Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Plebgate

So... Chanel 4's report on plebgate is devastating. None of the allegations made against Chief Whip, Andrew Mitchell stood up. Not at the Gates of Downing Street, and not in any of the meetings he had subsequently with the police federation. It appears Andrew Mitchell's account is more believable than that cooked up by police subsequently. He has been near-completely exonerated.

Furthermore, it's apparent that senior ranks were in on the conspiracy.

The police lied, and conspired. And they thought they could get away with doing so, not against some kind of 'usual suspect' on the 'swamp estate' but against a Cabinet Minister. I can only surmise that the police federation saw an opportunity to discredit the Government as they implemented cuts to police numbers.

Think about that for a minute.

The police conspired to discredit a Government as they sought to implement policy.

This isn't just about the police. The public sector, as a whole grew fat and complacent under Labour, and when the money ran out they thought it appropriate to lie to maintain their fat headcounts, salaries and pensions. This Government isn't a "shambles" because it has the wrong policies, but because the public sector is actively resisting implementation of policies. This isn't just a copper lying. It's corruption bordering on treason.

My attitude to the police is ambiguous. I know several, some of whom I count as friends. They know my views. I have never trusted the police. But I do trust, by and large, individual police officers. The problem is that power corrupts, and the police have simply been given too much power. They are able to fabricate evidence in pocket-books in the expectation they'll be believed. The proliferation of (effectively) strict-liability offences like Section 5 of the Public Order Act, means the Police will be believed, and Joe-citizen won't be. The abandonment of the concept of an "arrestable offence" means you can be arrested merely for swearing at or near the police. The police log recorded "several members of the public nearby looked visibly shocked and alarmed". This is just a standard trope, trotted out to justify an arrest under Section 5. It's usually a lie, given to justify the police unnecessarily arresting someone who's being uncooperative. It's just too easy to arrest someone who irritates you for being lippy. The servant thus becomes the master, and the UK becomes a police state.

This 'section 5 lie' is used to arrest young men up and down the country every day. As the police deliberately wind them up, they can usually be persuaded to do something more serious. This incident is just the tip of the iceberg of casual lies the police use every day, for their convenience.

The vast majority of police, especially the older ones, seem genuinely willing help in a crisis. But there's an arrogance, an unbecoming swagger about some of the younger officers I've met. They expect not just obedience, but deference, and threaten arrest for mere disagreement. They feel confident that the allegation of "swearing" justifies arrest under section 5. And without proof, who do you believe. Perhaps everyone should now take my lead and record every single conversation you ever have with the police. The police are not your friend. Though they remain, for now, trustworthy in a crisis and brave in the service of the public, they need to be brought down to earth.

Mitchell is right. The police do need to relearn their place.



5 comments:

banned said...

On Saturday we had our local football league 'Derby' match.

The police were on hand in large numbers to escort the away crowd from the railway station to the ground. As I arrived outside the station there was a handful of officers still there presumably to deal with late arrivals.
One particular officer took it upon himself to question every single taxi driver who dropped off their passengers at the place where they always do.

He was wanting to know why they were 'parked' on double lines and suggesting that they should use properly marked parking bays. Some drivers replied more eloquently than others but none raised to his bait by getting agitated to the point of getting arrested for Obstruction which I beieve was the officers aim. His colleagues took no part other than looking vaguely amused.

None of the drivers pointed out that there is a British Transport Police section based on that very concourse who had never questiond theur dropping off before nor that the land is itself private property (belonging to what used to be British Rail) thus rendering yellow lines meaningless.

Mark said...

Not jusr any police either but those guarding Downing strasse who (presumably) constitute some sort of elite.

And as you say, whatever you think of the arse he was a minister of the crown.

And they wonder why increasing numbers of poeple mistrust and are beginning to hate them

John Galt said...

Civil servants have always frustrated government policy where it involved reducing their headcount, salaries, perks or pensions.

For this reason alone the civil service should be abolished and outsourced to private industry on a market basis (not to cronies).

It is only by a ruthless cull of state bureaucrats that we can bring the state, deficit and debt back under control.

Never happen though, until after the bombs have fallen.

Ed. said...

I agree with what you're saying - this is bigger than a disagreement between the police and a politician.

Was the incident meant to be the first shot in a coup...except Mitchell didn't lay down and die?

http://300wordtheses.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/plebgate-mischief-or-coup-detat.html

Anonymous said...

The PC's notebook is clearly a lie, as there were no public observers, and no time for the exchange to take place. Mitchell led the way to the pedestrian gate, and was not addressing PCs at that time. The email echoed the notebook record, and the perpetrator of this libel was another PC. This points to a conspiracy.
The Police Fed compounded the libel, and also lied about their meeting with Mitchell. PCs behaved dishonourably at Conservatives Conference, and in Mitchell's Constituency.
Ever been stitched up by the police yourself? I have. A solicitor told me that a lone member of the public cannot be believed in court against the corroborative evidence of 2 PCs. Know why Mitchell walked? He knew that too.
Someone needs to sort this lot out.

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