We are an apologetic nation at the moment aren't we. Nick Clegg, the BBC and its security correspondent, and ofcourse, my personal favorite, Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell. Today the Telegraph published the full police log of Mitchell's altercation with Her Majesty's finest, and it is there in black and white - "plebs" - amid a fair smattering of "f***ing" and the advice "Best you learn your f***ing place...you don’t run this f***ing government..." along with the killer "You’re f***ing plebs." If the log is an accurate report of events, the I-was-having-a-bad-day apology is worthless, his line that I-did-not-use-the-words-attributed-to-me-honest-f***ing-injun-I-didn't is unsustainable.
Of all the words a police officer could haul down from the sky, the word "plebs" is both loaded and political. I am willing to bet the officers concerned have been called any number of things by ne'er-do wells in the past. Surely if they were going to make something up, it would be more anglo-saxon than pleb? Or maybe not. Andrew Mitchell maintains he did not say it. Logic then dictates: either the police have it wrong or he does. Is he deliberately lying? Is he misremembering courtesy of losing his rag and adrenalin has wiped the gory details with a wet cloth? Or is he telling the truth? Perhaps he didn't misspeak - perhaps the police misheard. I am trying to imagine what he might actually have said to the police. Perhaps: "You're f***ing Debs" - whoever Debs might be, or "You're f***ing sheds - unlike me who is a pillar of the establishment. (Did I mention I'm the Chief Whip by the way?)" or maybe even "I'll have your f***ing heads." Now that last one, that one is a possibility.