Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Plebgate - The Unpalatable Truth



I have come out of retirement briefly to put down some thoughts about Plebgate. I wrote about this earlier this year and I hate to say it, but I told you so.
The facts are very simple. Andrew Mitchell left Downing Street on the 19th September 2012 and had a hissy fit because a police officer wouldn't let him through the main gate. Mitchell admits being bad tempered and swearing; the only argument is whether or not he used the word pleb. It is an unusual word to use, one that seems unlikely for the police to make up?
Son of an MP, educated at Rugby Public School and Cambridge, and an arrogant member of the ruling classes; who would believe that Mitchell would say such a thing as 'Best you learn your fucking place. You don't run this fucking government ... You're fucking plebs?' If Michael Portillo is to be believed Mitchell has used the pleb word in private before.
An idiot police officer took it upon himself to write to his MP claiming to have witnessed the incident didn't help the situation and simply gave ammunition to Mitchell, his supporters and the anti police brigade.
A bit like Chris Huhne, Mitchell came out fighting for his career and produced video footage from the area, which he claimed proved that the police were lying. The anti police brigade and media were completely suckered. Anything discrediting the police was accepted without question. It was good work by Mitchell's team. People are still posting today that the video evidence proved the police were lying. You can view the video evidence and a detailed critique here.
A year long investigation has concluded that there is no evidence to support any theory of a conspiracy by the police against Mitchell. The CPS, rather weakly, say that there is insufficient evidence to show that the police officer was lying. There is no evidence other than Mr Mitchell's denial. The CPS also say they took into account evidence including “the fact that Mr Mitchells account has varied since the incident”
The biggest issue for me is the biased and edited video footage that was given to Chanel 4. The programme makers have made it clear that they did not edit the footage given to them. The CPS report says that the programme “showed edited footage that was less than clear in a number of regards”. It goes on to say that the unedited video evidence shows that the police officers account could be correct.
So who produced the footage given to Chanel 4, which appears to have been edited to discredit the police and support Mitchell's case? Why aren't the media asking this question?
I see today that Mitchell's case of libel against The Sun is not going well. He submitted his evidence late and has been told that because of this, even if he wins the case, he will have to pay his costs. He has had a year to get his story straight now. Why was it late? Don't be surprised if you see that case dropped before too long. He may say he cannot afford to fund it now he has to pay his costs. I say he won't want to appear in the witness box and face some difficult questions.
No one has come out of this sorry affair without blemish, but when it comes down to it, who do I believe? PC Plod doing his job on the gate or an arrogant, foul mouthed toff who thinks he was born to rule us?

47 comments:

  1. It seems just and fair to the observer that when PC Blazing Pants Liar finds himself in a hole, he is overcome by an irrepressible urge to dig.

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  2. I believe that the original Officer made a fair and accurate report. And he made that report because he thought that Mitchell was going to complain..

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    1. There was a time when evidence weighed more heavily with plod than a simple blind faith...and don't forget to write to Santa early this year.

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    2. Hmmm... Being a retired DPG Officer I could be seen as having an interest in this matter. But I also have nothing to gain from it and no axe to grind.
      I am certain that politics has corrupted this issue beyond any real chance of "justice" being served. I too believe the original officers report. But so much circumstantial evidence has been confirmed since, but now side-lined that both journalism in its attempt to give it’s paying customers what they want, along with those with pre conceptions and an axe to grind and the typical and unashamed old boys network and the grim reality of the way an ex chief whip is used to getting things done means that there is little to now be gained by Mitchel except damage to politics and the police. Ex chief whips have huge amounts of information on those matters best kept from the public concerning errant misbehaviours of current politicians of all political persuasions. Ex chief whips have “apparently” been described as offensive, arrogant bastards, who would be by many, given the opportunity, bricked up in a cellar full of starving rats…
      I have also apparently heard that this same person has been told on more than one occasion that use of the vehicle gate by members on bicycles is forbidden and that the barriers will only be dropped for official authorised vehicles.
      The person has also admitted, with varying and different statements that he did shout, swear and use offence language to the original reporting police officer. This alone counters his own previous statements on the matter, including one where he could not apparently remember what he had actually said…apart that is of not using a “word” he has been witnessed as using on previous occasions.

