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?

VerySmallSqueak Fri 18-Oct-13 17:19:59

I think if you have ever been involved in any form of alternative scene or protest movement you are left in no doubt as to the workings of the police Calloh. I suppose that because I have been aware of it all for so many years I just don't realise that other people don't realise iyswim.

Another thing that springs to my mind from recent revelations is the activities of the Special Demonstration Squad set up to infiltrate protest movements using the most disgraceful means.

It just goes on and on...

letsgomaths Fri 18-Oct-13 21:54:20

Suppose the police did deliberately lie to smear Mitchell. No doubt they know the consequences if they get caught.

The question is...

Why? Why would they want to risk everything to bring Mitchell down?

They must have wanted very badly to bring Mitchell down a peg or two.

Has Mitchell been an enemy of the police for other reasons, even before Plebgate?

A quote from Harry Potter springs to mind:
Sirius: "What have you got against Snape?"
James Potter: "Mostly the fact that he exists, if you know what I mean."

limitedperiodonly Fri 18-Oct-13 22:24:44

Er, suppose? And 'enemy of the police' for the crime of being rude? Are you serious?

Yes, that's what they did because, as you said, they wanted to bring him down a peg or two.

So they fabricated evidence.

A serious criminal offence.

That all right, is it?

And no, I think the stupid bastards didn't think about the consequences because chances are, they, or others have done it countless times before and got away with it.

limitedperiodonly Fri 18-Oct-13 22:33:09

And if we are to punish crimes against police officers in the commission of their duties more severely, which I think we should, then it's only right that we punish police officers who transgress on duty more severely than ordinary citizens.

BasilBabyEater Fri 18-Oct-13 23:13:01

Yes absolutely

The police have an enormous amount of power over normal citizens

That uniform hands a massive amount of power to them and it is horrible how they misuse it seemingly habitually.

I hadn't really thought about it before but the people who are saying if they felt powerful enough to attack a cabinet minister then blimey, they must have felt pretty untouchable.

Which is more than a little worrying.

BasilBabyEater Fri 18-Oct-13 23:14:06

Sorry, am incoherent, I meant to write: "the people who are saying if they felt powerful enough to attack a cabinet minister then blimey, they must have felt pretty untouchable, are on to something."

edam Fri 18-Oct-13 23:23:10

YY Basil, I'm sick of this shock and horror on the part of senior politicians at the idea that the police could tell porkies. FFS. They all know perfectly well about Hillsborough, Ian Tomlinson, Jean Charles de Menezes, about the undercover cops acting as agent provocateurs, fathering children, trying to discredit the Lawrence family...

The shock is because the police dared to do it to one of them.

NB Andrew Mitchell was doomed not only by bent coppers but because apparently he wasn't Mr Popular with his colleagues. There were plenty of fellow MPs and ministers who weren't particularly inclined to stand by him.

Quangle Fri 18-Oct-13 23:36:30

Agree with, well, almost everyone on the thread grin

That story just didn't have the ring of truth to it from the beginning - it's the sort of thing not very bright people think that posh people would say but Andrew Mitchell is actually too sophisticated to say anything so crass (not saying he's nice though). I always thought it was a blatant stitch-up.

I do get why it's news though. The police are even happy to go after Cabinet Ministers - that's the point. We know that there are cover-ups from time to time but what this appears to confirm is the suspicion that some police officers feel they are above the law and that this sort of thing happens all the time, to all sorts of people. Mostly we don't know it's going on but it's clear now that the police are very happy to destroy someone's life in order to cover their own backs - even over something as silly as this. In a way you can understand the cover-up over Hillsborough - people died and no one wants to be responsible for that. But this is just a silly spat and even then they don't back down and say we were wrong/mistaken/lying.

