We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Blessed are the brazen

First off, a sincere apology for my notable lack of recent contributions. My absence has been caused by the more pressing and time-consuming task of keeping a humble roof over my head. I mean to address this dereliction of duty in future by cutting back on sleep.

Anyway, on to juicier matters. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing up political careers. Especially in this country and especially now. So, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to nominate my candidate for the day:

A Sussex MP who has campaigned against drink-driving has apologised after he failed a breath test.

Des Turner, the Labour member for Brighton Kemptown, was breathalysed after being involved in a minor crash in Streatham, south London, last month.

He said he had a glass of wine at lunch and had not realised he was “three percentage points” over the limit.

So is this menace to society now quivering in fear over the sum of money he will have to pay in fines? Is he polishing his sturdy walking shoes in expectation of an extended driving ban? Is he crippled with guilt and shame about the reckless way that he imperiled other road users and innocent pedestrians? Will he be forced to attend a driver re-education course? Um, no.

Mr Turner said the police view at the time was that the blood sample would be negative, and he was allowed to continue with his journey.

What a stroke of good fortune! Obviously the Praetorian Guards were in a generous mood that evening. Perhaps they even bade him on his way with a hearty slap on the back and a nerve-steadying snifter from a hastily produced hipflask. I am not entirely sure that the Guards would be quite so charitable to some lowly unelected serf whose similarly petty infractions are seldom tolerated or excused and are generally regarded as chicken feed for the state mincing machine.

But none of that need inconvenience or worry Mr. Turner who is free to resume his soaring career of anti-drink drive (and anti-God-knows-what-else) campaigning with an unimpeachable record and a disinterested fouth estate which is disinclined to risk embarrassing him.

But, maybe the blogosphere can play a role here. When Mr. Turner next thrusts his head over the parapet of public affairs (by early next week, I reckon) to press for more driving restrictions, seatbelts on toilets, no hamburgers after 7.00pm, regulations on toenail growth or some such desperately needed and worthwhile initiative, then perhaps a timely and polite e-mail could be sent to Mr. Turner (via his website) to ask if he may spare a thought for the less privileged little people.

7 comments to Blessed are the brazen

  • RAB

    Weeell !
    Looks like we’ve got ourselves
    A Kemptown boy racer !
    Do da do da drunk.

  • Sunfish

    Sounds like Rep. Kennedy (the one from Rhode Island)

    He got popped for DUI/DUID last year by the US Capitol Police. Not a few points over, but completely trashed. The CP watch commander ended up driving him home.

    The line officer who stopped him wanted to arrest him for DUI, just like he or I would for anybody else. So did his sergeant. The lieutenant told them both to get lost and spared Mr. Kennedy the night in jail and 90 days without a driver’s license.

    I guess Kennedy told the cop that he was on his way to a vote, as it’s essentially illegal to stop, arrest, or detain congressthings when they’re travelling to a vote. However, I’m not sure what the House would be voting on at 3AM.

  • Over the limit on one glass of wine?

    Big glass, or small man.

    Best regards

  • Phil A.

    Re: “But none of that need inconvenience or worry Mr. Turner who is free to resume his soaring career of anti-drink drive (and anti-God-knows-what-else) campaigning with an unimpeachable record and a disinterested fouth estate which is disinclined to risk embarrassing him.”

    I presume the use of “disinterested” in this instance is firmly ironic. In traditional usage, disinterested can only mean “having no stake in an outcome,” i.e. Free of bias and self-interest; impartial – This is clearly only actually true in Fourth Estate’s own wildest fantasies, possibly not even then ;-)

  • Given that he obviously thought himself safe to drive, I’d love to know whether Mr Turner thinks the current alcohol limit is too low.

  • Alfred E. Neuman

    Over the limit on one glass of wine? Big glass, or small man.

    Or he’s lying. But a politician would never do that.

  • Machiavelli's Understudy

    Oh I LOVE doing that! It’s my favourite past-time!

    In fact, it was only last week when I last indulged myself…

    http://blackpooltoday.co.uk/ViewArticle.aspx?SectionID=62&ArticleID=1987225

    Handy that I had my phone, eh?