Criticise a Bexley councillor - get threatened with arrest. Use the C word alongside
a picture of an unidentified house which a councillor thinks is his -
seven court appearances, 120 hours of community service and £620 court costs (†). Make a joke about
a snowbound airport - fined £385 with £600 costs (†). Call the police to
tell them you are a mentally ill convicted murderer and you have an irresistible urge to repeat
the crime - police sit on their hands with tragic results in Bexleyheath
Broadway. Stupid laws passed by stupid politicians or police and magistrates
with no sense? Or all of those things?
Now we have an MP caught up with the same nonsense.
Timothy Loughton, Member of Parliament for East Worthing & Shoreham sided with his local council when he said in an email that one of his constituents was “unkempt” and that he talked “b*****ks”. Result: put in a police cell, interviewed by detectives for 90 minutes, file sent to Crown Prosecution Service and kept on bail for six months while the police trawled through all his emails. The CPS are reported to have said “these were serious allegations” which clearly was b*****ks of the highest order.
Whilst plebs can only turn to Twitter and blogs in response to police idiocy, MPs have an extra weapon within their grasp. An End of Day Adjournment Debate, and Mr. Loughton has called one for tomorrow. Should be an interesting listen if you can spare the time.
Ridiculous though his “crime” was I cannot but feel that the primary cause of his predicament was a law passed by his predecessors in 1998. The secondary problem is that nothing is ever done quickly when wrongs need to be righted. Maybe David Cameron could go some way to restore his tarnished reputation by installing a Minister for Correcting Blatant State Imposed Stupidities.
† Both verdicts overturned on appeal to higher courts.
The recorded debate may be viewed here.