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    3. Part 2 The grinding of salt in a wound is his arrogance in that he has sine seemed unashamed of this fact and believes that he is still suitable to hold high office. One might comment that to try repeatedly on more than one occasion to circumvent the security protocols put in place to prevent a terrorist act that would jeopardise the lives of everyone one working in that area is such to rule him out of any responsibility of high office. Then to berate, shout and swear at the person who is abiding by the rules meant to protect both him and those in the same area from a substantial and on-going threat is more than enough to throw the arrogant, vindictive and nasty buffoon out on his ear…
      But then we have the stupid actions of another police officer that has now admitted of making up an email apparently supporting the original officers’ account. He deserves what balanced punishment that is deemed appropriate. I know little of the “Federation” saga and so won’t comment.
      I am greatly concerned as to how Mitchel managed to gain the apparent support of current MP’s who used their parliamentary privilege to make statements on a matter that was as yet to be fully investigated and during an on-going investigation that could have resulted in criminal proceedings against those concerned. This is and remains totally unfair. I also have a personal opinion about Mitchel but will refrain from making that public.
      But there is a far higher proportion of those with criminal convictions who are serving MP’s than there is in the general population.
      Best we stick with the accepted facts of this matter. Mitchel has now admitted he shouted and swore at the police officer when denied the ability to exit via the vehicle gate. A rule that is accepted as being important to the security of Downing Street and of being an important one. Mitchel has “apparently” been told of rule and the need for him to abide by it before. Mitchel admitted to becoming angry with the police officer and has apparently apologised for his actions already directly to the officer, and the others on duty at the time !
      The police didn’t request he stepped down from his political position as chief whip… his own party did that.
      My personal opinion is that Mitchels actions since have been arrogant and self-interested. This has damaged the party he apparently wants to work for far more, over a longer period of time that has he just apologised fully in the first place.
      I do hope that the original police officer caught up in this sorry affair is duly and properly compensation for the obvious financial loss his forced change in duties have caused along with compensation for the stress the attack on his character will have caused. You have my admiration and support for doing the right thing in such difficult circumstances.

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  3. Oh what a surprise, you're backing a team of bent coppers.

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    1. Did you miss the bit where I said Mitchell's video had you over.

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  4. Police pilot: We are hovering just above your roof. Three Screaming Orgasms...on the house, please.
    Bartender: What?
    Police pilot: Three Screaming Orgasms, you deaf twit.
    Bartender: I can't hear you for the noise.
    Police pilot: Hang on while I turn this big fan off.

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    1. Disgusting. Can this be edirted out?

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    2. I was very tempted to remove this comment but there are two reasons not to. Firstly, I have said a number of times that we are becoming an intolerant country where anyone with views or ideas that do not comply with liberal, politically correct ideology is being criminalised for their thoughts. I am not sure if the author of the comment is just a silly, mindless fool or an anti police bigot. I am minded to leave the post so that people can see the second reason for leaving it, which is that it shows just what sort of people the police have to deal with.
      What I will say is that freedom of speech should come with responsibility and accountability. Anonymous blogs (including this one) hide behind that cloak to some extent and we should never say something that we cannot justify or take responsibility for, if the author is identified publicly. If anyone can tell me who posted the comment I will happily publicise their details and they can try and justify it to the media, their family and friends, the relatives of those killed and injured Etc..

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  5. I'm old fashioned, so I see nothing wrong with the use of the word "pleb", although it might be considered to be insulting, but see everything wrong with the use of the word "fucking " as a swearword.
    If nothing else, I'd never support an MP who swore in public.
    I was taught in my youth that the higher you rose in life, the greater the need to conduct yourself properly as people will look up to you. I know it's not fashionable any longer, but it remains good advice to all those in public office.

