“If this can happen to a senior government minister,” said former Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell, “then what chance does a youth in Brixton or Handsworth have?”
What prompted this sudden bout of sympathy with downtrodden urban youth?
It’s all part of Mitchell’s campaign to “clear his name”, claiming that the accusation he called police officers “plebs” is all a huge stitch-up.
Channel 4 News’ Michael Crick helped Mitchell out by finding CCTV footage of the incident. Mitchell was given ample opportunity to talk over the CCTV and say how innocent it shows he is. He moaned, “These three toxic phrases were hung round my neck.”
In truth it’s little more than fuzzy footage taken from a distance that doesn’t show Mitchell’s lips. He claims he couldn’t have said the words that quickly, but the video far from proves that.
But that isn’t stopping the media treating Mitchell like he has suffered some great miscarriage of justice. It is even being spoken of in the same breath as Hillsborough.
In fact it seems the Tories have suddenly discovered that the cops are sometimes, golly goodness, a bit dodgy. Not only that, but those dastardly rozzers even leak things to tabloid newspapers.
Robert Harris in the Sunday Times even discovered that Mitchell is a member of an “social minority”, like so many police victims. “It was time to play taunt-the-toff and everyone could join in,” Harris wrote.
And they’ve discovered that lurking in the shadows was none other than Sun columnist Jon Gaunt, doing PR for the Police Federation. It was his idea to issue “PC Pleb” T-shirts.
Now it seems the Tories are wreaking their revenge. Presumably as part of the crackdown on leaks, the Mail on Sunday just happened to get hold of a government list of cops’ second jobs.
They included an a ski instructor, a medium and a pole dancing teacher. Long may the cops and the Tories continue to tear chunks off each other.
It’s a dog’s life
A private courtroom translation firm managed to sign up a dog to do the job, it has been found.
Parliament’s public accounts committee says Applied Language Solutions left court officials relying on Google Translate after making such a dog’s dinner of providing interpreters. The firm has been fined just £2,200 for the foul-up.
All aboard the gravy plane
David Cameron spent £700,000 of our money taking his super-rich backers on a trade tour dubbed the “gravy plane”.
He opened a factory for top Tory donor Sir Anthony Bamford. Two other firms on board, Diageo and Deloitte, had made major donations too. The PM chartered a Virgin jet for five days.
No end to the parties for champagne rich
While some of us may struggle to pay our bills, a receipt shows the night out had by rich “talent agent” Dexter Koh at a posh Mayfair club. Among other things he bought a Methuselah of Cristal champagne—as big as eight normal bottles—for £26,000.
That’s not the only thing he’s been doing with his cash. The PR man says that like Fifty Shades of Grey character Christian Grey, he likes to enter into “mutually beneficial arrangements” with young women.
While the rich party, new research has found that people are buying 20 percent less fruit and veg as they feel the squeeze on their wages. Shop prices have soared this year, it shows, while pay has stayed flat.
How crack copper psyched himself up
A police detective has been jailed after sneaking away from a burglary to buy crack cocaine. Detective Constable John Griffiths sent texts to a colleague that referred to the drugs and said “I’m psyching myself up.” It wasn’t revealed what he was so psyched for.
Griffiths ignored the burglary call on Boxing Day and sloped off to buy the coke. He told colleagues he was “committed to an inquiry”. What a Class A officer.
Not that this sort of thing happens in the police all the time or anything, but a senior police inspector was also sacked recently.
Inspector Daemon Johnson of Northamptonshire Police was found to have posted a picture of his genitals on Facebook.
He also used the email system to send around lewd comments. He claimed in his defence that all of this was nothing more than “office banter”.
Who’s got a gong? Not just Olympians
The spotlight of this year’s new year honours list has been on the Olympic athletes. So you may not have noticed a few others handed gongs by the queen handed this year.
These include Hector Sants, the former chief executive of the Financial Services Authority. He was accused by MPs of being “asleep at the wheel” in the run-up to the collapse of Northern Rock.
He gets a knighthood—and he’s off to work for Barclays. Other deserving recipients are top cop Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, and, er, Cherie Blair CBE.
Know Your Enemy: Maria Miller
Tory minister Maria Miller is being investigated after claiming £90,000 in expenses for a second home where her parents lived.
She first came to Troublemaker’s attention when she was the “factory killer” in charge of putting disabled people on the dole by shutting Remploy. She was soon promoted.