A Very Peculiar Practice

In the early hours of this morning I read that the nice Andrew Mitchell MP  has ‘challenged’ Sir Bernard Hogan-Who to release all of the #Plebgate evidence into the public domain.

According to an article in today’s Torygraph Mitchell has written to BHH and told Sir Bernard that he must publish transcripts and records from the Met’s private hearings relating to the officers involved in the Plebgate row.

It is claimed in this Torygraph article that nice Mr Mitchell has been allowed to attend the private disciplinary hearings, and take notes of the evidence heard there.  WTF?

Following the end of the hearings, Mr Mitchell wrote to Sir Bernard challenging him to release full transcripts of all the hearings.

In his letter, Mr Mitchell said that he had heard evidence in the hearings that should be put in the public domain, including that the Met’s own investigation had established that: “one of the PCs who obstructed my exit from Downing Street on 19th September 2012 was texting [their] involvement in the affair as it became public (21st September 2012) and claiming “I can topple the Tory Government”, and that the hearings had produced evidence of exchanges between officers suggesting that they were “colluding with the Police Federation to fan the flames for political reasons”.

Mr Mitchell included in his letter  “While I wish to say that the way these hearings were run was undoubtedly fair and proper I am deeply concerned that they were held in private and were not open to public and journalistic scrutiny”, and, “I am deeply concerned that if any of the information is withheld, and any hint of a cover-up is left in the public mind, a signal will be sent that the police can get away with doing this to people who would have no chance to fight back and public confidence will be yet further undermined.”

Serious allegations Mr M, very serious indeed.

I’m not privileged to those hearings,I have no idea if Mr Mitchell’s claims float or not, but what the f*** was he doing there?  When did it become acceptable practice to have a serving (tarnished) MP sit in on Disciplinary hearings that he was involved in?

More to the point, when did it become even vaguely acceptable to have ANYBODY sit in on a Disciplinary hearing that is embroiled in unresolved legal proceedings concerning the very same issue?

‘Private Disciplinary Hearings’, there’s a clue there, PRIVATE (except to the privileged few)

I do hope that PFEW will challenge this when they’ve finished their conference.  I’m sure that the release of this new twist was entirely coincidental and NOT aimed to coincide with Conference, Mitchell wouldn’t do that, would he?

In the meantime I shall leave you with this;

 

TJF FUBAR

 

To Pleb Or Not To Pleb? That Is The Question

Make no mistake, this bad been a very bad week for the Police Service. A Weekus Horribilis.

Like, I suspect, most of you I have absolutely no idea what the truth of the Plebgate matter is, but I also suspect that we haven’t heard it yet.

In my last post here I expressed my views on Deborah Glass’ ill-judged (or possibly deliberate) comments on the West Mercia investigation and I won’t repeat them today.

Since I wrote that piece three more things have come to my attention which may have no significance at all, or may just muddy the waters further.

1)  Our good old friends the Mail published this nice little paragraph “Theresa May last night called on a chief constable to apologise after an explosive report suggested senior officers had lied to blacken the name of former Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell.”  Were the three Federation Representatives really “Senior Officers” One is an Inspector, at least one a Sergeant I believe, and not sure about the third.  They sure as hell weren’t what I would call Senior Officers or they wouldn’t be in the Fed (Ch Inspectors maybe).  An attempt by Cruella to make it sound even worse? Or just my imagination running amok again?.

2)  I read in the Huffington Post, a most reliable publication I’m sure, that Michael Portillo no less claims that he has heard Andrew Mitchell MP use the word Pleb in a private conversation, but he did not believe it was something the former chief whip would have said in public.

Well that made me sit up and take notice.  After all his protestations maybe it IS a word he might have used. Doubt now enters the equation, but who will get the benefit of it?

3)  Yesterday our allies at the BBC waded into the debate and published an article in which Portillo claims that he ‘Misspoke” in his previous comments. Who on earth uses that word?

“In a live discussion on the BBC’s This Week, Mr Portillo revealed: “I have heard him use that word in private conversation – the pleb word, I mean.”

But he now says he got “carried away”.

Pressed on the This Week programme on Thursday about whether he had heard Mr Mitchell use the word, Mr Portillo said: “I think I did, but not in a bad context.

