Once again, it’s not the biggest story in the mainstream media that should command attention. Right now, the country is getting itself into an almighty flap about little Rishi Sunak doing a video in a moving car without a seatbelt. Shock! Horror!
In the grand scheme of things it’s hardly crime of the century. Indeed, it’s what many might call a victimless crime. Should he have been involved in a collision, the only person who may have been hurt more was the PM himself. As a rule, wearing a seatbelt is sensible. More often than not, it protects the wearer from greater injuries should things go awry – though not always. Seatbelt injuries can range from bruising and abrasions following the distribution of the seatbelt, to intra-abdominal injuries and vertebral fractures.
So, giving advice that they are usually beneficial should be the correct way to go, making it a law is overkill. Ignoring the advice is extremely low level breaking of extremely high-level nanny state micromanagement. Still, if Rishi can start papering the walls with Fixed Penalty Notices, at least he’ll cover up some of that heinous wallpaper commissioned by Queen Carrie.
But it all seems a distraction when compared to Nadhim Zahawi, one of the richest men in Parliament, paying HMRC a figure of around £5m to settle a tax dispute. Releasing a statement this weekend, Mr Zahawi admitted making an error in his taxes, but that it was "careless and not deliberate". No, Nadhim, careless is forgetting a seatbelt, not withholding £5m in taxes.
As Chancellor of the Exchequer, albeit briefly, one can only imagine his chagrin if her found mere mortals carelessly forgetting £5k – yet he is expecting to continue as Conservative Party chairman as if nothing had happened.
Sunak and his lack of a seatbelt is an overblown distraction from a far more serious issue with a man proven to be untrustworthy and dishonest. Zahawi must go, not just as party chair, but from public office completely.
Martin Day – Party Secretary