Saturday, October 13, 2012

Police Keep Hounding Mitchell

How he must regret that burst of bad temper.  Never has a case of serious, arrogant hubris come back to haunt someone so quickly, and in oh so drawn out a manner than it has with Andrew Mitchell.

Even the Daily Telegraph has called for his resignation, and he was notably absent from his own party conference.  If nothing else, the sense of siege around him is going to make his chief whip's job a seriously difficult one.

And yet there is also a sense of discomfort about the police federation's tactics.  If Mr. Mitchell acted like his old school's famous fictional bully Flashman for a few ill chosen minutes, it's certainly the case that the police union has given back as much as it can, and more, in much the same vein.  It has hardly been edifying to those of us who would like to maintain a sense of respect for the professionalism and impartiality of the police force to see serving officers walking round like the worst type of union loon wearing 'pleb' T-shirts. The force charged with guarding the security of the prime minister has been happily handing over its police logs to the press while many of its members are giving us serious pause for thought about its maturity after all.  This is not exactly a police force that is commanding universal respect either, as it comes under pressure over Hillsborough, the painfully slow and inconclusive investigation of the French Alps case, and a serious case of institutional sexism as the Metropolitan police's sex crimes unit faces major re-structuring.

Mitchell behaved poorly, no doubt about that.  But has the police force's behaviour since really been much better?

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