A free press is the new Magna Carta

In the June 19 issue of the Observer, Catherine Bearder MEP suggested we should build on the legacy of Magna Carta not betray it as she thinks David Cameron is about to do.

My understanding of this historic document is that it establishes the principle that the rule of law applies equally to all people.

In short, no-one is above the law.

But unknown to many, there is small print at the bottom of the document which gives room to manoeuvre in certain circumstances and this ‘get out’ clause leaves a nasty taste in ones mouth if personally affected as I have been quite recently.

Entering Rye from Peasmarsh via Deadman’s Lane, a short cut used by many every day, I drove over the level crossing and turned into the station car park to avoid the traffic queue at the top of Rope Walk as many motorists do, not knowing that the ‘no entry’ signs had any legal meaning given that I was entering a car park and not a one way street.

This error of judgement cost me a £100 fine and three points which I have paid, accepted and moved on.

Research showed that Section 36 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 applies equally to car parks used by the public, as to a highway.

If this letter gets published it will be a wake up call to many who may be tempted to do as I did.

So it was with a sense of disbelief and not a little anger when I read a report in a national daily that Ann Barnes, the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner was investigated in 2014 for driving without insurance and the Crown Prosecution Service, CPS, decided against proceeding, the reason given that it ‘was not in the public interest’.

So much for Magna Carta and no-one being above the law. But it gets worse!

In April of this year, the wife of Ed Miliband, the ex Leader of the Labour Party, has appeared on CCTV and in photographs in the same national daily newspaper while riding her bike, ignoring one way signs, no entry signs, like me, twice riding through red lights, turning right against a ‘no right turn’ sign and riding the wrong way in a one direction street.

There has been no report of any action taken despite the evidence available, although the way things go nowadays, my guess would be that the CCTV camera was out of action or the tape got accidently wiped.

Mrs Miliband is a barrister and like the police commissioner is in a privileged position and in no need of the protection supposedly offered by Magna Carta which from my perspective, appears to be not fit for purpose, and the CPS should be rename The Selective Prosecution Service.

A free press, not afraid to report the different levels of ‘justice’ handed down on a regular basis is the modern Magna Carta and is the friend and guardian of the plebs, of which I am one.

Harry Kennard

Main Street

Peasmarsh

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