Andrew Mitchell MP

thirdcrank
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Jan 2013, 8:40pm

Back from a restful few days in Northumberland, I have to report that the Daily T is being very tongue-in-cheek about this. This from the 2012 "Toughie" Crossword:

14 Down: Extremely like a policeman according to Chief Whip? Drop left most stony-faced? (9)

Look away now if you don't want the solution pebbliest

hexhome
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby hexhome » 2 Jan 2013, 9:45am

thirdcrank wrote:Back from a restful few days in Northumberland,


I hope that my home county treated you well :)

thirdcrank
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Jan 2013, 3:44pm

hexhome wrote:... I hope that my home county treated you well :)


Yup. That's why we keep going back there for holidays. I did have one worrying moment - I forgot my PIN when I was paying for a meal (particularly worrying since I've had the same PIN since they first introduced PIN's) - but the people in the farm shop cafe at Belford just by the A1 were very nice (and my wife was there anyway to use hers.)

The various nationalists don't seem to want want my £££ but in Northumberland, they had the sense to sink the regional assembly idea and they seem to to be very pleased to see people like me and my family, even though we are from down south, as far as they are concerned.

I did think of you when I was complying with a temporary 40 mph limit on the A1. The chap behind me was doing the same and leaving me a nice safe distance. An oaf in a huge truck from East Lothian was trying to intimidate him into going faster but he held his nerve.

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meic
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby meic » 2 Jan 2013, 4:01pm

thirdcrank wrote:
hexhome wrote:... I hope that my home county treated you well :)


Yup. That's why we keep going back there for holidays. I did have one worrying moment - I forgot my PIN when I was paying for a meal (particularly worrying since I've had the same PIN since they first introduced PIN's) - but the people in the farm shop cafe at Belford just by the A1 were very nice (and my wife was there anyway to use hers.)

The various nationalists don't seem to want want my £££ but in Northumberland, they had the sense to sink the regional assembly idea and they seem to to be very pleased to see people like me and my family, even though we are from down south, as far as they are concerned.

I did think of you when I was complying with a temporary 40 mph limit on the A1. The chap behind me was doing the same and leaving me a nice safe distance. An oaf in a huge truck from East Lothian was trying to intimidate him into going faster but he held his nerve.


If it wasnt for Nationalists you wouldnt have a pound, you would have a Euro. :wink:

Or a Reichsmark. :mrgreen:
Yma o Hyd

thirdcrank
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Jan 2013, 4:54pm

meic wrote: ... If it wasnt for Nationalists you wouldnt have a pound, you would have a Euro. :wink:

Or a Reichsmark. :mrgreen:


My point was that they don't want my money, and I can't imagine it would make much difference if I paid in roubles or rupees.

Meanwhile, back in Northumberland, I did see somebody RLJ a level crossing. :shock: I really did think I had seen everything. Luckily, there was no collision. If there had been a collision, my Smart Witness in-car camera would have recorded it all. (Actually, it will have recorded it anyway, but fortunately, there were no wrecks and nobody drownded....)

hexhome
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby hexhome » 2 Jan 2013, 5:21pm

It's not like the trains travel slowly on that line :shock:

I hope that you found our worst kept secret - http://www.shipinnnewton.co.uk/

thirdcrank
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Jan 2013, 6:07pm

hexhome wrote:...I hope that you found our worst kept secret - http://www.shipinnnewton.co.uk/


We've been going to that area on and off for over 20 years - I don't remember that establishment, but you never know. It's now on my list of things-to-do when we go again, probably this summer.

hexhome
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby hexhome » 2 Jan 2013, 6:26pm

It's well hidden but an absolute must. http://goo.gl/maps/0mQ9k

thirdcrank
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 4 Jan 2013, 8:34pm

7_lives_left wrote:TC's last link to the news item on the BBC says that there are thirty police officers looking at this. I take it that that is a lot of resources, yes? Will some senior police officer have decided to make sure someone looks at this or has someone else with a lot of clout told them to get on with it or else?


Some more on this here:


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20911786

Just for the purposes of comparison, I see from Wiki that the authorised strength of the entire Warwickshire force is 973 police officers (which will include everybody up to the chief constable.)

TonyR
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby TonyR » 4 Jan 2013, 9:53pm

thirdcrank wrote:
Some more on this here:


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20911786


"Nearly all members of the Diplomatic Protection Group have been contacted, the Met's Police Federation claimed.

Its chair John Tully said this was "over-zealous" and it was "pointless" to ask officers not on duty outside No 10 at the time of the altercation."

A very odd statement to make when the police officer at the centre of all this was not on duty outside No 10 at the time of the altercation.