I'm a complete square and don't think of myself as anti-police but I think this is not just about "a few bad apples" which could be applied to any profession but more about a culture of thinking of themselves as being different, protected and above the law.

limitedperiodonly Sat 19-Oct-13 00:12:13

I think you're right quangle in that what started as a silly spat - 'let's take the pompous prat down a peg or two' - escalated because the officers involved were:

(a) aggrieved by Mitchell's rudeness;
(b) bolstered by Police Federation aggression;
(c) dim;
(d) habitual liars who should lose their jobs, not pass Go and definitely not collect an index-linked pension.

I wonder who'll have a chair when the music stops? My money's on Mitchell, and do you know what? I don't blame him.

<<God knows, if I met Mitchell, I'm I'd hate him and it is tearing my heart out to defend him>>

<<My Acc details are obtainable by PM, Mr Mitchell>>

<<ps I wouldn't do this for Iain Duncan Smith>>

limitedperiodonly Sat 19-Oct-13 01:01:37

verysmallsqueak I was listening to the Woman's Hour interview with women about long-term infiltration by Met officers over - do you know what? I don't know how to describe what they're supposed to have done wrong - environmentalism, vaguely left-wingism, freedom for battery chickens - I don't know.

Listening to the two interviews, I wouldn't agree with the women's political views but that wasn't the point.

What they described, police officers forming relationships with them, constructing a lifestyle and then being allowed to escape from it was madness. A complete waste of time and money.

Nice work if you can get it.

I guess it won't be pursued but I'd like it to be, if only to ask what utter anarcho/commie-hunt wank-fest this was, who ordered it and how much it cost while real people were bothering about burglaries and bag-snatching and getting nowhere.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 19-Oct-13 16:50:36

Yes,I caught part of the interviews limited which was what brought it back to mind after the Dispatches (I believe) programme.

Mind you, for years its been apparent that the police infiltrate protest groups by posing as activists,partly to try to discredit them. I believe that The SDS was set up in the 60's and continued until it was disbanded a few years ago (if we are to believe that the powers that be have indeed stopped infiltrating protest groups hmm ).

It appears those women interviewed will be getting nowhere fast though.

If the police have left the force there can be no case of misconduct,and to pursue a criminal case those women will have to bare their souls and expose the full details of their personal/sex lives for scrutiny.

It's a bloody rough deal for women who have been treated in the most disgusting way.

limitedperiodonly Sat 19-Oct-13 20:54:22

Police officers do have a habit of resigning and making it all go away while keeping their pensions verysmallsqueak.

Part of me thinks in the case of the women who've had relationships with infiltrators - well, that's the way of failed relationships, isn't it?

But it's not really is it? It's deliberately using people, and to what ends?

I sometimes think that officers might have to go under cover to expose crimes and then I think:'Hang on a minute. Is this the work of someone in charge of the project reading too much fiction and having no controls over his personal prejudices about politics?'

I once had a conversation with someone who'd served in the British Army in Northern Ireland who had a benign attitude towards punishment squads because they were keeping law and order particularly wrt joy riding and drug dealing. It wasn't a conversation. I just listened and thought that he was wrong. I didn't like to say. It was a dinner party.

But who on earth was he to decide who should be judge, jury and kneecapper?

Not least because the kneecappers were only protecting their own drug deals.

Sorry if that and my post late last night sounds a bit mad. But I'm really frightened when people high and low in security services tell us they know best, and more scared when ordinary citizens go along with it because people are being a bit uppity and need taking down a peg or two.

Move along; nothing to see.

BasilBabyEater Sat 19-Oct-13 22:19:00

It is such a horrific betrayal for those women isn't it - having relationships with someone under totally false pretences. For years sometimes. Gaslighting writ large.

If that's not state-funded and led emotional abuse of the citizenry, I don't know what is.

Yetanotherrandomman Sun 20-Oct-13 06:49:58

Definately YABU to the OP. We all know the police tell lies on occasion. The particular unpleasantness about this episode was the attempt to smear a member of a democratically elected government.

