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Rodney Barker

's advice never to walk if you could ride was aimed at social and political success and survival, not at weight reduction or health. The development of the railways and later of the public tram and omnibus created a society in which riding rather than walking was not something necessarily and obviously enjoyed only by a few, or by small numbers, of the privileged in an expensive carriage, but was, as the title omnibus indicated, a possibility if not for all then for large sections of the population. The device of retaining hierarchy within mass transport by the division

in Cultivating political and public identity
Open Access (free)
The oddity of democracy
Rodney Barker

and forward-looking. There was a call for a sense of adventure. The drivers were isolated from the passengers. The bulk of the motor-bus drivers, as a consequence of their different way of life, voted Labour, and by the 1920s a few of them communist. 28 Morrison could have added to this account that the origin of the name of this form of transport was the Latin ‘omnibus’, meaning for everyone. The freedom to move wherever one wishes and a suspicion of any apparent restrictions

in Cultivating political and public identity