“Some policeman thought: ‘Ah, that’s a word that people will believe that Andrew Mitchell might have used.’

“But he wouldn’t have used it in that context.”

On Friday, the former Conservative cabinet minister added: “I seem to have misspoken. I had no right to say that.

“I think I got carried away in the heat of the moment. I did not mean to say it and I want to withdraw it.””

To me, Portillo has always come across as Mr Calm and Composed. Is he really the type of man to have got carried away in the heat of the moment in a live TV debate? He’s always on our screens FFS, you can’t get away from him.

Or are these the words of a man who has been got to by the Tory machine and ebgaging ina bit of Damage Limitation, and trying to unsay the said?

All I know for sure that this has developed into one of the most important eras for Policing in general and 4 Police Forces in particular.

The arrogant twats won’t back off, Mitchell steadfastly refuses to enlighten us what he did actually say apart from agreeing to one use of the F word, and every man and his dog seems intent on besmirching the reputation of a once proud service.  I for one refuse to believe in a Federation Conspiracy, that would be brave, foolhardy, and totally corrupt.

Hard-hitting politicos have been bashing the Police for years now and I absolutely dread to think what Camoron’s final solution will be.  I fear greatly for the future of the Police Service and if there has indeed been a conspiracy, who orchestrated it. The Police? The Federation? Or the Tories?

Enjoy your weekend, I’m sure there’s more to come out yet.

And the answer to one person on Twatter is “Yes, I am bored of #Plebgate too, but somehow that seems to be the point. The Government and their shady allies seem to keep coming up with ways to keep it in the public eye, so that we will get bored with it, and maybe they’re hoping that any sympathies might shift away from the Police Service as the boredom factor grows.”

People in Glass Houses – Remember That

People in Glass Houses really shouldn’t.

I wasn’t going to write about this sorry saga, I’m sure numerous other people will have done so already, but it got the better of me.

This is, of course, the story of the now infamous meeting between 3 Police Federation Representatives and foul-mouthed Andrew Mitchell MP.

As a direct result of this meeting West Mercia Police conducted a disciplinary investigation into the conduct of the three Federation reps.  It has been stated that West Mercia Police referred the investigation to the IPCC, who declined to investigate it, but made a decision to ‘Supervise’ the West Mercia disciplinary investigation.  To the best of my knowledge that is exactly what happened.

After conducting what I assume was a thorough investigation into the conduct of the 3 officers West Mercia Police announced that there was no evidence of Misconduct or Gross Misconduct on the part of the 3 Fed Reps.  That really should have been the end of it, but oh no, Deborah Glass, Deputy Chair of the IPCC and IPCC Commissioner for the LONDON area, decided that wasn’t good enough.

For some really obscure reason she has publicly stated that the West Mercia investigation, whilst carried out to her apparent satisfaction appears to have reached the wrong findings. She says that three Police Federation officials may have given a “deliberately misleading” account of a meeting with the Conservative MP, who has always denied calling officers in Downing Street “plebs.” and ”the evidence indicates an issue of honesty and integrity.”. Her organisation, the IPCC Supervised this enquiry from start to finish, and now she comes out and says something like that.  The I in IPCC stands for Independent, Really?

It truly doesn’t say much for the credibility and ability of the IPCC if she can go all loose cannon on us and come out with a statement like that which surely reflects as much on the IPCC as it does West Mercia Police.

Then, our revered Home Secretary, Theresa May, bundled into the arguement saying things like “she felt that disciplinary proceedings should have been taken against the Police Federation officers.” and “the IPCC’s report “made troubling reading”.

At the end of the day Andrew Mitchell has NEVER made a complainst against any Police Officers in relation to this matter.

Despite claims to the contrary, whilst he has been vociferous in denying what he was attributed as saying, he has not yet publicly stated what he DID say, although he maintains that he has a clear memory of what he said.

I can only conclude that this is another chapter in the ongoing war between the Government and the Police. The IPCC have chosen their side and stand alongside Andrew Mitchell and Theresa May.

As @OldBill_43 put it yesterday “I have had court cases resulting in acquittals. Would it be OK to issue press releases stating how convinced I am of their guilt?”

If this is British Justice at it’s best, Guity when found Innocent, then I fear for the future of our country.