Far from the archetypal lecherous, tattooed, road-hogs, Stuart Macdonald finds that white van men are actually eco-friendly, diet-conscious, spiritually fulfilled Casanovas

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When you think “White Van Man” (WVM), do you think overweight + tattooed + skinhead + road-hog? Think again. WVM is sensitive, conscientious and is only trying to do his job. So give him a smile next time he cuts you up.

At least this is the argument proposed by a white van man blogger on myspace.com who begins his myth-busting crusade with the following revelations: “I don’t have a builder’s bum hanging out of the back of my trousers, I don’t drink much tea and I don’t have fry-ups. In fact, most of the time I have sandwiches or pasta.” Impressive stuff. WVM adds that most of the time he is “stressing out to get a job done” so “a smile” would be very welcome.

However, the impression that they are heroes riding their modern-day white stallions is spoilt somewhat by the admission that “okay, we do ogle women, but what else can you do? You get bored off your head driving around”.

It seems that, for some people, it is impossible to deny the romance of the White Van. Trevor at simplicityitk.blogspot.com claims that driving a white van for a day to move house gave him a “wonderful, invigorating feeling”.

His passion for the white van is surpassed only by the mysterious MB at birty.blogspot.com for whom a simple day in a rented van became a spiritual awakening. “As I relax into the driving, I am overcome by an urge,” he writes. “It’s difficult to put into words. I felt a force surrounding me and taking over. I suddenly don’t feel like I have control over my actions. My life has been given to a higher power and I am helpless.”

There could, of course, be an ulterior motive here – one best expressed by Gail on gophotosblog.blogspot.com who comments on a recent poll that the humble white van is the second most popular car for “a bit of nooky”. However, before all you WVM start rejoicing, bear in mind that the car that beat you is the Volvo.

To weightier matters, and the Scotsman reports on a project by the Scottish executive to get WVM to be more green. Initial responses at news.scotsman.com are encouraging. Gordon, who drives a van for Sky TV, says: “Most of the guys in my team are into green issues. I’m proud of my country and would bend over backwards to help.”

However, the argument returns to familiar territory when Grumpy writes: “Rushing around at breakneck speed, harassing and intimidating other motorists, and stopping in the stupidest places is the only fun that a white van man gets in life.” We have polls that suggest otherwise, Grumpy …