I trained as a Lawyer and my advice to anyone who is thinking of suing any person or organisation for Libel, even if you have been libeled, but especially if you haven’t, is don’t. Take it on the chin, ignore it and move on with your life. Under British Law it is much to much of a gamble either way, as the outcome of this court case today shows.
I have no idea whether Mitchell called the PC a fuckin pleb or not, and could care less. It is not a criminal offence after all. By all accounts Mitchell is a nasty piece of work who is ideally suited to the job of Chief Whip where being a bully is an absolute plus. He was nicknamed “Thrasher” Mitchell when he was a Prefect at Rugby Public school (yes the same one as the fictional Flashman… you just can’t make it up can you?). But there are some very disquieting aspects to the whole “Plebgate” affair.
First; there is the fact that one Police Officer has been jailed for obstructing the course of justice (presumably the one who pretended to be a member of the public who was just passing by and was “shocked” by Mitchell’s language, and just happened to email the Cabinet office using almost word for word what PC Rowland says Mitchell ranted at him, when he wasn’t there at all). Second; that three other Protection Officers have been sacked. And third; that another five are on gardening leave and under investigation, yet the Honourable Justice Mittings finds that there is obviously no conspiracy against Mitchell. Oh fuckin really??
On the balance of probabilities (not beyond reasonable doubt) which is how this case was decided, the good Judge found that…
‘I am satisfied at least on the balance of probabilities that Mr Mitchell did speak the words alleged or something so close to them as to amount to the same including the politically toxic word pleb’.
And the Judge then goes on to virtually insult the PC again…
Pc Rowland was ‘not the sort of man who would have had the wit, imagination or inclination to invent on the spur of the moment an account of what a senior politician had said to him in temper’
So which do you prefer then PC Rowland, being called a fuckin Pleb, or thick and unimaginative by a High Court Judge?
And the High Court Judge in question, has a bit of form for being an anti establishment dripping wet Liberal.
Oscar Wilde was a bloody fool to sue for Libel, it destroyed him, and the same has happened to Andrew Mitchell. The court costs are going to be eye-watering. And all he had to say in the first place was… Yes I called him a fuckin Pleb, because he is a fuckin Pleb! What of it?