Tag Archives: driving

MP stopped by police in London for ‘driving around whilst black’

Dawn Butler: she’s proved many times that she is an MP who actually cares about her constituents’ lives – but that won’t stop her being victimised by Metropolitan police.

Almost exactly a month after two black athletes were stopped and handcuffed by Metropolitan police, Brent MP Dawn Butler has suffered the same humiliation. For the same reason?

Ms Butler, a Labour MP, was stopped while travelling as a passenger with a friend, who is also black.

Police who stopped her said the car was registered in North Yorkshire – but changed their tune after they realised who they had pulled over, and said they had input the licence plate into their system incorrectly.

A likely story!

This was the third time Ms Butler has been stopped and searched by police since she became a member of Parliament. She described it in the video she took of the incident as follows:

 It’s like you cannot drive around and enjoy a Sunday afternoon whilst black.

Her friend, who was driving, has been stopped “regularly”, according to the Guardian‘s report. In that case, Met police officers should have got the hang of tapping his plate number into their system (I would have thought).

On July 8, athletes Ricardo dos Santos and Bianca Williams were stopped and handcuffed while their three-month-old son was left in the car.

No social distancing procedures were followed in that incident and it seems unlikely that any were employed in that involving Ms Butler.

According to the Guardian,

Another officer, a woman, had “inflamed the situation” by saying tinted rear windows on the car could be illegal.

How interesting that Met officers are still using this hoary old chestnut after being called out on it after the July incident – and on previous occasions, when the tints were all found to be entirely legal.

In this case

The law about tinting on windows applies only to the windscreen and front windows.

In fairness, the Met response to Ms Butler’s report of the incident has been much more reasonable than to the athletes.

Is that because, in addition to being black, she is a member of Parlament?

Source: Labour MP Dawn Butler stopped by police in London | UK news | The Guardian

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Cummings’ Barnard Castle trip ‘minor’ breach of social distancing rules. What about dangerous driving?

Dominic Cummings: he and his buddy Boris Johnson probably think they got away with it again.

Durham Police have confirmed the adage that the UK has one rule for the elite and another for the masses, by refusing to fine Dominic Cummings for breaking social distancing rules in his controversial trip to Barnard Castle.

What about the breach of lockdown represented by his trip to Durham, where he breached social distancing rules by handing his son, who had been exposed to two people who had Covid-19, over to his elderly parents – vulnerable people who were now potentially exposed?

What about the implication of dangerous driving – a criminal offence – in the fact that Cummings himself said he drove to Barnard Castle because he believed Covid-19 had affected his eyesight and he wanted to check whether he could see well enough to drive back to London?

All we get is that Durham Police “did not consider an offence had been committed”.

To the rest of us, this simply suggests that Durham Police are not fit for purpose; this service cannot enforce the law with equality towards rich and poor alike.

PM aide Dominic Cummings’ trip to Barnard Castle “might have been a minor breach” of lockdown rules, Durham Police has said.

But the force said no retrospective action would be taken against the PM’s chief adviser.

In a statement, Durham Police said they view Mr Cummings’ 50-mile round trip to Barnard Castle with his wife and son as “minor” because there was no apparent breach of social distancing rules during their visit.

The force said it had “no intention to take retrospective action in respect of the Barnard Castle incident”, since this would amount to “treating Mr Cummings differently from other members of the public.”

Other members of the public who have been fined for travelling may take a different view. Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski recently made a fuss about being denied access to Welsh beaches for fear of being fined, for example. Was he mistaken? Would he – and others – have been permitted to make the trip, if Cummings’s 60-mile round trip was not worthy of a fine?

On the issue of whether it was an offence for Mr Cummings to drive himself and his family from London to Durham to isolate on his family’s farm, Durham Police said it did “not consider an offence was committed”.

Source: Dominic Cummings ‘might have broken lockdown rules’ – police – BBC News

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Cummings’s arrogance and ignorance mean he should face criminal prosecution – for his driving

Dominic Cummings’s presumptuous decision to hold a press conference in Downing Street over his decision to break lockdown rules so he could visit his parents should lead to a prosecution for dangerous driving, it seems.

As part of his defence, he claimed that he had driven 30 miles to Barnard Castle because Covid-19 had affected his eyesight and he wanted to see if it was possible for him to drive back to London.

Incidentally:

(For those who can’t read images well, it says: “‘Barnard Castle‘ – a Durham dialect term for a coward. It derives from the Northern Rebellion… by the Catholic earls in 1569, when Sir George Bowes refused, despite many opportunities, to leave his fortified position in Barnard Castle to engage in battle. Hence also the expression come, come, that’s Barney Castle, meaning ‘that’s a pathetic excuse’.”)

Driving with impaired eyesight – meaning that a driver cannot look properly – indicates dangerous driving, which is an offence.

