It has been several weeks since I wrote to my blog. Things have been quite hectic with half-term and a bout of food poisoning to contend with! I thought I would resume my musings/rantings with a pop at the corrupt 'establishment' party representatives as this is such an easy subject to start with and get back into the swing of things.
As always these stories are sourced from here where they are preserved for posterity and as a reminder of just what kind of person works for the Lib/Lab/Con tri-axis of evil.
The first is Conservative councillor Roger Ibbs, 61, of Kingsway, Stoke. As I understand it he was arrested and bailed on the 28th of February on suspicion of corruption in public office. I don't really know a lot about him as yet except to say that he is the leader of the Conservative and Independent Alliance group on the city council and the portfolio holder for children and young peoples services. No wonder the good people of Stoke are turning to the BNP in their hundreds!
Labour councillor Sean Hornby has received a 'simple caution' after admitting using his car as an illegal taxi. The individual charges were:
Using a car as a taxi without a licence
Acting as a taxi driver without a licence
Operating a car as a taxi without an operator license
Using a car as a taxi without the proper insurance
The case has been in the courts since August, costing thousands of taxpayer pounds. The case was withdrawn by Bolton Council meaning Cllr. Hornby admitted the charges in return for a caution, his previous 'not guilty' pleas were vacated from the court. Obviously the other parties are saying he should resign his position or Labour should remove him, but his solicitor Mr. Ajmal Hussain said that Cllr. Hornby will be resuming his personal and political life as normal. As a final kick in the teeth he was granted permission to apply for costs from the Central Fund, similar to Legal Aid but for privately-funded defences. In addition to being a Labour councillor and being chairman of Bolton planning committee he is also Treasurer for Bolton South East Labour MP Dr. Brian Iddon!!
This one is a HUGE sweep under the carpet when you consider how a member of the general public would have been treated. In Northern Ireland an illegal taxi driver was banned from driving for two years and fined £1500 pounds. Recently in Wales the council prosecuted a man for exactly the same offences as Cllr. Hornby and he was banned for twelve months and fined £715. The driving without insurance charge should have brought six to eight penalty points, a maximum fine of £5000 and a discretionary ban.
A few years ago the police launched a crackdown on illegal taxi operators as there was evidence of young girls being raped, and even murdered, by these illegal minicab drivers. In my opinion, and probably yours too, an uninsured taxi is more dangerous than an uninsured driver of a private vehicle. It stands to reason that the amount of time a taxi spends on the roads makes it more likely to be in an accident. Would you get in a car if you knew that in the event of an accident you would get nada, zip, zilch while you were unable to work? This man put lives at risk and should have been punished heavily, but I suppose when a Labour Lord can get 12 weeks for using his mobile while driving and killing a man, what more can you expect?
In contrast to Cllr. Hornby, Cllr. Micheal Johnson, an Independent Councillor for Fernhurst ward, Blackburn, has been urged to resign after being found guilty of driving without insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a license as he only had a provisional.(Source) He was fined £250, £470 costs which he will pay at a rate of £40/week and received the maximum 8 penalty points on his license. He has vowed to appeal as he claims to have passed his test in 1982 but admitted he has not seen his license since being banned for 12 months in 1997.
So here is the hypocrisy. Labour Cllr. Kate Hollern, the leader of the council's Labour group, has called for his expenses to be investigated, since Cllr. Johnson claimed £550 in mileage allowance. She is also quoted as saying:
Driving without insurance is a disgrace and sets a bad example, What would
happen if he had an accident? We run all these campaigns about safe driving
and then this happens.
Oh really Councillor? Would you perhaps like to comment on your fellow Labour Councillor operating a taxi without insurance? What about his road safety? What if he had an accident? Will he be investigated by the inland revenue for not declaring his income from his illegal taxi? Will his car be seized under the Proceeds of Crime act? Will he receive a single penalty point or be fined a single penny? Maybe if Cllr Johnson was head of an influential committee, worked for an MP or was a member of a major party rather than an independent he would have received a lighter punishment? Like no punishment at all perhaps?