bikers are not going to be able to get full licenses for a while and any fines our government has to pay Brussels will all come out of the pockets of taxpayers like you and I.

There's lots of positive news however and MAG's enhanced image as the prime rider group in this country is making us a more viable lobbying force than ever.

You must check out the story on how desperate the office of London's Mayor is getting to deny the success of MAG's campaign to open all bus lanes to bikers - it's priceless.

In this issue you'll find concrete measures examples of what you can do to get involved politically with our renewed Bikers Are Voters campaign. On the social side we've got some great rallies organised which, like all MAG events will fuel MAG and help keep the road as a place where we can still have fun riding - and we're not ashamed to say it.

Jane Chisholm
Chair MAG UK

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