Friday, January 08, 2010

Hattie's Driving Me Crazy

Wannabe New Labour leader, Hattie Harman, goes down as the first cabinet minister with a criminal record, after being convicted of careless driving. But Hattie got off lightly, after charges of using a mobile were mysteriously dropped.

You don't have to be posh to be privileged but it helps.

The police probe took a whole four months, even though Hattie famously gave coppers a big clue: I'm Harriet Harman, you know where you can get hold of me.

The commons leader, privy council member, barrister and former solicitor general can add common criminal to her long list of titles with a £350 fine on her record after pleading guilty to careless driving.

But potential charges against 'hit and run Hattie' disappeared into thin air.

The CPS decision to drop a second charge of driving while using a mobile phone will leave motorists scratching their heads. How come Big Sis got off so lightly?

Harman has been convicted of careless driving but the court was told she was using a mobile at the time - a flagrant disregard of the law and public safety.

Careless driving can be punished with a fine of up to £5,000, up to nine points on a driving licence or a driving ban. But Harman was fined just £350, ordered to pay £75 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Harman already has six penalty points on her licence after being caught twice speeding in a 30mph zone. She was also today given three points on her licence which is what she would have got for using a mobile on its own. 

In the past, ministers with even a whiff of criminal charges hanging over their heads would step down while police and state prosecutors do their stuff. Not so the deputy party leader, leaving her free to do a bit of plotting.

Even Liberal Hain stood down as work and pensions secretary in the face of a police investigation and is now back in the fold.

As The Times notes: "New Labour’s deputy leader has become the first serving Cabinet minister in living memory to plead guilty to a criminal charge after admitting driving without due care and attention."

Was the minister for wimmin in court for the unprecedented moment? Nah. Hiding behind the now well worn excuse of 'business as usual', Big Sis was at a cabinet meeting in nearby Downing Street.

The siren of the sisterhood was at the centre of a police inquiry in July last year after allegedly crashing into a parked car while talking on her mobile.

Hattie had the cheek to wind down her window, reportedly blurting: "I'm Harriet Harman - you know where you can get hold of me."

The investigation into the incident took four months before the crown prosecution service brought charges in November.

The Orange Party used to have had some respect for Hattie in her lawyer days at the NCCL even though she came from the ranks of the privately educated, privileged toffs.

Landing herself in contempt of court in her 1983 battle with the home office created a landmark legal precedent. Today she's set another one.

What's left for the self-styled champion of civil liberties, equalities and pain in Brown's backside?

All the trappings and arrogance of the ruling political class. One law for decent folk and one bendy rule for the ruling elite. Right on sister Harperson.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You don't expect the poster girl for the BNP to have a shred of integrity do you