That's it, basically. The rozzers tried to smear a democratically elected minister. That's the sort of occurence one expects in a police state and I hope the officers concerned get the book thrown at them.

McAvity Sun 20-Oct-13 08:28:15

I think there was no special intention here to 'bring down a minister'. limitedperiod is probably right. The police have an altercation with someone, and they feel that it might later be looked into. This could be for many reasons, ranging from someone pissed them off and they want to pin a minor crime on them, to someone died in custody. What happens is they get together that day in the station, and all agree on a story. This will be later presented as them each having noted down their own recollections the same day as the incident. Eg. if you are arrested and they think you might want to complain about police treatment, they will all note down that you were abusive (and agree on exactly what you said), that you smelled of alcohol or cannabis, that you resisted arrest, etc. It will be your word against three or four police officers.

With Andrew Mitchell, the police might have been worried about him complaining or the media having witnessed the incident. They agreed on a story which made it clear that he was unacceptably rude. They probably did this as a matter of course, not realising that what they said would be under the spotlight on a completely different scale to usual incidents. Then either someone took the 'plebs' thing at face value, or someone realised it would be a good story regardless of its truth, and the media got involved.

BasilBabyEater Sun 20-Oct-13 11:22:58

Yes I agree with McAvity, I don't think they actually intended to bring down a govt minister.

I don't think the average plod is that ambitious, it's just their usual low-level corruption escalating - they prob felt slightly horrified that it had spiralled out of their control way beyond what the normal consequence of their lying is.

I think the fact that they lie, should be taken seriously whether it's a govt. minister of a democratically elected govt or not - the fact that they lie about us, the little people, is never taken seriously.

hackmum Sun 20-Oct-13 11:51:24

I think McAvity is right too. They're so used to getting away with implausible stories (what was it with Smiley Culture? That he suddenly decided to stab himself in the abdomen with a kitchen knife?) that they didn't realise they would be under extra scrutiny with this story.

I've read Undercover, which is the book by the Guardian journalists about the police officers who had relationships with activist women. It makes for very sad and shocking reading - those women gave up years of their lives to men they thought loved them.

limitedperiodonly Sun 20-Oct-13 12:08:42

I missed this at time. Probably others on this thread know about it

I've just seen it on the Sunday Politics. Carole Malone was on debating with a retired officer (who embarrassed himself) and for the first time ever I agreed with her.

My world was rocked badly enough when I felt sorry for Andrew Mitchell. I'm going to have to have a lie down. grin

CCTV footage here

Today's Sunday Politics isn't on iplayer yet.

VerySmallSqueak Sun 20-Oct-13 15:16:36

I have recorded Sunday Politics to watch later when the kids finish watching endless re-runs of The Simpsons and now I'm really looking forward to it limited.

I have "Undercover" on my 'to read' list hackmum.Trouble is I don't suppose that many will read it.

As Basil says these women are just the 'little people'....

limitedperiodonly Sun 20-Oct-13 15:37:18

It's about 25 minutes in verysmallsqueak.

I'd be interested to know your views on Carole Malone's opponent. I think Malone and Brillo went easy on him, considering.

I think he was in it for the appearance fee, which is fair enough in these straitened times.

At least it's not the same as being on a retainer from News International wink.

I'm looking forward to Wednesday when three chief constables are going to attempt to explain this to a Parliamentary sub-committee.

And I'm really looking forward to Rebekah Brooks' and Andy Coulson's trials.

It's going to be a really good A/W 2013 season at the Old Bailey grin

VerySmallSqueak Sun 20-Oct-13 15:41:24

I won't be watching it till much later tonight limited but I'll watch that bit with interest.

MinesAPintOfTea Sun 20-Oct-13 15:46:48

I think that AM didn't deserve it, but that the senior figures expressing surprise that this hadn't shaken faith in the police have been somewhat naive. If someone's trust in the police was going to be damaged by something they hear about on the news then it will have been already.

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