(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)
Alf is disappointed to hear of a colleague being dobbed in after being caught reading while driving on an Auckland motorway.
Nope. He is not commenting because he disapproves of what the MP has done. Rather, he is expressing his disappointment that the woman who dobbed him in thinks she was doing her public duty by reporting the matter to the NZ Herald.
Why not report it to the Police, if she felt so strongly about the road safety implications? And if she did report it to the Police, why also go to the Herald?
By going to a newspaper, surely, this harpie shows her purpose was not to bring the MP to book but to embarrass him politically.
Alf also notes the absence of any suggestion that the MP was driving erratically, or on the wrong side of the road, or anything untoward.
The version of the story reported in the ODT says –
Hunua MP Paul Hutchison had papers spread across his steering wheel and an astonished motorist who called police said it looked like he was practising a speech, The New Zealand Herald reported today.
Janice Barr from Ohaupo, near Hamilton, said the four-wheel-drive vehicle had Dr Hutchison’s name and National Party colours on it.
Dr Hutchison said today he was sorry.
“It was very unwise, I was doing the wrong thing and I think the lady was absolutely right in dobbing me in,” he said. He had been distracted at the time by a large workload and was not concentrating, he said.
“It is very embarrassing.”
Dunno what the fuss is about. As the ODT’s account points out, there is no specific offence for reading while driving, although Dr Hutchison reckons there is a case for making it an offence because “it was not acceptable.”
He also has come up with his own ideas for punishing himself.
“Perhaps the lady could sentence me to picking up… paper on the road for a few hours, because I do realise this was something that was not good for the community and could have caused harm to other people.”
But Alf reckons the complainant should have been delighted to find a male MP who can multi-task. Betcha she won’t find anyone who can read and drive in Labour’s ranks.
Come to think of it, there’s a fair chance of finding Labour MPs who struggle to read at the best of times.