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  6. I would like to slap the PC who sent the dodgy email.How on earth did he think he would get away with that?

    This already has had ramifications to the ordinary police officers on the street.I stopped a motorist last Friday who was not wearing his seatbelt.I always warn for this and never ticket.His opening remark was "I was wearing it,you are all liars,look at Plebgate".
    Anyway,glad you are back Lex.Melvin will be along soon,he can sniff out these police blogs.
    Jaded

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  7. Jaded, thanks, I look forward to Melvs insight into the issue..
    A minor point, but since you raise it, you should always issue an FPN for no seat belt. It has been law since 1985. Regular users of seatbelts cannot drive 20 yards without realising they haven't got their seat belt on. Those who don't wear one are obviously regular offenders. They won't take heed of a warning and will continue offending. Secondly, this is an offence that is highly visible to the public. Law abiding people see offenders without seatbelts, using mobile phones Etc. and they want the police to take action with fines not warnings. Lecture over!

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  8. I'm an easy going sort of chap Lex and don't get my pen out unless the driver really deserves it.Discretion is allowed after all.Regarding seatbelts- the only person affected is the person not wearing it,things like no insurance and using phones do affect other people.
    Jaded

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    1. You are missing Lex's point Jaded. It doesn't just affect the driver. Everyone who sees people breaking the law thinks they are living in a society where the law is ineffective which makes them feel vulnerable.
      Another issue is who pays for their treatment when they get injured more severely than they could have been had they been wearing a seatbelt.
      There is using discretion and there is being ineffective. If you are not ticketing for this offence you are not doing your job.

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  9. Why did the officer refuse to open the gate if not to make trouble?

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    1. He opened the side gate which is for bikes and pedestrians. He refused to open the main gates, which are for cars. Jobsworth maybe but he was following the written directions given to him.
      Why didn't Mitchell just accept that instead of having a rant? He admits swearing about it. Because he is an arrogant twat!

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    2. I'm not in charge of security at Downing Street but I strongly believe that the threat level is significantly higher than the gate at the end of my drive. When I open that I don't have to consider if there is some vehicle based improvised explosive device about to be driven at my house and I rarely look at the current threat level from terrorism before I make the decision. Nor do I have to remove a series of locks and bolts capable of stopping such an attack. But then I'm not a jobsworth.

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  10. I seem to have attracted a few traffic officers on here! We have enough enemies out there without targeting Mr and Mrs Nice but I take your point about he extra injuries.I don't think society will crumble if a few people don't wear their seat-belts though!
    Jaded

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    1. I'm a member of the public. After seeing Mitchells video, I thought the police officer was a liar. Now I think he is probably telling the truth.
      I see people driving around with no seatbelt and using phones every day. I want the police to do something about it. Warning them isn't doing anything about it. If that is all the police are doing then it is no wonder there are so many out there breaking the law.
      If you can't give people tickets you are not doing your job. Mr and Mrs Nice wear their seat belts. People who stick their finger up to the law don't wear their seat belts and laugh behind your back after you have given them a warning. Maybe you are in the wrong job?

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    2. I will take your advice on board and pop down the job centre on Monday and see what they've got for me.In the meantime I will attend domestics,road traffic accidents,missing persons,shoplifters etc etc and then find time to give out tickets for traffic offences.
      To all you non-police readers out there-we are given discretion on minor stuff.It's ours to use as we see fit.Lobby your MP for zero-tolerance.
      Jaded

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    3. I understand the role of discretion but you do not seem to understand when it is appropriate to use it. I hope you can reflect on that and start doing the job that the public want you to do.
      I have previously heard of police officers ignoring offences using the excuse that they need to be free to deal with more serious matters or support colleagues. Perhaps if they were a bit more robust dealing with the 'minor' matters there would be less serious offences.