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby SilverBadge » 8 Jan 2013, 11:58pm

SilverBadge wrote: For Ho-Ho to talk of extreme thoroughness and yet state he sees no reason to dispute the officers' logs is a joke.
Not even Nigel Farage could make this up - it now transpires that when Ho-Ho spoke of having seen "nothing that causes me to doubt the original account" provided by the Downing Street officers, he had in fact seen nothing full stop (was Nelson a hero of his?), and even now he has not seen the log and no-one seems to know for certain whether the leaked log is the genuine article. Other gems in hindsight include having an "open mind", a "ruthless search" for the truth, going where the evidence takes you, and acting quickly.

thirdcrank
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 11 Jan 2013, 8:40am

Re SilverBadge's post

I think one of the issues this case raises is the size of the Metropolitan Police. As I posted a bit further up, the diplomatic protection command itself is the size of a police force. With a big - arguably too big - organisation, the question of who knows what is always likely to cause problems. (cf the BBC.) I didn't see Ho-ho on telly but I read the BBC internet report. One thing that occurs to me is that while there's an enquiry in progress and arrests have been made, detailed comment risks being prejudicial to any trial. Afaik, in Scotland, in those circumstances reporting is forbidden and existing internet stuff has to be taken down until the proceeding have been completed. Incidentally, if this had been a provincial force, the chief constable would have been required to keep out of the enquiry as he would have to be neutral at any discipline hearing. (This doesn't apply to the Met which has different procedures.)

It seems to me that the Commissioner's job should be mainly concerned with policy. eg in this case he should be reviewing the contrived legal situation which justifies Downing Street being closed off with permanent gates. If some patrician had started a private prosecution for wilfully obstructing the highway, it might have caused some legal interest. There's been discussion on this thread about policy, but if Wiki is to be believed, the gates are there through a pollicy that there might be a Breach of the Peace if they weren't.

Another policy issue - not one the Commissioner can resolve alone - is whether armed protection duties of this type are a job for a traditionally unarmed police service. Like the gates, it's caused by public perception - in this case that "bobbies" are somehow more acceptable than "squaddies." IMO, it's a job more suited the Army and I suspect that many of the service personnel who have recently been made redundant would have jumped at the opportunity.

thirdcrank
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 11 Jan 2013, 8:19pm

When I first read about this, it reminded me of an incident in which I was involved around 1980 in the bowels of Leeds Town hall. In those days the Crown Court and Leeds Magistrates' Court sat in the Town Hall, and the court cells were down below. In those days, Crown Court prisoners were in the custody of prson officers and the rest were in police hospitality. Except that there was quite a period when the prison officers were only accepting certain prisoners so we had boat loads who should have been in gaol but had to stay with us. The already inadequate conditions were even less adequate. Lawyers getting instructions from their clients was even more complicated than usual. Normally, barristers in their robes would visit the prison officers' bit while the rest came to us. The situation called for a lot of flexibility, not least because lawyers had to find their clients before anybody could see anybody. So far so good.

One day, I had to leave the secure part of the Bridewell to go to the property stores which had public access for the Lost/ Found. When I went into the property store, a barrister who must have followed me out of the Bridewell went in with me. It eventually became clear that he mistakenly thought I was taking him to see his client. Barristers are generally courteous to a fault (occasionally, in a "my good man," sort of way) but instead of laughing off the misunderstanding, he mounted his high horse. His big gambit was that I was detaining him against his will. I could well imagine that this could be quite effective on the inside of some cell area, but we were by then in the public passage. I pointed out to him that he was free to leave into the fresh air of Victoria Square and he said something on the lines that he had no intention of going outside dressed like that. The alternative was to press the buzzer and have another go in the Bridewell. I left him making up his mind, with the magic words, "You've not heard the last of this" ringing in my ears. Funnily enough, I had heard the last of it. I probably wrote my account of the incident in some now long-destroyed duty book, but fame eluded me yet again.

thirdcrank
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Jan 2013, 10:20am

On the matter of any policy, it seems to me that if wiki is correct about the Breach of the Peace justification for the closure of Downing Street, then a problem of this type was almost inevitable.

When a constable acts as such, they are exercising what's described as ministerial authority. ie They are acting on their own discretion etc. It's a feature of this that their discretion has to be exercised every time, rather than in any blanket sort of way. To give a cycling example, on a particular occasion, I've no doubt that a police officer could direct a cyclist to use a shared use facility, in much the same way as they could close the road altogether, if the situation required it. OTOH, I don't believe that collectively or individually they could decide that cyclists should always use facilities. If they could, they'd be able to create new laws as they went along. I'm not saying that the police don't have to do as they are told by more senior officers, just that that is largely based on their position as members of a police force, rather than as holders of the office of constable. The borderline is often fudged.

With regard to information, there still seems to be a lot of confusing stuff being put about. I read in the Daily Telegraph the other day that the 800 members of the diplomatic protection lot were going to be ordered to make sworn statements about this. :? If they are being interviewed as witnesses, then any written statements would normally be in "CJA" form ie, they'd include a signed declaration about the truth of the evidence, which allows the statement to be tendered in evidence to avoid the attendance of the witness in some circumstances. If they are being interviewed as suspects, they are allowed to remain silent and interviews must begin with the well-known phrase or saying "You are not obliged to say anything .... etc" Under the now obsolete Judges' Rules, a caution only became necessary if there was some evidence to implicate somebody but under PACE, all suspects have this protection.

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Jan 2013, 12:30pm

I hope regular readers will bear with me if I quote directly from a letter written to me in June 2005, by Matthew Parris, former tory MP who was then the Parliamentary Sketch writer for The Times newspaper. I wrote to him about something he had said in his column along the lines that the police needed to feel the wind of change.

What I was getting at was the sense of a workforce with a strong resistance to change and a powerful voice. You should be in no doubt that Home Secretaries are afraid of "taking on" the police. Kenneth Clarke wanted to do this and Margaret Thatcher headed him off.
(Underlining in original)


I don't doubt that the current postholder is keen to demonstrate that they are fearless in this regard.