For those of you who don’t know anything about it, Andrew Mitchell, a high-ranking Tory, chief whip for the Conservative government cabinet (αντιπροεδρος της Κυβερνησης, για τους Ελληνες) as these lines are written, is facing accusations by the police that he verbally abused police officers, calling them “fucking plebs”. This is what the police personnel said happened during an incident a few weeks ago. Mitchell denies the accusations, saying this is not exactly what he said. Police representatives are now saying that they have formally asked him to clarify what he said and he hasn’t so far. A lot is written about this and I am sure many people will have different views about it. This is mine. He can’t stay at his job. If he did say what he is accused of having said, he has proven himself to be representing an unacceptable attitude, one of a toff who believes that there are people in the world who are, unlike him, plebs, and he has the right to treat them this way. So, Cameron has to ask him to go if he does not resign on his own. He is also a liar who has falsely denied his action so far. If he didn’t say it (regardless of what he might or might not have said) he is rendering what the police say worthless, a lie. Henceforth, the police official position is then worthless when presented as evidence or countering anyone’s testimony. So, if someone is arrested murdering someone in cold blood and two policemen testify they saw him do it, it is worth nothing. That is what it would mean if Mitchell was telling the truth and policemen and women were lying, on this occasion. So, the police, because of how this case was dealt with, is officially not to be trusted. This would have been the message to everybody. Mitchell has not officially called the specific police people who made the accusations liars, closing the door for him potentially saying “most police are great but some are rotten apples” because of course this would really open Pandora’s box: which ones are which? Who is responsible for their selection? Will they lose their jobs? and so on.
The problem of course, as very clearly described here, is that Mitchell is one of those – and there are many – who actually think that there are people who are destined to lead, like himself, and others that are proper plebs, who should accept their fate to be ruled by people like him and accept any such treatment along the way.
Top-toff David will have to let him go, among many other reasons linked to party discipline no less, because he can’t appear to be accepting any of the possible versions of what actually happened, not Mitchell’s not the police’s nor any other. He’ll need to go and everybody in the government will try to pretend he never existed. I am not sure it will happen by Wednesday as the Guardian says, but it will happen shortly after the PM will have had this ‘conversation’ I suggested above.
Update: Andrew Mitchell resigned on Friday, October 19, 2012 following a conversation with David Cameron. I wonder what was said in that conversation.