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    4. @Anonymous as an ordinary, essentially law-abiding member of the public I can tell you that your attitude is not one that contributes to good relations between the police and the rest of the population at large. And thank you Jaded for your contribution which helps to restore the balance.

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  11. I assume you saw the Have I got News For you where they try to fit the conversation as described in the police log in the time the incident took? They run out of time very quickly.

    Oh and if the shocked members of the public appear in the 'edited out' parts of the video then where are they in the edited bits. They were standing watching the argument so why did they run off before it ended?

    And just how many police are facing disciplinary charges over this? eight last I heard.

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    1. I regularly watch Have I Got News For You but I wouldn't recommend it for reliable facts.
      The CPS report makes it clear that the unedited footage shows that the officers account may be completely plausible.
      There are members of the public present in the edited video and obviously more evidence of their presence in the unedited version.
      One officer has been charged with a criminal offence of Misconduct in Public Office. This is the idiot who sent the email to his MP claiming to have witnessed the exchange between Mitchell and PC Toby Roland. He is also to face an internal Gross Misconduct hearing. No one has tried to defend this idiot and, quite frankly, all decent officers will be glad to see him sacked for the damage he has caused to the reputation of the police.
      Four other officers are facing internal Gross Misconduct proceedings and may face dismissal if found guilty. Those officers are all accused of leaking the report by Toby Roland, regarding the exchange he had with Mitchell, to the media. Hardly a cover up. They will probably claim the leaks were in the public interest but I suspect they will all be sacked.
      The fact is that, other than Mitchell denying he used the word pleb and now accusing PC Rolland of lying there is no evidence of any conspiracy and no evidence that he lied. It is a simple question of who do you believe, the officer or Mitchell.
      Mitchell admits losing her temper, admits using the f word but denies using the word pleb.
      I also repeat that the CPS have made it clear that Mitchell in not an entirely credible witness highlighting “the fact that Mr Mitchells account has varied since the incident”
      We have Mitchells libel case against the Sun to look forward to. I suspect you will see this case withdrawn. We also have PC Roland now suing Mitchell for libel. I look forward to seeing Mitchell on the stand trying to explain why his account has varied. Most of all I look forward to hearing who is responsible for putting together a series of clips from Downing Street cameras that were edited so as to discredit PC Roland and support Mitchell's protests of innocence. This damaging video evidence was swallowed hook line and sinker by the anti police press and many other gullible idiots.

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    2. Well said Lex,completely agree with what you have written here.
      Now where's my pen?,apparently if I give out more FPN's then crime will fall.If only Harold Shipman had been given a ticket for parking on the zig-zags early doors he may not have committed his murder spree!
      Jaded

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  12. I've read the transcript you can't fit it into less than a minute, the members of the public merely walk past in the C4 footage, and if they exist in the allegedly unedited footage they can't have been that shocked if they only stopped for a few seconds. Mitchell's body language is totally wrong as well.

    The issue for the CPS is the case is at its core one persons word against another which is not beyond reasonable doubt. That doesn't prove innocence or guilt merely that we don't know. This isn't over yet btw. Even if Mitchell does withdraw his case against the Sun the policeman has forced the issue so it'll all be in court after all

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  13. This is exactly the issue. The video evidence produced by the Mitchell camp was a con. The CPS have since made it clear that unedited footage makes the officers report completely plausible.
    The issue about members of the public being present was put in the officers report. To prove an offence of disorderly conduct you have to show that it was LIKELY that members of the public were present and that they may have been harassed, alarmed or distressed by the conduct.
    The officer says that he warned Mitchell about his conduct, swearing in public. Mitchell admits swearing, specifically using the F word. Members of the public don't have to stop and watch to be harassed alarmed or distressed. In fact, if they are being, they are more likely to want to leave the area.
    I am aware that the officer has now commenced proceedings against Mitchell. See my comment above.

