Today, I learned that the former British Government Cabinet Minister has complained to the Independent Police Complaints Commission about the Metropolitan Police leaking information about him and his case to the press.
There are many similar parallels between the former minister’s experience with the Met and mine, in particular us both having our career’s destroyed and the stories being given to The Sun newspaper illegally.
If you have lived on a different planet, The Andrew Mitchell Affair known as #plebgate is about… an argument Mr Mitchell had with Metropolitan Police officers in Downing Street (home of the UK Prime Minister) over their refusal to allow him to ride his bike through the gates last year.
Officers stated among other things that, Mr Mitchell called them “plebs” which he strongly denies. He resigned the British Cabinet, as a result of the incident.
Then it transpired, all was not as it appeared with the police’s account and so forth of what went on.
Having quit as Chief Whip of the Conservative Party amid the storm, he also claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy by officers to “toxify” the Tories and blacken his name. NO. Surely, the Met don’t conspire to damage individuals reputations?
As a man who is mixed-race and gay, I have said this for some time. When those in the Met get something in their minds like revenge, there’s no stopping them. Fortunately for Mr Mitchell, he is white and straight so it may be easier for him to get justice.
My experience of ‘minorities’ highlighting foul-play is that, they are considered sensitive and/or paranoid. Even though, the evidence is there.
I read a great article towards the end of last year from Simon Woolley, of Operation Black Vote. It was called ‘Welcome to our world‘, where he put it to Mr Mitchell that his faith in the police has been lost after just one incident. But, many minorities sadly face this sort of behaviour sometimes regularly.
Simon finished his article by saying…
“I and many others hope that given your first hand experience of potential lies and deceit during your interaction with the police you will join those who argue that a regulated police force who have to record some of their activities and be fully accountable for their actions is not some bureaucratic nonsense that detracts from good policing, but rather the opposite. These processes not only engender accountable policing but also ensure greater confidence with officers and who they serve”.
You can ONLY have the best Police Service in the world, if it is one that is accountable in a democratic society.
If we really are ‘policing by consent’ in the UK, all officers from the top down have to answer for their actions.
That’s not Political Correctness GONE MAD, that’s a democracy.
This has been a… Happy Easter, ‘View from the Bottom’.
Take care, Max x.
Live Healthy, Laugh Often & Love Yourself!
Published by My Mum. Copyright © Kevin Maxwell Film, Media & Performance 2013.