If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Friday 8 January 2010

Harriet Harman convicted

The fragrant and reasonable Harriet Harman has been convicted of driving without due care and attention, and fined £350 with costs, and collected another three points on her licence, to go with the six that are already there for two offences of speeding in a 30 limit. Story here.

That seems about right, to be honest. Smashing someone else's car through your own carelessness, and then not staying around to sort it out, is pretty reprehensible behaviour, and deserves a good slap on the wrist. The former Solicitor-General is now 75% of the way to a driving ban. It won't matter for the next few months, as she can always call upon a Government driver to take her hither and thither, but if she's out of a job after the election that could be a problem. Ha ha.

What is interesting is what she was not charged with.

  • She left the scene of the accident without exchanging particulars with the other party, or even making an attempt to do so. I think the phrase she used as she exited smartly stage left was "I'm Harriet Harman; you know where to find me". (Exactly the arrogant 'toff' response that so enrages the class warriors in Labour.) Not to do so is an offence. Why was she not charged with this?

  • She failed to report the accident to the police when she couldn't exchange details, which she is required to do by law. Why was she not charged with this?

  • Many witnesses state that she was using a hand-held mobile phone at the time of the accident. This charge was withdrawn. Why?

A spokeswoman for the minister said: "Ms Harman fully accepts the court's judgement."

Well, I suppose we should be grateful for that. I would have expected a few tears, an 'I'm really the victim in all this' statement and a mention of institutional sexism, at least.

"Ms Harman is pleased that the potential charges of leaving the scene of an accident without exchanging particulars and failing to report an accident to the police have been dropped."

I'll bet she is. These are much more serious offences than dinging someone's door in a supermarket car park.

"Ms Harman is pleased that it has been established that this was not a 'hit and run' accident as portrayed in some media reports. It was a parking incident and no damage was done."

No damage? Are you sure? In which case, why was the case brought? If no damage was done, why were you in court at all? "Minister misses parked car and drives off" is hardly grounds for a prosecution, I would have thought.

The Harridan can now brush off any mention of the offences with a airy wave. The serious ones - the ones that demonstrate a contempt for the law and due process - were all withdrawn, and we are left with a minor scrape that could happen to anyone.

Nice day's work, Harriet.


  1. It upsets me reading this!

    Presumably the Judge has been quaking in his or her boots waiting for the news that Harriet accepts the Court's judgement - arrogant ***

  2. What if she had still been Solicitor-General? It does rather look like she was convicted on the least of the charges (and the ones that most people would shrug off as being 'one of those things') rather than the - in my opinion - more serious ones. That does suggest some kind of backstairs deal - after all, when the story originally broke, she was going to plead not guilty and 'clear her name'. What has changed since then, I wonder?


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