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  14. Interesting suggestion re police use of `discretion` but I fear this no longer exists as it once did. My research, although not empirically sound, reveals a police service so short of real experience at street level, that the `machine` has had to intervene and be slavishly followed. E.g. in a large county force I have contacts within, the wastage rate of police is so high that very few actually have more than four year experience. Its not unusual for a Sgt to have just three years experience - the most on a shift. Simply put... the 'machine' tells them what to do and they don't have the experience to think for themselves. As for matters metropolitan, a contact there tells me `They are trying every way they can to reduce Officer numbers and sacking for discipline Offences is now common. This has resulted in a lot of blokes “standing off” from situations because they don’t want the complaints. Initiative and discretion has gone out of the window. The bad guys are now clocking on to the fact that Police cars no longer give chase in anything that can be considered a built up area. Dispatch abandons the chase remotely. Motorbikes are never chased under any circumstances. The whole bloody thing is a shambles`.

    I reiterate, this is anecdotal, not empirically sound, but my sources are good people....It is to weep.

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  15. You have some good points HG. I despair at what is going on. In my old force officers are going through a 'vetting' process. This includes declaring all your friends, family and acquaintances. The force are then trawling computer systems to see if anyone has looked at the computer record of anyone on their list. If you have, you get a gross misconduct hearing and dismissal.
    Officers are having their Facebook and Twitter accounts monitored and misconduct notices are flying around like confetti.
    The whole purpose of the exercise seems to be to sack officers and allow PSD to meet some target or other.

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  16. You write in your post, "Anything discrediting the police was accepted without question."

    You may want to consider why that is the case. I'm not saying it was correct to do so, but why would so many people think that way?

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    1. The public, mainly because they believe what they read in the media. The media, because they have an anti police agenda. (If you don't think this is the case, try and think of any other case where the media sided with a politician.)
      This Government has conducted a campaign to discredit the police so that they could implement the recommendations of the Winsor review, knowing that the police would have lost public support.
      We have a plethora of spin doctors feeding lies to the media. who are too lazy and shallow to carry out real investigative journalism.
      Spin doctors are huge business. Once just the preserve of politicians and large corporations; now almost every organisation has one. Cuts in the number of journalists and a general decline in the quality of journalists makes it easy for spin doctors to spread disinformation or hide the truth.

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  17. Why risk arrest for the public order offence of cavorting with naked truth in public, anon? Far safer is a seasonal parable to suggest plod innocence:

    'The Anaemic Infant in a manger was attended by the Three Wise Parties, who brought the Son of Plod gifts of leeches, hookworm and arsenic.'

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  18. Oh look MTG has got his laptop back from nursey and is putting in his pointless opinion.
    Jaded

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  19. At the Old Bailey, Pc Keith Wallis confesses he invented claims he had seen Mitchell arguing with police and that he lied about witnessing the 'plebgate' row in Downing Street. Gosh, can you credit that, lex?

    Naturally It may be your view that this Constable of Straw is now lying that he was lying in the first place.

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  20. If you look at almost any comment I have made regards Vallis, it is that he is an idiot who gets all he deserves.
    Vallis thought it would be a good wheeze to send an email to his MP saying that he had witnessed the incident with Mitchell and that he was disgusted by his behaviour.
    Vallis was too stupid to realise the consequences of his actions. I think it is important to say that the IPCC checked his phones and computer and he had not been in contact with anyone else regarding this. He was just an idiot acting alone.
    Every police officer I know is disgusted with his stupid behaviour and the damage that it has done to the reputation of the police.
    He will probably get 6 to 12 months porridge for his stupidity and will, of course, lose his job. No one is trying to defend him or his stupid behaviour.

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    1. "Every police officer I know is disgusted with his stupid behaviour and the damage that it has done to the reputation of the police."

      It would surprise me, lex, were you any other than complicit in a blatant disregard for the contribution made to the reputation of police by the many in your ranks who cheat and lie every day, deal in stolen firearms, destroy evidence and intimidate witnesses for cash or sexual favours.

