The Alleged Bean/Daniels Encounter

As I’ve noted already, I think the OBA’s decision to walk out of the Reply to the Throne Speech was an ill-judged one – and going on the basis of online comments (FB and Bernews) it has rather spectacularly backfired.  Quite frankly, they’ve failed to appreciate just how fed up the lay electorate is with the state of politics today.

I also think they’ve severely prejudiced the active police investigation now.

The OBA have released a statement to the media explaining their actions and giving an indication of what Mr Bean is alleged to have said.  The media is editing aspects of this, for various reasons (language, police investigation, etc), however the OBA has also posted their unedited version on their FB page, of which you can see a screenshot to the right. OBA walkout

It’s important to stress that this statement is one-sided.  It only presents what the OBA wants it to present, and for all we know they’ve selectively edited it for their benefit (of attacking Mr Bean).  However, perception becomes reality – or more real than reality – in politics, and Mr Bean’s past use of language render it easy to accept that at least part of this statement is true, even if somewhat out of context, hypothetically.

Now, based solely on this summary, I’m really not sure there’s much of a criminal case to answer, and if this is all there is I think the police are likely going to simply drop the investigation.  They have to investigate on the basis of the complaint, but they are likely to just conclude there’s nothing there to charge Mr Bean with unlawful conduct.

Looking at the comments, while they can (and are by PLPers on FB) be spun away, I think we can agree that the language and imagery involved are unbecoming an MP, let alone the Opposition Leader and prospective Premier.

As I’ve said before, this just underlines a tendency of Mr Bean which in my opinion adds to my conclusion that his Leadership should be open to question.  He is a political liability for the PLP and damaging their hopes of re-election, all this despite staggering incompetence and scandal on the part of the OBA.

I can understand how his victim would likely have interpreted the comments, and I can certainly see how they come across as misogynistic.  Mr Bean should rightly be criticised for them, and his own MPs and members should be leading this criticism, at least internally, if for no other reason than the political damage it causes the party.

I don’t think that justifies the OBA’s actions one bit however.  They had much better options to chose from, and it’s hard not to think that they themselves realised the police were likely to drop the investigation, and so sought to pre-empt this, with an eye to extracting maximum impact in advance of the by-election next week.

I have trouble thinking they have taken a principled stand here rather than an opportunistic one for political purposes, especially when they had better options available to them, such as a motion for a joint select committee on Members behaviour, conduct and sexism in general.

So, yes, Mr Bean should be criticised.  If he had a point to get across to Ms Daniels, he chose absolutely the wrong language and manner for doing so, and reinforces questions of his suitability as Leader.

However, the OBA have completely mishandled this and scored an own-goal.

In the end, the respect for parliament is further lowered.

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13 thoughts on “The Alleged Bean/Daniels Encounter

  1. I understand Mr Bean went on the Sherri J show during the lunch recess and provided the context and greater details concerning the incident in question.

    I personally did not hear it, although I’ve been provided with a summary of what he said.

    Hopefully an audio recording will be available later. However, I will say that things are likely to get real explosive going forward and Mr Bean made some rather explosive statements.

    There’s also today’s release of the Auditor General’s report on Port Royal, which I need to review before commenting on.

    Busy day…

  2. The Opposition leader has dared the police to come and interview him on the incidence; One thing if the OBA is hoping that this is an impeachable offence; they will be sadly deluded having heard the other side of the story. They must be really paranoid over what the results of the up coming bye-election may show about their political popularity to have gone this far.

  3. It’s illegal to engage in offensive or disorderly conduct within 50m of a polling station.

    I haven’t heard what Marc Bean is alleging now, and I note he has got into defamation problems in the past, but it is wrong to engage in abuse at a polling station full stop.

  4. Per section IX OFFENCES of the PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION ACT 1978:

    “61 (1) Any person—

    (a) who at any parliamentary election—

    (i) behaves in a violent, offensive or disorderly manner in or about or within fifty metres of the election room or improperly disturbs or impedes the proceedings;”

    “… commits an offence.”

    “(3) Where a person commits an offence against this section:

    Punishment on summary conviction: imprisonment for 1 year or a fine of $500 or both such imprisonment and fine. ”

    Seems clear to me.

  5. That may be clear, however it is not clear whether Mr Bean is guilty of any of the above – thus the police investigation.

    It should be stressed that polling stations, including advance polling stations, are manned by at least two police officers. If they had seen anything that falls under that section of the Act they would have intervened then and there, and not waited for a complaint to be lodged. Hence the question as to whether any offense has actually been committed.

    I think before we convict Mr Bean of a crime we wait for the investigation to finish.

  6. Marc Bean is best thing the OBA have going for them politically

    [I have slightly edited this comment to remove a personal attack – JS]

  7. I’ve now seen some indication of what Marc Bean was alleging and I am stunned at his crassness. There is no way that he could be privy to that information first hand. So at best he is repeating unpleasant gossip, which is probably untrue, and at worst he is making things up.

    And even if it’s true, which I highly doubt, there’s no way it justifies him making a disturbance outside of a polling station

    The man has no notion of what is decent or acceptable behaviour. He should not be using his position to repeat gossip and abuse people. Full stop.

  8. Pingback: Partisans & Selective Memories | "catch a fire"

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