Indeed, the chairman of the Police Federation took to Twitter to express his concern that anyone hearing Cummings’s excuses should not assume that they can do as he said he did:

It’s a microcosm of the entire Cummings scandal – a public servant doing something forbidden to the rest of us because he thinks he is above the rules that govern us all.

If you need information here’s an easy-to-read map of Dominic’s Travels:

There was plenty more of it in his statement, and in his answers to journalists who were on the scene. I commented on a few of these transgressions:

(In a statement release half an hour before Cummings started his press conference, Durham police said: ““We can confirm that on April 1, an officer from Durham Constabulary spoke to the father of Dominic Cummings. Mr Cummings confirmed that his son, his son’s wife and child were present at the property. He told the officer that his son and son’s wife were displaying symptoms of coronavirus and were self-isolating in part of the property.” Some have claimed that, as “the property” includes three buildings, it was possible for Cummings and his wife to have stayed away from his parents – but unlikely. They would have had to meet up with them to gain access and hand over the child – who could have been a carrier of the disease, remember. Also, we only have Cummings’s word for any of this, and I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw his boss.)

There can be no doubt about the rules we were all told to follow – all of us, including Cummings:

Also:

and:

See for yourself:

There has been a large amount of humour:

But far more bitterness. Both can be summed up in the letter by Alan Kell, mentioned in this tweet:

https://twitter.com/TVRav/status/1265030603654729730

The letter says:

“Dear Dominic,

“I hope that you don’t mind my informal mode of address but since you were calling all the journalists by their first name I’m assuming that this is acceptable.

“I’d like to summarise my main take-aways from your extraordinary press conference in the garden of No.10 Downing Street. Please excuse me if the points are a bit random, but I think that this resonates rather well with your rambling statement.

“1. The PM’s time is very important, but not apparently anyone else’s. If just 10% of the population spent 30mn waiting for you to appear you’ve just wasted around three million hours of the nation’s time. What were you doing, having a crap?

“2. You don’t possess a smart short-sleeved shirt. I can recommend many charity shops where you can pick one up for less than a fiver.

“3. You tend to panic when your wife is unwell. In view of this, I hope you are in no way involved with national security.

“4. Your family, friends and neighbours in London all hate you.

“5. Your Dad owns a farm with many houses, but not all of them very luxurious.

“6. You have a young niece who is prepared to put her life on the line for you and your family.

“7. Your parents shout in the woods. (I hope I got that one right.)

“8. When you can’t see anything you go for a 30-mile drive to test your eyesight. This tends to make your son want to piss himself, which is quite understandable.

“9. Your wife is a fiction writer.

“10. Any confusion related to this matter is all the fault of the press which persists in reporting on things, most of which have proved to be true, which you refused to confirm or deny for two months.

“11. You had some sort of conversation with Boris but neither of you can remember when that was nor what was said. Let’s hope that’s not the norm for your conversation.

“12. You are a very very important person, critical to the future of this nation, and you wouldn’t dream of resigning. You really couldn’t let your fag Boris down in that way.

“I trust that I’ve captured all the key points. Please do let me know if I’ve missed out anything important.

“Finally, thanks very much for going in to work on a Bank Holiday, I do hope that they are paying you double time.

“Hope to see you up in Durham some time. My family is from that part of the world, but you wouldn’t know them – they mainly worked underground in the pits.”

The comment that Cummings won’t resign because he doesn’t want to let Boris Johnson down is ironic as this scandal has turned out to be ruinous for Johnson’s popularity and for any credibility that his woefully inadequate government has had in handling the Covid crisis.

As a result, it seems Johnson has lost 20 popularity percentage points in just the four days this scandal has been frothing:

Boris Johnson‘s approval rating has plunged by 20 points in four days, amid the ongoing Dominic Cummings scandal, according to new polling.

Overall government approval turned negative, to -2 per cent, according to data from polling group Savanta ComRes. That represents a drop of 16 points in just a single day.

Mr Johnson’s approval also turned negative as the scandal continued. it dropped from +19 per cent to -1 per cent since Friday, the same data showed.

Public opinion of individual ministers such as Matt Hancock, the health secretary, and chancellor Rishi Sunak also fell. Both ministers publicly backed Mr Cummings over the weekend.

But Cummings won’t face prosecution, nor will he resign. Johnson will do his best to ignore the fact that his advisor’s actions have made it irrevocably clear that they, the ministers who supported them, and the entire Tory government consider themselves to be above the law that they impose on the rest of us.

And you know what? I think people are right to be angry about that!

So I hope you will all be opening your windows at 8pm today (May 26) to give a resounding “Boo!” for Boris Johnson and all his creepy cronies:

POSTSCRIPT: Incidentally, even the act of holding a press conference was against the rules that apply to Cummings:

It seems he cannot do anything right.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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