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    2. Occasionally, Melvyn, police officers do stupid things and, I have said before, the 99.9% of decent hard working police are glad to see the back of them. I have also said that the vast majority of officers sacked or disciplined for misconduct are reported by other officers.
      Your obsession with endemic police corruption shows that you have no understanding of the police and simply suggests some psychotic condition caused by some past experience. Do try to move on with your life and avoid wasting it on some ill conceived paranoia.

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  21. I knew Melvin would get very excited about the idiot PC sending a stupid email and getting caught.He deserves everything that's coming to him.The focus has gone off Mitchells swearing and lying and made this out to be be a police conspiracy instead of an idiot acting alone.
    Unlike Mitchell the PC on the gates story has not changed from the start.
    Jaded

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  22. A prime example of 'Unpalatable Truth' is WC Jaded's job; the sole purpose of which is to warp reality whilst smearing police critics. Too few decent folk appreciate the extent to which a keyboard and hugging radiator can assist intrinsic dishonesty.

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  23. A prime example Melvin of you twisting the facts to further your anti-police obsession.Wallis acted alone and stupidly,no-one has defended him.Now Mitchell is being lined up for sainthood because of this sideshow.
    Back to my radiator.
    Jaded

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  24. OFFICIAL NEWS:
    UK Police, Police Federation & IPCC simultaneously declared 'not fit for purpose'.

    Golly. We all knew it but the odds must have been against seeing the Unholy Trinity chained together in the dock,

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  25. Pastel Digital Effects claim their video proves the Plebgate PC was telling the truth. In the new footage, two heavyweight blondes are clearly shocked as they pass the gates. Before one with stubble faints in disgust, a Met lip reader (Dr Freddie Pastel) was able to make out "Did you just hear what that awful Mr Mitchell said to that nice policeman, Casey?"

    The video has additional appeal for all the family since it includes scenes of 'Fairies at the bottom of Patel Gardens'.

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  26. Melvin you are like a turd that won't flush away after numerous attempts. I'm sure the other residents think your little ditties are hilarious.
    Jaded

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  27. The police exist primarily to protect the property of the rich and well-off. Sadly most of their pay is levied from the working class (a clever little ploy by the rich). Your average copper is not particularly intelligent in fact many are pretty stupid. Coppers consider themselves to be superior to the average working man when all he is is an ignorant hypocrite who will do anything to make na few bob (is that why they call them bobies).

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  28. Dear anonymous 29th March - your ignorance and bigotry of the police is noted. I realise that I am wasting my time but here are a few facts for your information.
    Regards the police existing primarily to protect the property of the rich; there was some truth in that decades ago but they also ensured that the average person could go about their business without being robbed, raped or murdered. This is still the case today.
    Nowadays most police time is spent on social housing estates dealing with the drunks, drugs, and social problems created by the nanny state, which no other services will deal with. The police now have the responsibility of managing the lives of every child in an adults body, who cannot be bothered to take responsibility for themselves.
    The rich, as you call them, almost never see a police officer and now have to rely on gates, burglar alarms and private security guards to protect whatever they have.
    How you suggest that that the working class pay most of their salary is beyond me. Police pay comes largely from general taxation and partly from Council Tax. The rich, as you call them, pay the bulk of taxation and so your comment is nonsense.
    Regards, the intelligence of police officers, they all have to pass an entrance exam. The pass rate has been lowered to allow more ethnic minorities to join the police. I would agree with you that some police officers are not the sharpest knives in the box. I would also argue that it would be daft if every police officer had a degree. We need some good strong working class lads in the police to deal with drunken, violent louts.
    The police are sometimes called Bobbies after the founder of the modern police service, Robert (Bob) Peel.
    I hope that gives you a better insight!

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  29. "The police are sometimes called Bobbies..."
    One of the very few printable references, lex.
    And what an appropriate day to discuss the Winsorian term 'broken'. I'm opting for fragmented and morally bankrupt.

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