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Bicycle skid marks

Andrew Rawnsley asks, “was Andrew Mitchell stitched up?”

The police log, the leaking of which to the media fuelled the clamour for Mitchell to quit as chief whip, claimed that his swearing shocked “several members of the public”. Yet the CCTV footage appears to show there was no crowd watching at the gates of Downing Street: there was just one passerby at the time of the incident. While we still cannot be absolutely certain what transpired that night – there is no audio – the footage does not appear to suggest a serious altercation. The supposed independent eyewitness who came forward to corroborate the log’s version of events – a fatal development for Mitchell – is said to be a serving copper who was not at the scene.

Emphasis added. Because if this turns out to be true, it is a case of false testimony by a police officer.

There was a good comment to the above article from PolishMark:

A small incident, yes, but with serious ramifications. This is starting to look like a police conspiracy to remove an elected politician from Government. You don’t have to like the Government to be concerned by this.

There was also a good visual comment from Guido Fawkes.

8 comments to Bicycle skid marks

  • Michael Jennings (London)

    False testimony from a police office who has not there, if true, is not a “small incident” in any way. If it is true, the officer and the other officers who put him up to it will not go to jail though. They never do.

  • RAB

    Could this be another Hillsborough? They just don’t learn do they? Neither the police or the politicians.

    My opinion? A couple of Plods overstepped the mark in their officiousness, got the sharp end of an MP’s tongue, immediately worried that their cushy numbers as gatekeepers may be at stake, and ponied up “evidence” that didn’t actually exist. Then got one of their colleagues to back them up while pretending to be a member of the public passing by, when he wasn’t even there at all. Then they sent the “evidence” off in all directions via email, and one to the Sun newspaper.

    If anyone believes that our Police are non political, then they are mad, and it just goes to show, post Leveson Inquiry, that you don’t need to bribe them to get information out of them, when in their own self interests the want it out there ASAP.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    I used to think (thanks to very positive childhood experience) that the British police were much as they have been painted: kind, public-spirited and scrupulously honest.

    I fear that if that were ever true, it is no longer. They are politicized, discontented, totalitarian and deeply soft left (but I repeat myself) on most issues. The idea of systematically arming them is panic-inducing.

  • nemesis

    Rab – Would that be the same Leverson who (according to the BBC)
    ‘During a speech at the University of Melbourne, he insisted there was an important difference between mainstream journalists with “a powerful reputation for accuracy” and bloggers and tweeters who were “no more than electronic versions of pub gossip’.
    He must mean those MSM journalists who took the initial reports at face value and keen to have a pop at a Tory toff.

  • The orthodoxy here at Samizdata is that CCTV everywhere is a bad thing, but I note that it is CCTV footage that is making the case against the police in this case. Total surveillance is – or at least can be – total surveillance of Them as well us of Us.

  • RAB

    CCTV has never bothered me, just as long as I am allowed to film the bastards right back, but they don’t like it up ‘em do they?

    The “Member of the Public” email is obviously a phoney…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9756925/Plebgate-revealed-the-email-accusing-Andrew-Mitchell-of-swearing.html

    Completely blew it by over egging the pudding here…

    As we were waiting at the main gates of Downing Street, with several other tourists, he point [sic] to a man on a push bike coming up Downing Street. My nephew wanted to take a photograph of him as he mistakingly [sic] thought that this man was BORIS JOHNSON, but I corrected him, having a keen interest in politics and the Conservative Party, knew it was ANDREW MITCHELL – Member of Parliament for Sutton Coldfield.

    Quite apart from Boris Johnson and Andrew Mitchell not looking even slightly alike, I have a keen interest in Politics too, but I wouldn’t know Andrew Mitchell from a hole in the ground, nor his constituency without googling him up.

  • Steven

    I see the Thin Blue Line exists on the other side of the Pond. What’s a little perjury and filing false reports and false arrest and manufacturing evidence and wrongful conviction among friends anyways?

  • Clovis Sangrail

    It makes me quite nostalgic-I feel like a child of the sixties, complaining about police corruption and brutality. They are just the unwitting tools of the establishment!

    Next thing you know, they’ll be oppressing the workers MPs by invading the House of Commons.

    I am so confused.