One would have to be a buffoon of the lowest order to insult a policeman in the same week two officers were killed while protecting the public.
So, inevitably – because the UK is being run by a gang of fools – one has stepped up to the plate and taken his shot: Andrew Mitchell, a former International Development minister, who was made government chief whip earlier this month and clearly let the appointment go to his head.
Asked to get off his bicycle and refrain from using the vehicle entrance to Downing Street (there’s a pedestrian entrance as well), Mitchell subjected the officer to a string of abuse, told him to “learn your place” and said “You don’t run this government”. The piece de resistance is his description of the policeman as a “pleb”.
It just happens that this word is still in fairly common usage where I live, referring to someone of low status and intelligence who will never amount to much. It’s often used humorously among friends, but I don’t think we can accept Mr Mitchell’s use of it in that way.
He is clearly a man who believes himself to be a breed apart from the common people of the UK – born to rule, and to look down upon everybody over whom he was born to rule.
In other words, he’s an over-ambitious, narcissistic, power-hungry git.
Mitchell has denied the story, but Downing Street has stated that he has apologised “profusely” to the officer. If he’s not guilty, why apologise? I think we can believe the policeman’s version of events.
The Labour Party has called for a full account of the incident, and police representatives have called for Mitchell to resign. I agree with the police. He has to go.
Let’s be clear – I’m not a fan of the police service, certainly not the force in my part of the country (Dyfed-Powys). I think they cover up their mistakes (not uncommon – look at Hillsborough), and I think they can vindictively pursue innocent people who have done nothing illegal (this based on the experience of a personal friend).
However, this happened in the same week that PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone were killed in a shotgun and grenade attack in Tameside, responding to reports of a burglary.
There can be no doubt that these officers were genuinely acting to protect the public when they lost their lives. In such circumstances, a high-ranking member of the government insulting a representative of the police in the manner we have heard suggests extremely poor character, disrespect and low breeding.
Who’s the real “pleb”, Andrew?