My summary from Welease Woger (see blog below) was that I had to agree with the Police Federation Chairman that the Andrew Mitchell outburst has raised doubts about the Government's relationship with the police service. Since then David Cameron has told us that Mr Mitchell took the right action by apologising. Well that's right but what about the more important aspect, the reasons behind the outburst that caused the need for the apology.
The chief whip told reporters he was sorry for not showing enough
respect to the police, but also said that he "did not use the words
attributed to me". If that is the case then he has insulted the police and then called at least one officer a liar. The words insult and injury come to mind.
It is good that an apology has been offered and accepted, but the accepted part is purely down to the good nature of a particular officer. It tells us nothing about whether Government ministers have any respect for the police service. In this particular case we can be fairly sure that the word "plebs" was used as Mr Mitchell did not directly say that he didn't say it. He only said that he had not used the words that had been reported. So maybe the notes made by the officer had one word that was not remembered by the minister.
Many will feel that the outburst was simply a sign of frustration and has been blown out of all proportion. Well David Cameron now gives his full support to Andrew Mitchell which means things have escalated. We have a minister who looks down on the police and a prime minister supporting him.
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