After the out-of-touch inmates of the Baby Shard bunker used a photo of shadow home secretary Diane Abbott drinking from a can of M&S mojito on an Overground train to attack her, they discovered that out there in the real world, Ms Abbott enjoys rather a lot of support from real people, rather than abusive Twitter bots. She did, remember, score more than 75% of her constituency’s vote in the 2017 General Election.
That, though, was the least of the Murdoch goons’ worries. For starters, as the Tweeter known for the moment as Mojito Communarde (Geddid?!?!?) has pointed out, the claims of lawbreaking levelled at Ms Abbott are over-egging the pudding somewhat. “She was in breach of By-law No. 4(3), the penalty for which is being told to leave the train (Unless a conductor saw her and told her it was OK to continue)”.
So when the Sun ranted “Mick Neville, a retired Scotland Yard Detective Chief Inspector, said: ‘It’s shocking that she is breaching a law that was brought in to keep order on public transport … London’s got enough problems without senior politicians drinking on trains … TfL should be looking into this and sending her a fine. She should face action as a deterrent to others”, they - and he - showed a total ignorance of the law.
Tony Gallagher - still out of touch
There is no further sanction that TfL, or anyone else, can apply to Ms Abbott. Worse, as Tom Pride has revealed, is that Mick Neville has significant previous. As Pink News told back in 2016, “Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville, who heads the Metropolitan Police’s Central Images Unit, is facing a probe from the Directorate of Professional Standards … It comes after flags were raised via the Independent Police Complaints Commission about public posts Neville had made on Facebook”. And the nature of those posts?
They included severely adverse comment on LGBT issues (whining about it being “politically correct”), and this gem: “A victory over Left wing, political correct zealots!!! All my family has fought for this country for five generations to preserve our way of life & freedoms. In the name of ‘equality’ these evil creatures try to stop all opinions except their own”. He’s shown partiality, by backing UKIP. And has indulged in migrant bashing.
Pride ends with this observation: “Personally, I think obsessive strange men secretly taking photographs of women on trains is much more worrying than someone taking a little drink from a can on the way home from work”. Well, whoever took that photo and (presumably) flogged it to the Sun is in potentially serious trouble. As are the Murdoch goons.
That’s down to TfL’s film and photography policy, which states “We get many requests from tourists, train enthusiasts, budding photographers and customers 'passing through' a station who may want to take photographs for their own personal use. We agree that this is acceptable, at the station's discretion, as long as additional camera equipment (including flash and tripods) is not used”. But the photo was not taken for personal use.
So the Sun should have cleared use of the photo with TfL, as it is clearly a TfL train interior where it was taken. Did they? My Occam’s Razor is telling me the hacks were so focused on kicking the Rotten Leftie™ that they didn’t bother.
Someone could indeed face further action over this story. But it won’t be Diane Abbott.
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