In THE row over “Plebgate” (recent reports), only two matters seem certain. The first is that, unusually, the suffix “gate” is relevant; the second is that there is no dispute that Andrew Mitchell MP, former chief whip, swore at one or more policemen, since he has admitted as much.
As viewers of TV programmes following police on our streets late at night will know, anyone swearing at or using abusive language towards a police officer will almost certainly be arrested – although “pleb” is not usually part of the vocabulary in these circumstances.
In addition, before Mr Mitchell’s outburst, Boris Johnston, who as mayor of London is responsible for police in that city, had declared that anyone swearing at a police officer should be arrested (David Maddox, 21 September). So why has Mr Mitchell not been charged?
Instead, Mr Mitchell is able to write an article in a Sunday newspaper giving his side of the “pleb” aspect of the story, while his colleague David Davis MP, a former shadow home secretary, claimed on BBC radio that Mr Mitchell is a very fine and honourable chap, and should be “restored to high office” at an early opportunity.
This is another instance, with which we are becoming increasingly familiar, where there are two standards of behaviour in this country – one for the general public, and another for the elite who govern us.
Alan R Irons
Woodrow Road Glasgow