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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?

timidviper Thu 17-Oct-13 23:23:35

Exactly. Different story when it happens to them!

Yanbu.

I have heard and read so much about this story. I can't believe it's the most important thing to be reporting at the moment.

I thought that the levinson enquiry showed police and media to be complicit in lies. Politicians and police certainly are. It's not news, just pages and hours of stating the fucking obvious.

Footface Thu 17-Oct-13 23:27:58

Because they don't feel so untouchable now, maybe their realising their not better or more protected than the rest of us

mrsmalcolmreynolds Thu 17-Oct-13 23:28:22

YABU - just because something unacceptable has happened in the past does not mean that people are not right to point out that it is unacceptable when it happens again!

nonmifairidere Thu 17-Oct-13 23:28:53

Sometimes lie? More like their default setting.

Should read Leveson. Autocorrect is trying to make me look a right knobhead.

Darkesteyes Thu 17-Oct-13 23:34:16

Outraged about Andrew Mitchell but didnt give a fuck about the issue Dennis Skinner brought up.

www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/16/david-cameron-wants-apology-andrew-mitchell?CMP=twt_gu

redbinneo Thu 17-Oct-13 23:45:39

We all know that the police lie. But should that be acceptable?

BasilBabyEater Thu 17-Oct-13 23:51:20

No, I don't think it should be acceptable.

But usually when they do, the media and politicians behave as if the very idea of them lying is such an outlandish, peculiar one that only the maddest conspiracy theorist can possibly believe it.

They usually take at least a couple of decades to admit the police have lied.

Except when it comes to one of their own of course. Suddenly, they treat the police as if they're just another profession, not some kind of special chosen ones who are simply above suspicion.

BasilBabyEater Thu 17-Oct-13 23:53:52

It has just irritated me so much. It shows so clearly, the double standard applied to normal people when dealing with the agents of the state, compared to privileged people when dealing with them.

I know, I know, the double standard has always been there (and it didn't need to be employed years ago because the police knew their place and would never dream of challenging a government minister) it's just that this story has just thrown it into such sharp relief for me.

Darkesteyes Thu 17-Oct-13 23:58:26

YY Basil It took 23/24 years for the FULL disclosure of the truth about Hillsborough. The Morgan family are STILL waiting for the truth about the murder of Daniel Morgan .....compared with how long it took for the details of the Mitchell saga to come out. Not to mention the massive cover up over Jimmy Savile.

Darkesteyes Fri 18-Oct-13 00:00:06
fairisleknitter Fri 18-Oct-13 00:11:19

I suspected Mitchell was being messed with from the beginning and as such I felt sorry for him.

It's all about your background and experiences of people you've known.

The vast majority of Tories don't get how many people suffer undeserved harassment and just general bad luck in life; the Dennis Skinner part of the article with the braying of the Tory MP illustrates that. Thanks for that by the way, it gives me heart when I hear Dennis defending his constituents.

To be honest my DH from a nice MC background has always despaired of my suspicious attitude towards some police. (I don't think he could square it with my v. law-abiding ways!)

VerySmallSqueak Fri 18-Oct-13 00:13:39

Oh Basil YADNBU.

Darkesteyes Fri 18-Oct-13 00:14:15

Dennis Skinner is old skool Not many of them left

GiveItYourBestShot Fri 18-Oct-13 00:25:11

Yanbu! It was the same with the Countryside Alliance march, they were outraged to discover that the police occasionally beat up protestors.

Cityofgold Fri 18-Oct-13 00:58:50

YANBU. However, the other side is that it is never acceptable for the Police to lie, and just because they lied about some foppish Tory Twat does not mean it is ok. It is not ok for them to lie about interactions with kids on council estates, and it is not ok for them to lie about meetings with cabinet ministers. No one comes out of this well:
-Mitchell for his original rudeness, albeit less than was originally reported.
-Police officer on gate for being a jobs-worth dick.
-Police office on gate for making stuff up (Lying) in his notebook.
-Another Police officer for fabricating (Lying) an eyewitness account in an email.
-Federation Police representatives for miss-representing (lying) about what happened in a meeting with Mitchell.

A sorry tale all told.

cumfy Fri 18-Oct-13 01:43:10

I think it's good to see just how untouchable the police feel they are.

In a way the whole point is that it is over such a trifling incident.
On paper the police have nothing to gain and everything to lose.
But at every turn they just act as though they are omnipotent.

TotallyBenHanscom Fri 18-Oct-13 02:21:58

Having read the transcript of the interview with the heads of the three police forces and Andrew Mitchell (which by the way reads like a scene from Yes Minister!), I find it very odd that Mitchell apologises profusely and grovellingly, way out of proportion to his alleged 'conversation' with the officers on the night in question.

And then the police repeatedly try to get him to confirm that the officers had misreported the incident in their notebooks - and Mitchell won't do it. The police keep reminding him that if the integrity of the officers recall is in question, then that has serious repercussions for any and all future evidence presented by the police to the courts. And that rightly the officers need to be disciplined. And for that to happen, Andrew Mitchell needs to officially confirm that the officers got it wrong, and he won't do it. He's asked about twenty times and will just not confirm that the officers didn't record the event exactly as it happened.

The entire transcript is on the BBC news website.

Echocave Fri 18-Oct-13 06:21:47

The Mitchell case is really odd and as far as I'm concerned nothing like the other cases of miscarriages of justice mentioned.
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, oh yes, those upstanding members of society (!). (Ok ok they're not all second home expenses fiddlers).

charitygirl Fri 18-Oct-13 06:43:15

YANBU

VerySmallSqueak Fri 18-Oct-13 07:34:06

But at every turn they act as if they are omnipotent

Couldn't have put it so eloquently cumfy.

And the scary part is that none of these revelations and wrongdoings being exposed will make a jot of difference. They will all just mutter about it,a few will wriggle uncomfortably for a short while,and then it'll be business as usual.

cory Fri 18-Oct-13 08:37:10

cumfy Fri 18-Oct-13 01:43:10

"In a way the whole point is that it is over such a trifling incident.
On paper the police have nothing to gain and everything to lose.
But at every turn they just act as though they are omnipotent."

I think I agree with this. In a kind of way, if your friend has just made a horrible mistake and shot dead an innocent person and his whole life is about to crumble into pieces, you could kind of see how you might be tempted to step in and try to protect him. Wrong but understandable. Even somebody who feels lying is a big deal might be tempted. (Not saying they should give in).

But this was just so totally unnecessary. There was no disaster staring anyone in the face, nothing bad coming out of telling the truth, no need to make the effort to lie. The fact that somebody did really does suggest that they don't think lying is a big deal. And probably that they don't think the people around them would think so either.

cory Fri 18-Oct-13 08:40:30

But good on Dennis Skinner- we need more like him!

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.

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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