Empty Gestures I & II

13 12 2010

Category; Politics

Empty Gestures I – The Met Commissioner

The Sunday Times has reported that the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police told Prince Charles (or the Royal Household) that if the Prince wanted him to resign he would.

That comes in the wake of the policing failures that allowed the car Charles and Camilla were in to be damaged by  protesters.

Thinking about the offer for a fraction of a second makes the following obvious;

a) he’s not employed by Prince Charles; if he’s offering his resignation it should be to his employer,

b) having a constitutional monarchy means that the Prince of Wales has no say in the management of the Metropolitan Police, and

c) if Prince Charles were to suggest that the Commissioner ought to resign it would provoke a massive constitutional crisis over Royal interference in the democratic process.

In the light of that the Prince could not possibly ‘accept’ the resignation or even comment upon it. Which means that the ‘offer’ was either made because Sir Paul Stephenson is an idiot who did not have the wit to realise the implication of the ‘offer’. Or it was an empty gesture made in the knowledge that it could only be refused. Read the rest of this entry »

Accidental Death of a Cyclist and Unenforced Laws

9 01 2010

Category: Law, Criminal Law, Cycling

© Danny McL

Maria Fernandez, 24, was crushed to death in June 2009 when a bin lorry which had driven onto the cyclists advance stop box failed to spot her. (click to see report on her inquest)

It’s always bothered me that there doesn’t seem to be any enforcement of the advanced stop lines and, as a result, very little observance of the rule. In my time as a criminal barrister (including for the Crown Prosecution Service) I never once came across anyone being prosecuted. Read the rest of this entry »