To feel incredibly irritated with all these posh people in the meejah and political establishment who are so outraged by the police lying about Andrew Mitchell?

(72 Posts)
BasilBabyEater Thu 17-Oct-13 23:19:58

Do they not know that the police sometimes lie?

Have they not heard of the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four, Hillsborough etc.?

Why are they so surprised about it?

Surely everyone knows that the police lie sometimes? How can these idiots be so surprised about it? Just because it's one of their own this time?

hackmum Fri 18-Oct-13 09:15:05

I agree, OP. The police have often been quite brazen in their lying. Even recently we've had the Menendez case and Ian Tomlinson, the newspaper seller who was killed. Just the other day there was a story about how the police had connived with construction companies over their blacklist of workers who had raised safety issues - but the police claimed they had nothing to do with it.

And now the Tories are shocked, shocked, like Captain Renault, to find that the police tell lies. Where have they been all these years?

BasilBabyEater Fri 18-Oct-13 12:54:37

"I have to say I laughed at a headline earlier this week where Teresa May said the story could damage the public's trust in the police. In a row with a politician, she means"

YY Echo, it's the notion that we've all got the almost touching faith in the integrity of the police that the media and political establishment had until the police lied about one of their own.

We've been telling these asshats for years that the police lie, that they have a culture of protecting each other like the mafia and that we don't automatically trust them the way we are required to. And these idiots have thought that that's us being extremist, conspiracy theorist, troublemakers etc.

I'm not particularly anti-police - they have a job to do. I just don't put them on these pedestals that these idiots do and insist that everyone else puts them on these pedestals as well, implying that they are wicked law-breakers if they don't, thus enabling the police to continue the corrupt culture of covering for each other usually at our expense.

SPBisResisting Fri 18-Oct-13 13:00:24

can someone link to the story? Has it come out he didn't say it after all?

BasilBabyEater Fri 18-Oct-13 13:27:32

Here you go SPB It's not very useful, because they still haven't actually established exactly what was said.

However what the tories have done very successfully, is turned it round into a debate about whether he said pleb or not. There's no doubt that he swore at the police officers (something the rest of us would be arrested for and then beaten up in the course of "resisting arrest" hmm - that useful catch-all that enables the police to use violence without being held accountable for it) but that's somehow got lost - it's just whether he said pleb or not that we've all got to focus on, like that's the most important thing. (Which it is if the most important thing is whether the police lied or not, which they probably did.)

EldritchCleavage Fri 18-Oct-13 13:31:40

While I agree with the thread, I think if the scales are falling from their eyes, so much the better.

Interesting time to be having the Duggan inquest, isn't it?

limitedperiodonly Fri 18-Oct-13 13:54:25

The Duggan evidence doesn't make sense, does it?

MintTeaForMe Fri 18-Oct-13 13:57:03

YABU
Why shouldn't the police be held to account over this? If the media don't focus on it relentlessly we won't know about it! And I'd have thought it's been given a lot of coverage because it's the first (and as far as I know) only time in recent history that the police have attempted to undermine a member of the British government

limitedperiodonly Fri 18-Oct-13 14:02:00

What I meant to add was I know what you're getting at OP, but if it takes this to make people confront lying police officers, then good. I hope it does. So far, they seem to be brazening it out.

They're not even good lies. I'm mostly shocked, not by the lying, but by the degree of contempt they have for us all.

I suppose it's a combination of lying being routine and the fact that Mitchell, though a privileged person, is still not the public's favourite.

I probably wouldn't like him if I met him, just as I suspect I wouldn't have liked Mark Duggan, but both of them deserve the truth.

DuckToWater Fri 18-Oct-13 14:02:38

Mixed feelings.

Tories falling out with the police is really bad for them. They are meant to represent the establishment.

I also feel sorry for the police who do a good job when this sort of thing comes out, I have a couple of good friends who are police officers.

It's hard to feel sorry for Mitchell, as he did admit to calling the policemen "Fucking morons". I think I'd rather be a pleb than a moron. Though if the police have lied to deliberately oust him/protect their own then it is extremely worrying and smacks of systemic problems as have the other cases mentioned above.

I also think our police force is probably one of the best in the world, though this shouldn't stop them from being openly criticised and held to the highest standards.

reelingintheyears Fri 18-Oct-13 14:08:39

Yep, the Police tell lies, I have experience of it.

And the courts believe them because they are THE police.

Calloh Fri 18-Oct-13 14:10:35

I didn't know that the police could be so dishonest. I remember watching that Sean bean thing and being so grateful it was fiction.

I totally believed in a weird combo of PC Plod/Inspector Morse.

