Humanity: alive and well in the fast lane

James Woudhuysen

Share
Topics Politics

Many people have given up on human solidarity, believing that rampant individualism has triumphed and that selfishness is the order of the day. But at every moment the actual behaviour of human beings gives the lie to this miserabilist myth.

On 12 November, cyclist Claire Pepper, 27, collided with a VW Golf on Commercial Street, Spitalfields, east London. Her helmeted head was trapped underneath the car; her bike was a write-off, and she suffered concussion, as well as a broken collarbone.

She woke up in the Royal London hospital at 2am, and could easily have died. Luckily, 10 motorists, pedestrians and drivers from Cityman, a local taxi firm, piled in to save her life. Ahmed Yusuf, 44, and Shehryar Taj, 20, plus two other drivers, were among those who rolled the Golf over with their bare hands.

The quick-thinking of these selfless passers-by is a heart-warming counter to the pessimistic accounts of dog-eat-dog anti-social behaviour spewed from the Labour Party and its hangers-on. The human spirit – motorists emphatically included – remains intrepid, indomitable, and impervious to differences of race, age or gender. Exemplary though the heavy lifting was, it is completely typical of what human beings do in a dangerous situation – from the wastes of East London to the carnage in the Philippines.

Despite everything, we still care for each other. For all the cynicism that pervades enlightened society, let’s all the same remember this event, among many others, during these dark days.

James Woudhuysen is professor of forecasting and innovation at De Montfort University, Leicester, and editor of Big Potatoes: the London Manifesto for Innovation. Read his blog here.

Help spiked fight the New Normal

It’s six months since the UK lockdown began and how many people you have round your house is still a police matter. New restrictions continue to be introduced without proper parliamentary scrutiny. Meanwhile, protests are banned and Covid Marshals are being hired to patrol a high street near you. spiked exists to fight for freedom and we will continue to challenge the illiberal New Normal. But to do so we need your help. Unlike so many things these days, spiked is completely free. We rely on the generosity of our readers to keep us going. So if you already donate to us, thank you! And if you don’t, please do consider making a donation today. One-off donations – or better yet, monthly donations – are hugely appreciated. You can find out more here. Thank you!

Donate now

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Share
Topics Politics