Last night Channel 4′s Political Editor Michael Crick produced an explosive piece, exposing that short lived Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell was a victim of a stitch up involving the Police Federation and serving officers. I won’t repeat Crick’s revelations here, you should watch the videos and read the blog here.
Many question arise from the revelations. Lots of people, including Crick, have asked why Mitchell didn’t set his story straight in public first of all. Mitchell acknowledges that this was a mistake. Most dangerous though is that the Police Federation, the trade union for ordinary police officers, seems to have run a concerted campaign to cost a member of the Cabinet his job.
The union attacks against Mitchell came as part of attempts to fight changes being introduced by a democratically elected a government.
Debate on behalf of members is a legitimate role of unions. Decapitation isn’t.
The left have been perpetuating class warfare against the Conservatives ever since David Cameron came to power. By hanging the word pleb’ around Mitchell’s neck people not normally on the side of the police jumped on board, adding public pressure. This includes Labour leader Ed Miliband, who must surely now apologise for repeating lies at the Despatch Box.
The most damning element of the Crick piece is the revelation that a serving officer was used to pretend to be an eyewitness. Coincidentally this man was a constituent of Deputy Chief Whip John Randall, totally undermining Mitchell at the heart of the the operation.
Remember the timing too. The police were under enormous pressure after phonehacking and the Hillsborough report. Despite this, people were at that point afraid to speak out against the police because two young female officers in Manchester had tragically been shot in the line of duty.
Ultimately, Cameron was not strong enough to resist the pressure.
He had brought in Mitchell to add some discipline to the party, ruffling many right wing feathers. The perfect storm was created, as almost nobody was prepared to come into bat on behalf of the person tasked with bring the backbenches to heel.
The Prime Minister, although clearly not totally convinced by the evidence, was too cowardly to hang on to Mitchell due to the toxic nature of the words attributed to him.
It is worth saying that Mitchell by his own admission is not a totally innocent victim. He did lose is temper and swear “under is breath” but “audibly” at Downing Street officers. Clearly this is not on, but that had been dealt with via an apology.
This was a highly political, targeted , campaign against a government minister that reveals the true viciousness of the left in British politics.