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Andrew Mitchell under mounting pressure in 'police insult' row

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  1. custard
    Member

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19675297

    whilst his behaviour is unacceptable
    what sparked it off is interesting

    The incident occurred on Wednesday after Mr Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield, was told by officers to get off his bicycle as he left Downing Street and use the smaller pedestrian gate instead of the main entrance used by cars.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  2. gembo
    Member

    Surely he called the copper 'plod' not 'pleb'?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  3. Min
    Member

    Why couldn't he ride his bike through this gate when other ministers can drive their cars through it?

    The BBC commentator on the previous version of the story suggested he start taking the bus instead...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19671093

    Unlikely, but fortunate that Mr Mitchell does not have a public-facing job in cabinet, allowing him to fade into the shadows and maybe even take the bus to work for a few weeks.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  4. alibali
    Member

    Why couldn't he ride his bike through this gate when other ministers can drive their cars through it?

    Because the policeman asked him to go through the pedestrian gate? Isn't that enough?

    Mr Mitchell, with his spurious attitude of entitlement, has acted in a way that will fit with the prejudices of many road and pavement users in regard to cyclists. No good will come of it, I fear.

    Shouldn't be too harsh though. Rugby and Cambridge is a tough start for anyone to overcome.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  5. Instography
    Member

    After Rugby and Cambridge he became an investment banker, which I took to be rhyming slang.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  6. gembo
    Member

    Not sure anyone else is focussing on the bike? just that he was told to do something by the police he didn't like and then somehow his ranting tantrum was passed on to the press. he could well be off

    Posted 6 years ago #
  7. kaputnik
    Moderator

    For those on Twitter - @A_MitchellMP . May or may not be a spoof account. But it reads like a drunk soon to be former Chief Whip having a bit of a nervous breakdown and almighty go at Dave.

    Amusing, anyway.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  8. ARobComp
    Member

    "Andrew Mitchell @A_MitchellMP 17m
    This Twitter account is a joke/parody.Over the past year I have tricked 24000 Twitter members with various accounts.Twitter isn't media."

    Shame!

    Posted 6 years ago #
  9. alibali
    Member

    which I took to be rhyming slang

    Indeed. I had much the same thought when I read his Batchelor's degree had been promoted to a Master's.

    (Apparently a BA from Cambridge is automatically "promoted" to an MA provided the graduate stays out of jail for a few years, so Mr Mitchell seems to have earned his...)

    Posted 6 years ago #
  10. chdot
    Admin

    "
    Denis Skinner (@BolsoverBeast)
    24/09/2012 07:54
    When Andrew Mitchell does resign, the police should confiscate his bike until the end of term to teach him a lesson.

    http://pic.twitter.com/PVon9YFn

    "

    Posted 6 years ago #
  11. Min
    Member

    Because the policeman asked him to go through the pedestrian gate? Isn't that enough?

    No.

    Mr Mitchell, with his spurious attitude of entitlement, has acted in a way that will fit with the prejudices of many road and pavement users in regard to cyclists. No good will come of it, I fear.

    Apparently that police officer already had that prejudice.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  12. Dave
    Member

    Because the policeman asked him to go through the pedestrian gate? Isn't that enough?

    Suppose you were riding along Princes St and a policeman asked you to get off and go along on the pavement... isn't that enough? (Or in case that's a bad example, Leith Walk? Melville Drive?)

    Why would you want to ride on the road when there's a pavement to walk on anyway?

    The man is obviously a complete ass, but I would also be most put out to have to dismount and use a stretch of pavement instead of a perfectly good road, considering that if I'd arrived by car I could have driven in.

    I have noticed that the Scottish Government building west entrance, which I sometimes ride past, instructs cyclists to ride in on the pavement even though there's a huge wide entrance (enough for several cars).

    Posted 6 years ago #
  13. chdot
    Admin

    "dismount and use a stretch of pavement instead of a perfectly good road"

    Was the gate already open for car(s), or did he expect it to be opened for him?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  14. Min
    Member

    "Was the gate already open for car(s), or did he expect it to be opened for him?"

    Would it be opened for him if he was in a car?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  15. chdot
    Admin

    "Would it be opened for him if he was in a car?"

    Yes.

    I haven't been following 'story' enough to have noticed if gate was fully open, being closed (after a car) or shut.

    Presumably gates are electric(?)

    Posted 6 years ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

    Also AM can't be only person cycling to Downing Street, so is it 'normal' for cyclists to be expected to use pavement gate?

    It can't exactly been the first time he has cycled out of D St.

    Discussion on R4's Today this morning with 'classics experts' - concluding that must have said "pleb" because of his days at Rugby - and his belief of his 'place in the natural order'.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  17. 14Westfield
    Member

    As much as the MP is an ignorant ass, the root of this does seem to be him clashing with another one!

