Adam Boulton on Sky news broadcasting from the Liberal Democrat conference this morning was in full "look at me I'm a Tory sycophant mode" and was trying his best to play down "pleb-gate" scandal and in so doing attempting to dig his bestest Tory buddies out of a hole. Very laudable towards his preferred government, however, if Adam Boulton has got any balls he would admit his politics, resign his position at Sky News and seek a position within the Tory party.
Having got that mini rant off my chest, I now go on to the main thrust of this blog and it is to "Sweary Gate" the story which will not go away (despite what Adam Boulton professes).
No doubt David Cameron and Andrew Mitchel were hoping this story would go away by this morning, no chance of that, mainly because of the way it has been so badly handled by Cameron.
Our dithering incompetent Prime Minister has yet again clearly demonstrated his total absence of judgement. This time his very own privileged upbringing preventing him from understanding immediately how Mitchell's obnoxious odious behaviour towards the police would actually play out in the country.
For once I am in agreement with the Sun newspaper, this is a serious story and it needs telling and it most definitely is in the public interest:
- We have a right to know if a senior member of the government is attempting to mislead the prime minister
- We have a right to know if David Cameron actually knows what Mitchell has said and is attempting to bury this story and is in fact misleading the public himself.
- We have a right to know exactly what Andrew Mitchell said to those police officers.
- We have a right to know if a senior member of the government has behaved in an abusive offensive manner towards anyone let alone the police
- We have a right to know how much beneath contempt this over privileged millionaire government actually hold us.
- We have a right to know if they think we are "plebs" so we can adjust our voting intentions when next at the ballot box if we so wish!
"I'm the Chief Whip, I tell you, open these gates" and when he doesn't get his own way and is politely asked to dismount from his bike and use the pedestrian gate let loose his foul temper on police officers.
The Officer concerned reported that Mr Mitchell told him :
"Best you learn your fucking place. You don't run this fucking government. You're fucking plebs"The Sun claims to have read the report the police officer made and the report confirms what the Sun has reported. The officer made the report because Mr Mitchell threatened the officer saying: "you haven't heard the last of this". Read More: The Sun
Last year at the Conservative party conference, Boris Johnson said this:
"In the same spirit of zero tolerance, if people swear at the police they must expect to be arrested, not just because it's wrong to expect officers to endure profanities - although I happen to believe that it is, it's about the experience of the culprits, if people feel there is no boundaries, or come backs, for the small stuff, then they will go on to commit worse crimes"Far be it from me to agree with Johnson, because I happen to believe he is a foul mouth hypocritical thug with a briefcase too, (remember Darius Guppy?) but nonetheless, what he said in this short clip is 100% correct. In my experience working in Accident Service and dealing with foul mouthed people sometimes drunk but also sometimes stone cold sober who are using abuse and threats, what follows the verbal abuse is very often physical abuse, it's one of the very reasons that we all now see the high visibility of security guards in our hospitals. Nurses, doctors, porters etc should not have to take this abuse for simply doing their jobs and neither should the police!
What kind of message is Mitchell's and now the David Cameron's belligerent attitude towards this incident sending out to the rest of the country? Next time on a Friday or Saturday night as reduced numbers of police (due to Tory cuts) struggle to keep law and order on our streets and they are being sworn at in the same fashion as Mitchell did, what are they going to do? Threaten the person with arrest and have the person turn on them saying "if it's OK for politicians to swear and be abusive towards police, then it's OK for me to do so as well"? Because for sure this is exactly what will now happen; and how difficult will Cameron have made it for judges or magistrates pass sentence on people who have been charged with behaving like this? The way Cameron has handled this has set an extremely bad precedent.
Take this example:
19-year-old Ricky Gemmell was given 16 weeks for a foul-mouthed outburst during riots last summer – despite apologising. He said:
I'm not condoning his behaviour because Ricky acted like a fool and he was punished and quite rightly so, however, I think the punishment was harsh because of his age and the fact he had no previous convictions for violence and abuse towards the police or anyone else. He apologised but that wasn't enough and now he begins his adult life with a criminal record.
Ricky was 18 at the time of the offence - Mitchell is 56. Ricky has no previous for abusive or threatening behaviour - Mitchell does, in fact Mitchell has been known to be a bully and later a bullying prefect at his public School - Rugby.
Why was Ricky treated in a harsh way for his behaviour while Mitchell was allowed to get away with his disgraceful behaviour? They both apologised. Once again we see an alarming disparity in the way our laws are administered. I expect Ricky's treatment was because the establishment in this country, like David Cameron, Andrew Mitchell and like the Tory government and all the rest of them, really do think we are in fact "plebs" and as such, we mustn't do as they do, but do as they tell us! This is not the first incident of Tories talking down to people, it is obvious what they really think of us!
