Although there are yet more layers to be revealed in this seamy affair, it shows us just how little effect the Leveson Whitewash is going to have
Sorry to be back yet again on the subject of Andrew Mitchell, but what I’m trying to do here is join up dots the MSM either can’t be bothered to – or doesn’t want joined up in the first place.
Can we all please note that thoroughly bent Plod made his claims about Mitchell’s behaviour (which he hadn’t witnessed in the first place) ‘in an email seemingly from the officer to a Conservative MP, John Randall, who is also the deputy chief whip’. Not to Tom Watson or Simon Hughes or George Galloway or Vladimir bloody Putin, but to John Randall, a Tory whip who had previously been answerable to said Andrew Mitchell – a man described to me by another Tory at the outbreak of this farce as “a man whose past behaviour has left him somewhat bereft of friends”. A man who, not long ago, Randall said must either fall on his sword – or he would resign.
Question: do we believe the cop-leaker told Randall the news ‘because he was his local MP?
Answer: we very much doubt it. He told Randall because he presumably thought Randall stood to gain from Mitchell’s hoped-for downfall. Or knew that, for one reason or another, Randall wanted his boss’s career to be ruined.
Question: Was this purely about job promotion as far as Randall was concerned?
Answer: We very much doubt it.
Consider some of the facts in the case. In March 2003 – while in Opposition and during generally pro-Iraq War period in the Conservative Party – John Randall’s disapproval of British involvement in the Iraq War led him to resign as an Shadow Minister as a matter of conscience.
In contrast, as the Battle for Tripoli raged in 2011, the rather more gung-ho International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell (heavily behind his boss Cameron) said he supported Allied aid for Libyan rebels, and that the Government had ‘outlined steps to ensure a smooth transition’ to peace once Gadaffi fell.
In Cameron’s September 2012 reshuffle, Andrew Mitchell became Chief Whip. On his final day in the IDS job, Mitchell authorised the payment of £16 million of previously suspended aid to Rwanda – half of Britain’s annual aid there. The aid had been suspended in July, along with other governments’ aid, over concerns about Rwanda’s alleged support of the rebel March 23 Movement in east Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mitchell’s successor reversed the decision.
On 30 November 2012, the International Development Select Committee published a report criticising Mitchell for restoring the funding, stating “We do not understand how [Mitchell] reached the conclusion that support for the March 23rd Movement had ceased”. To be honest, I don’t either. What I do know is that Mitchell worked for Lazard, one of the world’s largest investment banks, where he cooperated closely with British companies seeking large-scale overseas contracts. This bank just appointed Lord Mandelson as its Director of Business Ethics. This is a bit like Mossad appointing Hitler as its Director of Legal Nazi Kidnapping.
This morning, Daniel Hannan published a piece about the Mitchell affair in the Daily Telegraph blogs section. Criticising the cops quite rightly for being grubbily involved in messy Westminster politics, Dan nevertheless managed to avoid mentioning either Newscorp (to whom the cops leaked the news in the first place) or John Randall (the man rung by the same as yet unnamed Plod – who told The Sun hacks to splash it on their front page the next day.)
In a rather parallel manner, Andy Coulson splashed a double page spread in the News of the World telling a pack of lies about the unlawful killing of innocent Brazilian student Jean Charles de Menezes by Met Police officers on 21st July 2005. The NotW was also a Newscorp newspaper, as is The Sun.
There could be any one of (at my count so far) nine different explanations as to what this ‘Plebgate’ saga was and is all about really. But the things to hold on to are these:
1. Conservative politicians continue to draw attention away from what is at issue here with near-sociopathic ruthlessness.
2. The Met Police continues to try and cover up what even Number Ten now admits was some kind of fit-up.
3. Despite a Leveson Enquiry designed to haul Newscorp’s dirty linen before the public eye, the influence of the tentacular Murdoch empire of corruption and illegality continues to ensure that lies are printed to order on behalf of its political and police cronies. These demons have not even been knocked back: like the MPs caught fiddling their expenses, for the tabloid hacks it is once again Business as Usual.
And just to complete the full set, guess which Tweedle Dum & Dee couple have been tweeting and stomping about in support of Sndrew ‘Thrasher’ Mitchell over the last 36 hours? Why, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson of course.
At least part of this story is about a battle for what’s left of the Tory Party’s soul.
Catch the full strength of grubby Newscorpness at the Hackgate page here.