I wonder how many other people noticed the irony of the profoundly perverse court ruling in the recent legal proceedings involving MP Andrew Mitchell?
We recall that Mr Mitchell was implicated in a very minor quarrel with some London police officers who got in his way as the Tory MP was exiting Downing Street with his bicycle. It was when they prevented him from leaving that famous London street through his preferred route that the frustrated Mr Mitchell allegedly called the obstructing constables “f****** plebs”.
The Tory MP then became embroiled in a politically correct- motivated witchhunt by a voracious media who smelt blood.
He subsequently sued News Group Newspapers (NGN ), who had reported the Downing St incident, which Mr Mitchell denied happening as their newspapers described.
Unfortunately for him, he lost his case because the presiding judge believed the London police officers involved didn’t have “the wit, imagination or inclination” to invent their story. With this choice of words, his Lordship, in all but name, called the London constables idiots.
While we all know the meaning of the F-word, let us now define the meaning of “pleb”: taken from Latin, the word refers to any member of common humanity outwith a country’s currently governing professionals. This comprises 99.999 per cent of the UK population, amongst which are all manner of highly intelligent and cultured people. Whereas an adult idiot will most likely retain their stupidity and coarseness as a lifelong trait.
Having defined our words, we must now freely acknowledge that, regardless of whether the Tory MP actually said the word “pleb”, it was m’lud rather than Mr Mitchell who was guilty of the greater insult.
But despite his Lordship’s indirect slur on the calibre and character of the average police officer, he departed the court head held high, his bank balance enhanced and his reputation intact.
The crestfallen Mr Mitchell, who (allegedly) committed the lesser offence, slunk away, his reputation in tatters, facing financial ruin in paying the extortionate legal fees incurred by himself and NGN, who won the case.
Not all that long ago, such a case would have been sensibly considered too trivial for the courtroom.
If this case served any purpose at all, it was to act as a warning signal to us all of the gross absurdities and injustices that will surely follow when common sense is replaced in the courtroom by the distorting influence of political correctness.
Iain M Macdonald
Isle of Lewis