I would also like to point out something that the newspapers have not touched upon; the officers doing their duty in Downing Street have specialised protocols to work to, they are trained in terrorism and these officers are vetted to an extremely high standard (which is more than can be said for the prime minister's former friend and Director of Communications - Andy Coulson). Which makes it even more unlikely that the police would make up a story like this, why would they? For what possible reason? It has never happened before! The police are there on duty in one of the most famous streets in the world to keep the prime minister safe, and to help keep people like Mr Mitchell safe as they go about their legitimate business, they are also there to keep general public safe, if they felt that it was best that Mr Mitchell went through the pedestrian gate this time, then this is what he should have done and without question or hesitation. How about if police had opened the main gates and a suicide bomber had run in? What does Mitchell think these gates were erected for in the first place? They were erected as a counter terrorism act because of the threat to former prime minister Margaret Thatcher's life, quite frankly arguing the toss with officers who are there to keep you safe is totally insane! Police may have only seconds to respond to something and Mitchell should not need this explained to him.
This morning Mitchell attempted to draw a line under this story, however, he still refuses to categorically deny that he used the word 'pleb'. Mitchell has said that he "did not use some of the words attributed to him" and that he as apologised, well if he never said it, what has he actually apologised for? If Cameron knows what he said and he did use that word "pleb" which is now looking seriously like he did, then he should have sacked him on the spot. Or has David Cameron forgotten speaking at 'Krunch' about problem families in the Midlands about what he termed "the responsibility deficit"?
Perhaps he has forgotten this PMQs where he accused Ed Miliband of "knifing his brother in the back" it also contains Cameron being brought to task over police numbers and here Miliband actually takes Cameron to task over behaving as if he has the right to rule. Cameron's may have forgotten these bullying insults of his, but us "plebs" haven't!
In another PMQ Cameron has also insulted Miliband by calling him "a complete mug", he has insulted female MPs too. So what we see from this prime minister shouldn't really be surprising.
Cameron said: "In my very first act as leader, I signalled my personal priority: to mend our broken society – that passion is stronger today than ever."
Pity Cameron can't remember that and sack Andrew Mitchell. or does broken only refer to us "plebs"?
David Cameron has recently launched an initiative to educate problem families and part of that education one would expect being taught how to parent offspring that behave in this way towards police and teachers.
Mitchell has said that he is very clear about what he said and what he didn't say, so why doesn't he come out and make a statement about exactly what he did say? If he is saying that he didn't say that, is he calling those highly trained police officers liars?
It has been reported that David Cameron has accepted Mitchell's story and blindly believes his version of events and is now standing by him. Does this mean that David Cameron thinks the police officers in the street outside his office who are fully prepared to lay their lives on the line to protect him are lying?
If this kind of behaviour David Cameron has allowed Mitchell to get away with in public, what on earth does he allow him to get away with e behind closed doors? Mitchell's job is supposed to be about discipline, how can he discipline others when he can't even control himself?
If Cameron thinks Mitchell's behaviour is OK, and it is OK to talk to police like this, is it also OK for pupils and their parents to talk to teachers like this? This is yet another example of the kind of legitimate connotations that can be drawn from the fact that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron has seemed to condone Andrew Mitchell's behaviour.
David Cameron needs to understand, that the public have a right to know exactly what it was that Andrew Mitchell said to those police officers, we have a right to know if senior members of this government have spoken in such a demeaning fashion to police officers doing their jobs. The fact that Cameron now blindly believes Mitchell and is blindly backing him, is not only outrageous it is highly insulting towards the police and the general public. Perhaps the prime minister should read the Sun and discover the truth about his Chief Whip?
If Cameron the dithering incompetent is not going to allow an investigation into this matter, then he needs to make sure that Andrew Mitchell makes a full public statement about what he did say, until he does this is not going away and anything less is holding the public beneath contempt, still what would I know? After all I'm just a "pleb".
I may be a pleb, but I have much better judgement than David Cameron and would never have allowed myself to become tainted by a total lack of judgement for example:
- Stanly Fink ex Tory Treasurer and Lords Access scandal
- David Rowland Scandal Blow for Cameron
- EX Cabinet Minister Liam Fox and Adam Werrity & links to Tory Donors;
- David Laws brought back into Government by Cameron after he stole £56,000 for Taxpayers;
- Andy Coulson;
- Jeremy Hunt;
- Rebekah Brooks;
- Rupert Murdoch;
- James Murdoch Discussed BSkyB deal with Cameron over dinner;
- Peter Cruddas - Cash for Access to PM;
- Dinners with David Cameron Inquiry
- Conservative Peer Lord Ashcroft;
- Private Health Companies Avoiding Millions in Tax
- Tory Doning Health Care companies;
- Tory Doning Bankers and corporations;
- Tory Doning Hedge Funds
- Tory Cabinet Minister Tax Dodgers (Mitchell again!)
- Goldman Sachs Links To Conservatives rigging the game etc etc etc (the list is endless)
It has taken the prime minister just 2.5 years to amass these scandals, pretty impressive eh? And this is not all of them, there are absolutely loads, all pointing to dubious practices, from financial irregularities, to awarding NHS contracts to health companies who have donated millions to the Tory party etc etc. Cameron has shown an alarming lack of judgement over and in some cases outright shady dubious behaviour. Why should the public have any confidence in him that he is handling the Mitchell scandal properly? In fact how can the public have any confidence in Cameron that he is running the country properly?
Perhaps Andrew Mitchell is not the only one who should be facing a full inquiry?