Hillsborough, Steven Lawrence, Jimmy Saville, the beating of the newspaper seller and a few other things have come as a complete fucking shock.

The Andrew Mitchell thing terrifies me because it makes it all look even more unsolvable. They could have got away with it and ousted a minister in which case who can change it?

I know that makes me extremely naive, especially as when I was once walking back from a club I got a bit if harassment from some policemen. I've always trusted the police. I like the ones I know personally, but now, as a force, they worry me and I feel stupid.

limitedperiodonly Fri 18-Oct-13 14:29:07

I keep thinking about it and I don't like the attitude that Mitchell deserves it because he's a Tory bastard.

That was prevalent on the In The News thread at the time and I found myself in the unsettling position of defending someone who I'm pretty sure I'd dislike and who'd probably behave towards me in a high-handed manner too.

People were saying the poor police were just doing their jobs and why shouldn't he use the side gate? Why should he? It's their job to open and close the gates. If they don't like doing that, they could always get another one.

People were even citing security, which is the last refuge of the jobsworth, and unarguable unless you fancy missing your flight a holding cell.

Do we seriously believe that Al-Quaeda wait with a truck bomb outside Downing Street for the moment some pompous twit comes through on his lady-bike?

Yes, he should have been civil. But the correct thing to do was for these officers to speak to a senior officer who would had a word with someone like the Cabinet Secretary who'd have told Mitchell to behave himself. That probably would have worked, but there are no guarantees in life, unfortunately.

What I hope is that this time the lying Plods have picked on someone with a lot more power than some poor newspaper seller.

DuckToWater Fri 18-Oct-13 14:37:26

It was a matter of the rules not applying to him, as he is a Cabinet Minister dontchaknow regardless of how sensible or not those rules are.

Serious security lapses and attacks happen because someone thought it was ok to wave someone through a gate, and then guess who loses their job over it? Mitchell should know that rules are rules, being ex-army, more than anyone else.

limitedperiodonly Fri 18-Oct-13 14:52:35

What rules, ducktowater? The gates are there, they operate them. That's their job.

If Scotland Yard consider the Downing Street gates to be particularly vulnerable they would have an exclusion zone. They don't. It's so relaxed that if you ask nicely, the officers on the gate will pose for pictures.

It's the same just down the road at the Houses of Parliament. It's a public building where it is relatively to get inside to see your MP after going through security which is slightly less rigorous than at an airport. They even let you keep your shoes and belt on.

So what's the big problem with opening the main gate so someone can cycle through? You'd do it if he was in a car, or on a motorbike, so why not pushbike?

They just didn't like him. Possibly with good reason, but there's never a good reason to fit someone up, which is what they did.

And if they did it to Andrew Mitchell I'd say it's a fair bet those officers have all done it to other people in the past.

Maybe if we print their names and pictures like Stuart Hall and Jimmy Savile those people will come forward.

DuckToWater Fri 18-Oct-13 15:04:10

If you read my earlier post I am not defending the police. But from what I have read about the story, Mitchell knew damned well he wasn't allowed through that way but thought they should make a special case for him.

Yes, let's publish the officers pictures so all the MPs who they have denied access to at those gates can come forward. Yes, they are just like Stuart Hall and Jimmy Saville hmm

EldritchCleavage Fri 18-Oct-13 15:04:13

But the CCTV appears to show Mitchell just going through the side gate with scarcely any delay. In other words, the exchange with police (which I don't defend, he was being very rude) was fleeting. AM got told to dismount and go through the side gate, uttered his insult as he was doing it. Unpleasant, petty but completely minor and no security risk caused by anybody.

Why on earth did they stitch him up for that? And if that was enough to trigger a dishonest complaint/story, what on earth else goes on, we may ask?

BasilBabyEater Fri 18-Oct-13 15:08:30

Oh there's no doubt that this time plod will get his comeuppance because he has picked on someone with more power than a newspaper seller/ Irish navvy/ football fan etc.

Which is all to the good.

I agree that it's a good thing that the elite have had the fact that the police are habitual liars brought to their attention, but I am still really really irritated that it takes one of them to be victimised by the police, before they really believe it happens. The police have been getting away with this for years and are doubtless still getting away with it up and down the country.

And also in the end I suspect that they'll decide it's just a case of a couple of bad apples and go back to normal, without actually having a root and branch look at the culture which almost forces normal police officers to lie in this way. It is very, very difficult to withstand the peer pressure to stand up for your mates.

EldritchCleavage Fri 18-Oct-13 15:11:36

Exactly, Basil.

