The problem with Phil 'Petrolhead' Hammond's avowed intent, at least when talking to tabloid journalists, to end the 'war on the motorist' is that there wasn't really a war - the idea that a speed camera represents an intrusion into the motorist's ability to drive is more than a little tenuous given that by definition it has to be installed next to a public highway and calibrated to permit free passage at the legal maximum speed for that highway.  If the things took the form of a gate or fence or a random Stinger deployment or a copper with an MP5 and a repertoire of Songs from the Shows rather than a big obvious yellow box, perhaps there'd be more of a talking point here but they're not, are they?

So, the supposed 'ending' of TWOTM by turning off a few cameras is as real as the whole thing ever was, a sub-Clarkson rightwing journalist kneejerk about reframing people who own cars and read the Times or Mail being caught committing offences as neo-Stalinist state intrusion.

The actual consequence of turning the cameras off (achieved, in a very typically cowardly Coalition way, by forcing someone else to do your dirty work) is that more people break the law - the thing about speed cameras is that they're actually quite good at catching people breaking the law and thus are a cost-effective deterrent to people breaking the law.  Hammond's action therefore removes a deterrent to break the law and amazingly more people break the law.  Unsurprisingly this interests the police (who tend to have to help pick up the body parts) and so Thames Valley plod and Oxfordshire county council are apparently considering turning them back on:

Today the Oxford Mail can reveal the police and council are near a deal that would see the cameras re-activated.

A county spokesman said: "We've been in discussion with our partners at Thames Valley Police and we're close to an agreement to have the cameras switched back on in the future.

There's a pattern here - Phil Hammond's innate cowardice and ignorance caused a similar near-instant display of the Law of Unintended Consequences with the M4 bus lane, which I'm happy to report is working far worse than before now that Conservative donors at Addison Lee (£150k, according to Private Eye, plus a lot of behind the scenes arm-twisting) are using the absence of camera-based enforcement to park their executive limos at the merge point and hold up traffic.  War on Motorists?  You betcha.

P.S. Also, this from Paul Sagar deserves some kind of highbrow award for attempting to raise the tone of the whole grubby argument:

Mandeville had a complex story underpinning his defence of duelling, rooted in a worldview of man as un-sociable, aggressive and in need of manipulation and control through fear.

Hammond cuts an altogether shallower figure (no surprise, I admit). For him, 100 more dead people a year is the price we must pay so that pillocks like Jeremy Clarkson and his army of cretinous fans can drive around as fast as they like, sticking two fingers up at those whose lives they put at risk.