current affairs

Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s Very Merry Christmas

“Plebs! Know your f****** place! You don’t run this f****** country!” …as I was saying to some Police officers only last week.

“Plebs! Know your f****** place! You don’t run this f****** country!” …as I was saying to some Police officers only last week. (Good cover – have to be very careful about libel these days, as we have learned from the experience of no one in particular who might or might not have been on television accusing or not accusing someone else of being something that they definitely, absolutely weren’t.)

One person who most certainly wasn’t saying any of that was Andrew Mitchell MP, former International Development Secretary and Chief Whip. As an exclusive Channel Four Dispatches report detailed, grave doubts have been cast over the accounts given by the Police on guard in Downing Street last September. Contrary to reports at the time, Mitchell now admits that he said something like “I thought you lot were supposed to f****** help us.” The rest, some are claiming, was nothing but hysterically attributed invective designed only to score political points. Now however, almost completely exonerated, he could even return to government, probably in a Foreign Office or International Development role, which, because deportation isn’t an option, would conveniently get him out of the country (a strategy which has worked brilliantly in the past – just look at Baroness Warsi).

This scandal is huge, incorporating everything from swearing cabinet grandees to leaked Police reports and even Downing Street CCTV has emerged too. The first Police report, leaked to The Sun, as is apparent in its tone, runs thusly:

“Well I was on duty, conducting my usual average British Constable’s Special Plebbery Inspectorate Police job, when a posh bloke riding a Miss Marple imitation bike who probably went to Eton University and married the Duchess of Balmoral came over and started calling me racist names or something. I informed him that if he continued in that manner he would get himself nicked, but he continued to abuse my social history that my granddad fought for in World War Two and threatened to have his Butler box my ears. I opened the gate for him to leave, bowing as is standard procedure, and he rode off, through a crowd of shocked and offended Muslims.”

The Sun is now facing allegations that the report was inaccurate, and also, I might have made up some parts of it. Anyway, the point is that in the CCTV, a bloke cycles up to a gate, gets off, walks to another gate, and leaves down an empty street save for a single pedestrian.

Putting this scandal behind him though, Mitchell can celebrate with a glass of Veuve-Clicquot this Christmas, because his reputation is almost fully repaired. David ‘Loopy’ Laws, an expenses fiddler who nonetheless returned from a shameful dismissal intact, from Chief Secretary to the Treasury to Minister of State in the Cabinet Office and Department of Education, and Baroness Warsi, who was demoted but presented it in the media as a promotion, both serve as examples. Following these scandal survivors, Mitchell could sail home, hit for 6, riding in on his white horse like a night in shining armour, and mixing his metaphors like some horrendous plebeian P. G. Wodehouse nightmare.