Bit like how black and Irish suspects in custody fell down flights of stairs with monotonous regularity for many years before anyone bothered to look into it. And we are still having poisonous culture wars over whether racism, institutionalised or otherwise, even exists in the police force.

And I expect the 'can't say anything now without offending somebody' brigade will be along in a minute.

VerySmallSqueak Fri 18-Oct-13 15:21:20

It's been going on for decades sadly Basil.

Calloh it's my opinion that you should be worried. I lost my trust in the police a long long time ago.

limitedperiodonly Fri 18-Oct-13 16:21:39

I take your point completely OP. They not only know this happens, there have been many times: the miners' strike, Wapping, IRA investigations etc, where politicians not only knew these things happened, they gave instructions on a nod and a wink.

Look at how long it took the truth about Hillsborough to come out because Margaret Thatcher owed South Yorkshire police a big favour. That was on TV and they still got away with it.

I don't think anybody has ever been successfully prosecuted for a death in police custody. I'm not sure how many of them have even come to court.

eldritch I think there was an incident the night before when Mitchell jabbed his finger at someone at it was decided to cook something up.

I don't blame them for feeling aggrieved, he sounds thoroughly unpleasant, but this is not the way. Well, it's not for most 'little' people.

I was pulled up on a previous thread for saying 'little people'. I have respect for anyone doing a difficult job with grace and efficiency, so it's not pejorative.

I was also criticised for saying that for the first time since 1979 the police feel under attack by the Government and don't like being treated the same as other public sector workers.

That's not a judgement. It's the truth. If I was a police officer I'd feel angry, though in my heart of hearts I'd have to admit that though my job was more dangerous than being a teacher and I might deserve some special treatment, essentially, I was no different.

We are all in this together, after all.

But I don't think some Met officers, and particularly not those in the Royal and Diplomatic Squad, that I think these officers were a part of, think of themselves as little.

Maybe just like beautiful people who don't have to work on their personalities, years of being treated as a special case means that the Police Federation aren't very canny.

EldritchCleavage Fri 18-Oct-13 16:24:15

All good points, limited.

limitedperiodonly Fri 18-Oct-13 16:49:37

Yes, let's publish the officers pictures so all the MPs who they have denied access to at those gates can come forward. Yes, they are just like Stuart Hall and Jimmy Saville

Don't you think a conspiracy by police officers to fabricate evidence is a serious offence ducktowater? Because that's what happened here.

btw in recent days it's emerged that a friendly copper had a word with other officers to go easy on Savile. Is that okay?

Calloh Fri 18-Oct-13 16:49:49

I think you're right Very.

I am not at all In any sort of elite group of media or politicians - the idea is laughable. So am not actually in the group OP was taking about but I think many people have no idea.

I have just really had very little experience of the police so have probably just sub-consciously bought into all the lovely police officers you see in screen, despite one or two questionable run-ins.

It is much easier to write off one's occasional bad experiences and those of others who talk about police dishonesty as being isolated because the alternative is actually pretty awful.

I wonder if it's not so much the AM case (although it is incredibly brazen) as the fact that many people just didn't know this shit happened - it's rarely in the media, and I don't know people who it has happened to. And then suddenly a spate of cases in the public eye were covered. I wonder if the public's increasing awareness has partly fuelled the greater coverage of the AM case?

I argued with my FIL about this when it first happened. He is a first generation immigrant, I said I thought that perhaps the police were lying, he could not entertain the thought for a second and trusted the police implicitly and that they are the best police in the world - I think swathes of the country are still very blinkered on this.

limitedperiodonly Fri 18-Oct-13 17:09:28

calloh there's definitely the idea that the police don't arrest people if they have no reason.

Mostly, I think that's true. I think most police officers are decent people. I've no evidence for that. I just want to believe it. Although I've been shaken by things, not least the News International/police collusion. The trials that are going to start next month, I think.

Police used to prosecute cases, at least that was the case in Magistrates' courts, I didn't cover Crown Courts at the time.

It was changed round about 1983-ish. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Police And Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) was brought in as a response partly to the genuine conflict of having an investigating body doing the prosecutions and also in some major part because of the gross police corruption, principally by the Met and the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad in the Seventies. Though I'm sure some other forces can take a bow.

The nicest thing to say is that you need fresh eyes to look at things. The worst is that some people with a vested interest are tempted to force a fit because they're lazy, he's a wrong 'un or they're taking money or favours.

hackmum Fri 18-Oct-13 17:14:50

I do agree with limited, actually. In this case I am definitely on Mitchell's side. It's interesting though that the police officers involved thought nothing of fabricating the evidence - one assumes they'd done it so often that they thought they'd get away with it in this case, even though this case was a senior government politician.

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