It wasn’t actually the Secretary of State who was ticketed, but rather her Mercedes limo that was parked outside of London’s Chatham House where she was to receive a prize for her ‘‘significant and impressive contribution to international diplomacy.”
According to reports, “five angry, beefy security guards” tried to interfere with the meter man’s writing the ticket to no avail. The Westminster traffic warden placed the £80 (about $125) ticket on Hillary’s ride anyway.
The incident could have been avoided had the parking fee of £3.30 (about $5) per hour had been paid. Mrs. Clinton and her husband have a net worth estimated at $35 million.
Although diplomatic plate cars are notorious scofflaws, Hillary Clinton’s entourage were not so equipped. U.N diplomats owe New York City almost $20 million in unpaid tickets. However, the former First Lady/Secretary of State and presumptive candidate for president of the United States, though she has Secret Service protection, has no diplomatic immunity.
According to a report in Forbes of a 2006 study of parking violations in New York, Kuwait leads with 246 violations per diplomat. In order, next were Egypt (under Mubarack), Chad, Sudan and Bulgaria. On the other hand, some 21 countries’ diplomats have racked up exactly zero, including “the ever-polite U.K., Japan and Canada,” but as well as some developing countries, among which were Burkina Faso, Azerbaijan, the Central African Republic, and Panama. (Since 2002 the U.S., incidentally, has withheld unpaid parking ticket fines from any foreign aid).
No doubt Hillary’s staffers will hie down to the local magistrate’s office to pay her debt to society. But then, as Hillary Clinton might say, “What difference at this point does it make anyway?”