This time it is one Liam Byrne, Labour MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, who emerges from the perma-slime to fess up to being a hypocrite. He has just been fined £100, ordered to pay costs of £30 and £15 ‘victim’s surcharge’ (Another stealth tax?) for using his mobile phone whilst driving.
His hypocrisy is rank, as it usually is with Lefties. He actually sat on the Parliamentary Committee that worked on the Road Safety Act 2006, one of whose provisions involved bumping up the penalty for this offence from something fairly minor to one which carries penalty points. That he has been a victim of his own handiwork will cheer us all up.
But his gold-plating comes in another way. This pompous self-righteous little git has made a big thing about cracking down on anyone who does not drive properly. In 2005 he apparently presented a petition to Parliament calling for tougher penalties for those who drive dangerously. Many will think he got off pretty lightly for the instant offence which is tantamount to dangerous driving.
He once said to the Road Safety Bill Committee:
“I was shocked as a new MP to hear example after example of drivers who had killed innocent people walking off with no more severe a penalty than six points on their licence and a £150 to £300 fine. The most dangerous drivers are serial potential killers.”
Now, hoist with his own petard, he bleats that he was taking an ‘important call’ on a deportation matter. The implication was that that was intended to be some mitigation of his offence. Had I been acting for him in court I should have advised him strongly that it was a really rather bad point. After all this was someone’s life he was talking about.
The person who was to be deported will be really pleased to discover that the Minister took it so seriously that he carried on doing what he was doing when he took the call, just swanning along in his car. Though the law now requires us to take no calls whilst driving, most people would think that a call involving someone’s life and liberty is one which particularly required him to give his full attention to the matter in hand. But then we know, do we not, from the immigration figures scandal, that Labour do not really care a fig for such matters. This behaviour is of a piece with that attitude.
On his web site too he gets all mouthy about road safety, boasting of his campaign for tougher penalties for killer drivers and welcoming new measures “to raise driving standards and improve awareness on the roads through better education and training of drivers”. Given that he is a Home Office Minister his hypocrisy is all the greater, not least because he was once Police Minister.
Still, he gets a good shoeing from the press which may cause him to be a little less self-important and pleased with himself. And this is all grist to the mill, as it was for the Tories in 1992-1997 whenever one of them got themselves caught with their pants down. After all, one thing an Englishman particularly dislikes is a good old-fashioned gold-plated hypocrite like Mr. Byrne.
The only disappointing thing is that the Justices seem to have dealt with this heinous offence is such a namby-pamby way. What we really need here is a gold old-fashioned Labour-style “crackdown” on this sort of thing of which there is far too much: 126,800 fixed penalty notices were issued for the offence by police in England and Wales in 2005, up 71% on the previous year. So much for falling crime rates under Labour. Perhaps too we should have a ‘mobile Phone Tsar’ who could roll-out a raft of new measures to deal with this particular piece of wickedness.
One is particularly glad that this individual has been fingered for something:
While unveiling a finger print scanner at Heathrow 7th December 2006 he said:
“This is a good example of how ID cards will be useful when helping people move through security,” he said. “I think it’s going to be popular. People want secure borders. If we can find a way of strengthening security and making it easier for legitimate travellers to move around then I think the public are going to want that.”
Here is yet another of those proto-Stalinists who just loves to hear the sound of the jackboot on the gravel drive. Other people’s drives that is. A shame his rotten little scheme was not in force the day he got done: then the Peelers could have had a good time working him over for his ID Card.
Oh, and just for good measure, he was the second most expensive MP in the expenses league table in 2006/07.
Whoever it was that nicked him deserves an MBE at least.