There can be few things worse than seriously injuring or killing someone by accident.
If it ever happened to me, I would be utterly devastated, out of my mind with guilt and regret, driven mad by what-ifs.
So I am prepared to concede that Anne Sacoolas, the American diplomat’s wife accused of killing British teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn, might have made an understandable error of judgment when she returned to the U.S. under diplomatic immunity.
Harry Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, spoke on This Morning about the death of their son on August 27 when the motorcyclist collided with a car in Northamptonshire
You can see that, after allegedly pulling out of an RAF base in Northamptonshire on to the wrong side of the road, she may simply have panicked and done what many people might have felt like doing: run and hide.
But now that Harry’s parents have spoken out so bravely — especially when you consider the forces they are up against (there is speculation that the American couple may have been connected to the intelligence services) — she must return to face the music.
Not for the sake of UK/U.S. diplomatic relations, but because, as a mother of three and a fellow human being, it is the very least she can do for Harry’s family.
Anything less would be to show not only stunning arrogance, but a disdainful lack of respect for the grieving parents of a blameless child.
Parents who need to feel the death of their son was not merely a minor inconvenience, worth so little that his loss could simply be dismissed.
As Harry’s mother, Charlotte, put it: ‘It is not much to ask.’ There cannot be a single person in Britain who doesn’t agree with her. But it doesn’t seem anyone is listening.
Not that, for all the fuss about to-ing and fro-ing between embassies, this is really about diplomacy. It’s just about right and wrong.
Mrs Sacoolas still has a chance to put things right. But she needs to get a move on. Because if she doesn’t make the decision to return and face justice soon — and I mean now — what might have been a tragic accident, one of those terrible things that sometimes happens, will become a full-blown moral crime, compounded by cowardice and callousness.
Anne Sacoolas, wife of US diplomat Jonathan Sacoolas, who was based at RAF Croughton
I know she must be scared. Scared that if she is found guilty of a criminal offence and jailed, her children will be deprived of their mother — if only for a time.
But, however bad it might be, it won’t ever be as bad as what Harry’s parents will be going through for the rest of their lives.
How will Mrs Sacoolas live with herself, tucking her kids in at night, or dropping them off at school in a leafy American suburb, knowing her actions may have deprived another mother of her son? What kind of freedom is that?
For any normal person, the guilt would be too much to bear. It would gnaw away at them over the years, the spectre of that young boy on his motorbike forever hovering over them.
Running away won’t banish it. It will simply make it a thousand times stronger.
Mrs Sacoolas doesn’t just owe it to Harry’s family to do the right thing; she owes it to her own. She needs to set an example to her children: if you make a mistake, face up to it. She needs to be a person of whom they can be proud — not someone to be ashamed of.
It is the best chance she has of redemption, and the best chance of being fairly judged if it comes to court. But most of all, it is the very least she can do for the memory of young Harry Dunn.
Jennifer Arcuri says she saved Boris Johnson’s phone number under the code name ‘Alexander the Great’.
It’s an interesting detail that probably tells us more about their relationship than any amount of media questioning.
I have a famous politician stored in my phone under ‘Gandalf’. Bet you can’t guess who it is.
I was struck by the footage of this Extinction Rebellion protester clutching a photograph of his two children while weeping uncontrollably.
‘I’m just a father of two children who’s very frightened of their future,’ he sobbed.
Part of me felt sorry for him — he’s clearly got issues. But, for goodness’ sake, man, you’re not living in war-torn Yemen. Your children will be fine.
Now get a grip!
Part of me felt sorry for the Extinction Rebellion protester (pictured) — he’s clearly got issues. But, for goodness’ sake, man, you’re not living in war-torn Yemen. Your children will be fine
Will no one take the blame?
Every time I see that footage of Lord Brittan walking shakily towards his car, television cameras in his face, at the height of the Operation Midland ‘Nick’ hysteria, my heart breaks for him.
Imagine being falsely accused of crimes so foul as rape, paedophilia and sadistic abuse — and then dying in the knowledge the whole world thought you were guilty.
How is it possible not a single person is to be held accountable for this monstrous witch-hunt — not Cressida Dick; not Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson, who fanned the flames of hysteria; not any of the officers involved?
Someone must accept responsibility — otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before it happens again.
Feminists have for years been calling for James Bond to be killed off — now, it seems, they have succeeded, or at least managed to neuter the old rogue.
According to Naomie Harris, who plays Eve Moneypenny in the new 007 movie, we’ll be seeing a Bond ‘who’s more in touch with his feelings’.
A woke Bond? About as useful as a chocolate teapot . . .
Prue Leith says being a judge on The Great British Bake Off while she was wheelchair-bound following an injury has made her a stone overweight.
She looks fine to me — but I’ve never met a woman who doesn’t think she’s a stone overweight.
And, annoyingly, it’s often the ones who worry the most who have the least to fear. Stollen castle, anyone?
Prue Leith (pictured on September 20) says being a judge on The Great British Bake Off while she was wheelchair-bound following an injury has made her a stone overweight
A very odd break-up
Don’t you just love the notion that, when spotted in Central Park with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein in 2010, Prince Andrew was simply there to ‘break off’ their friendship?
‘He went to see a friend to tell them he couldn’t be their friend any more,’ says ‘a source’.
Hmm. My experience of the upper classes is that when they decide they don’t like you any more, they just blank you.
Andrew, by contrast, stayed with Epstein in his house and attended a dinner there. It’s a very odd way of ending any kind of relationship, especially one as tenuous as he would have us believe this was.
I love the idea that actress Helena Bonham Carter consults a psychic every time she takes on a deceased character (her latest is Princess Margaret in The Crown).
It’s deliciously bonkers, but so brilliantly her.
Helena is a true English eccentric, a dying breed in this age of tremulous, conformist celebrities who haven’t a single original thought in their heads.
Poor Anneka ended up looking a right lemon
It was clear from the start that Anneka Rice was never going to get very far on Strictly Come Dancing.
But if they hadn’t put her in that hideous yellow tracksuit and made her dance to that ghastly tune, she might have had a better chance of survival.
But perhaps that was the intention all along . . .
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