I think my overall assessment of Plebgate thus far would have to be that the Tory party is learning very quickly from what it sees as the ‘lessons’ of McAlpine media-manipulation bollocks. I had far more important things to do earlier today, but I just finished reading Andrew Mitchell’s ‘account’ of being stitched up by Plod. After doing so, I find myself perplexed at the low level of voter discernment now assumed by those in the Establishment. For many years now, The Slog has insisted that the average Brit voter’s ability to tell excrement from putty is slipping; but the blatant starting point for this entire Plebgate scam was “they’re all so f**king stupid and distracted now, they’ll believe any old tosh”.
Mitchell’s self-absorbed (and, let’s be fair, disturbing) first-person piece in today’s Sunday Times is nevertheless just one more example of a bloke describing his cramped conservatory without mentioning the several hairy, damp and smelly mammoths that are also quite obviously present. For the former Chief Whip, there is but one mammoth in his conservatory: the police. For the rest of us, the other two are so painfully obvious, the desire to remove their tusks in order to create more room is overpowering.
Especially notable is the adoption by Mitchell of McAlpinesque feigned shock: “If you had told me six months ago that this could happen in Britain, I would’ve rejected the idea out of hand”. In this statement alone, the wannabe returning Minister shows himself to be a citizen of Lalaland, or perhaps more likely, a steaming hypocrite. A chief whip expecting life to be straight? Do leave it out.
The mammoths I refer of course are first, the multivariate schisms that are today’s Conservative Party; and second, the ever-present slimey suckers of the octopus more usually referred to as Newscorp. My reservations remain the same as they’ve been for the last five days:
1. The idea that Andrew Mitchell was fitted up entirely by the police is preposterous. The mendacious copper who broke the ‘news’ of his Downing Street altercation rang first, a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch…one that has had an incestuous relationship with both the Tories and the Met police since God was a boy; and then second, John Randall – a Tory Whip who had earlier vociferously demanded Mitchell’s resignation.
2. I truly cannot accept the idea that the Sun hack phoned by Anonymous Plod was taken completely by surprise at the ‘news’ of the then Chief Whip apparently behaving like an arse.
3. Lo and behold, having been shafted by one Murdoch newspaper, Mitchell bares his chest in another one. But the Sun and Sunday Times pieces are damaging to the Conservative Party in general, and David Cameron in particular. Enter the anti-Cameron camp of Davis, Johnson and Hunt.
I need to leave this subject alone for a while now: I’m becoming repetitive, and suspect that the vast majority of Sloggers understand all the points being made here perfectly well. I would very much like, ever so quietly, to take Rupert Murdoch out in classic US Bin Laden style, and then bury him at sea. But such is against the law; and while 90% of what Newscorp does is against the law, two wrongs will never make a right.
Meanwhile, three points are of great import: the police are bent, the political class is devious, and the media are complicit.
Why oh why oh why did we ever think that Leveson might achieve something?