Even at this early stage of the game, it's apparent that Mayor Sideshow Bob thinks he can boost his slim chances of re-election by grandstanding on the issue of Christchurch's boy racers.

The boy racers themselves, naturally enough, don't like being used by Bob for his own political ends.

it's case of history repeating itself.

Over the weekend hundreds of the boy racers descended on the central city to hold a final cruise down the main streets before a new bylaw comes into force banning cruising on certain streets at set times.

Sideshow Bob used the occasion to pontificate that it was the end of the road for the boy racers.

Bob clearly thinks that bashing the boy racers will earn him a few brownie points with Mr and Mrs Plumbly-Walker of the Merivale Bridge Club.

He tried this same tactic before the local body elections in 2008.

The Press even published a large front page photo of him standing in the middle of a Canterbury road, arms folded, trying to look tough and decisive.

Bob described the boy racers as 'ugly, immature and embarrassing' which didn't exactly go down well with his youthful opponents.

They congregated outside his apartment in the central city and made one hell of a noise.

A Canterbury University academic who studies car culture, Associate Professor Simon Kingham, called for dialogue between the authorities and the boy racers.

He said that Parker's comment that the boy racers were 'ugly, immature and embarrassing' was a unhelpful generalisation. He went on to say that "to associate them with the guys who have had a go at the police is tarnishing them all with the same brush'.

But Professor's Kingham's call for dialogue was ignored and now, three years later, Bob is again bagging the boy racers.

They have responded in exactly the same way they did last time.

Last week they surrounded Sideshow Bob's new place - which has also been the target for graffiti - and Bob promptly rang the police.

Bob told the media: 'We had a nice little greeting party surrounding our property. Someone lined a truck up with our gate and at that point we thought maybe it's a good time to call the boys in blue.'

Sideshow Bob's 'demonising' of the boy racers has simply been unhelpful and he hasn't yet worked out that whenever he has a go at them they will respond.

So the situation remains as irretractable as ever.

Trying to crush the boy racers with more laws and more aggressive police action is not to going to alleviate the situation - in fact will just inflame it even more.


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