    The claim is that he has previously cycled in and out of the downing street road entrance and on this occasion he was directed to the pavement gate and blew his top.
    Thinking of older footage of Dave C etc cycling into downing street showed them continuing along the road with an open gate.

    I also a bit surprised that the Sun are so well informed of the Police view of the incident and subsequent report - you'd think the Met police would be very wary of chatting to News International nowadays..

    Whatever this says about MPs vs Cops etc it is not good for cycling.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  18. fimm
    Member

    If my reading of the reports is correct, he'd been in and out of the main gate on his bike previously several times that day, and was only on that occession told to dismount and go through the pedestrian gate.

    While I do not for a moment condone abusing a police officer, I think I understand the reaction of being pissed off with someone who one percieves as acting as a "jobsworth".

    Posted 6 years ago #
  19. Min
    Member

    Also AM can't be only person cycling to Downing Street, so is it 'normal' for cyclists to be expected to use pavement gate?

    It can't exactly been the first time he has cycled out of D St.

    Yes, it is all a bit weird. That is why I am asking the questions.

    Discussion on R4's Today this morning with 'classics experts' - concluding that must have said "pleb" because of his days at Rugby - and his belief of his 'place in the natural order'.

    Hmmm! As far as I can tell, there are no witnesses. It is just the word of one person against another, therefore there is nothing the police can do.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  20. crowriver
    Member

    Would it be opened for him if he was in a car?

    Of course it would. However he was only a cyclist, so the jobsworth coppers felt able to quote "security rules" at him as an excuse not to open the gates.

    His reaction was out of proportion and silly. I can see why he got angry though: polticians don't like folk getting jobsworth with them for no good reason.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  21. chdot
    Admin

    "
    It is just the word of one person against another, therefore there is nothing the police can do.

    "

    I thought there were two police officers(?)

    Posted 6 years ago #
  22. DaveC
    Member

    "Hmmm! As far as I can tell, there are no witnesses"

    I read a quote from the Sun (so not necessarily accurate) which stated that people stood at the gates looking in at Downing street (tourists?) were shocked and surprised.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  23. recombodna
    Member

    No witnesses? Then the police should just write it off as if nothing had happened and give him some "advice" on his manners.......

    Posted 6 years ago #
  24. Min
    Member

    I guess if there are they just haven't come forward. It seems to be that he is saying that he didn't swear or say pleb and they are saying he did.

    Although actually in his statement he has only denied saying what they said he said and not specifically denied specific words. Typical politician speak!

    Posted 6 years ago #
  25. mgj
    Member

    Normally, I'd be on the side of the cyclist, but in this instance I'm not. The gate at Downing Street is not just a normal gate; its a security gate. Opening it is not the norm; I'm surprised that they ever open it when they dont have to. The pedestrian gate is right next to it, its quite wide, and I suspect that given you'd have to stop while they opened the big gates, you arent losing any time by getting off for 10 seconds to walk through the pedestrian gate. And on my one trip to No 10, I found the police to be very friendly and efficient, and not jobsworthy, despite us being there on a day that the NI Secretary of State and the Taoiseach were going the front at the same time as us (and one G Adams was going in the back door).

    Posted 6 years ago #
  26. kaputnik
    Moderator

    so the jobsworth coppers felt able to quote "security rules" at him as an excuse not to open the gates.

    Well, it is a security gate - which generally are to an anti-ram standard and according to the reporting the Police are on orders to avoid opening the main gate if at all possible. That makes a lot of sense as a security gate is of little value when it's open.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  27. chdot
    Admin

    "That makes a lot of sense as a security gate is of little value when it's open"

    Indeed.

    Was it open?

    AM may have cycled through previously, but has he waited for it to be opened, rather than going through the side gate?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  28. Min
    Member

    The Torygraph says no it wasn't open but that he frequently cycles through the gate.

    Anyway, it has been confirmed that he is resigning now - at least David Cameron has given him his full backing and we all know what that means.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  29. gembo
    Member

    Can I just stress again. This is not to do with cycling. Even if we want it to be, the bike is a mere prop in the story.

    best to do as you are told by the police. best not to hurl abuse at the police when standing next to them, that is usually breach of the peace or equivalent. This is about an arrogant son of a gun who has his comeuppance when the copper inadvertently files his report to the sun rather to his superintendent

    Posted 6 years ago #
  30. chdot
    Admin

    "
    Can I just stress again. This is not to do with cycling. Even if we want it to be, the bike is a mere prop in the story.
    "

    You may.

    However -

    He wasn't driving so it's not about cars (in that sense).

    And it's not about walking - except that he was made to.

    Obviously it's about class(es) and power/authority and rudeness/arrogance etc.

    But -

    It's also 'about' the way people with bicycle are treated/'expect' to be treated.

    Will it reflect badly on 'other cyclists'? Probably not.

    Will it make the police more 'understanding' towards people with bicycles? Seems unlikely...

    Posted 6 years ago #

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