There is a scene in the Life of Brian in which those at the back of the crowd can't hear what Jesus is saying. Somebody hears the words blessed are the cheesemakers but this doesn't make sense and another member of the crowd tells us that it's not meant to be taken literally but refers to any manufacturer of dairy products. In another scene Brian becomes Bwian and Roger becomes Woger and this causes misunderstanding.
Andrew Mitchell, the Chief Whip has caused misunderstanding too. He denied that he swore at a police officer but has apologised for not showing the police enough respect. Ken Clarke thinks Mr Mitchell is a "perfectly reasonable man" even though he had a "flare of bad temper". However it doesn't really matter what you think about a stranger who is insulting you. What matters is what has happened and Mr Mitchell has apologised.
What has he apologised for? He is said to have sworn and told officers to "learn your place" and "you don't run this government". Mr Mitchell actually apologised for not showing the police enough respect as he swore in frustration at not being able to cycle through the main gates of Downing Street,
Mr Tully, the Police Federation Chairman believes this shows that "there is an
inbuilt dislike of the police service in general from the government". I hope the chairman is wrong and all it will take is for Mr Mitchell to tell us how the words that he uttered could be misinterpreted in such a profound way. I just can't think of any slight changes that would make Mr Mitchell's remarks sound reasonable and for that reason I have to agree with Mr Tully.
Change the world