It exposes the British police as being more interested in looking after their own (ie: other police constables) than being an upright, honest crime fighting force.
Fortunately for ordinary people these events involve senior members of Parliament and reach the highest levels of Government, so what looks like a conspiracy by the police to protect their asses by discrediting someone (who possibly did say something that he should not have said) has spectactularly failed and is now exposing hitherto unspoken allegations about the police and is likely to lead to reforms - of the police / how they handle misconduct complaints against the police - and a new era of openness.
Below are very condensed notes, sorry but time constrains mean that I cannot go in to greater detail.
An important member of the British Government (Austin Mitchell) was peeved when passing through the security checkpoint at the entrance to Downing Street because the police only opened a side gate for him, when he felt that they should have opened the main gate, so that he could cycle through it as a road user - rather than walk his bike through the side gate as a pedestrian.
This annoyance spilt over into harsh words with him accused of using language (the word 'Pleb') suggesting that the police are 'low class' people, whilst he is 'upper class'.
This ensued into a row between him and the police and also resulted in him losing his job in the Government.
For various reasons related to possible police misconduct the official police complaints body became involved, and as usual their investigations included police from other British police forces reviewing the evidence in what is supposed to be an impartial way.
At some stage during the complaints investigation there was a meeting between Mt Mitchell and three police officers that was supposed to 'clear the air' which (unknown to the police) Mr Mitchell recorded using a hidden sound recording device.
After this meeting when the three police officers detailed what had been said their comments were very different to that which Mr Mitchell claimed was actually said, and to prove this fresh allegation he allowed others to hear his recordings.
As a consequence of this the Prime Minister has told the House Of Commons that the three police officers did not tell the truth. In short, he accused them of telling lies, although since it is not the done thing to use the ‘lie’ word in Parliament he had to say this in another way.
The present situation is that because the Chief Commissioners of the three police forces for which the three police officers work are said to have secretly overruled their own internal investigators and insisted that the officers be cleared of serious wrongdoing, so the Chief Commissioners have been requested to attend Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee meetings to explain to Parliament why they are now refusing to reprimand their officers for 'not telling the truth'.
These meetings are yet to happen.
If they are anything like the Sky News interview with one of the Chief Commissioners I saw a few days ago then they will be "of interest" to just about everyone. That Sky News interview saw the interviewer and interviewee at loggerheads and talking over each other... the Chief Commissioner was very long-winded with his answers as if trying to use up all the allotted time; it was quite obvious that the thought processes of the Chief Commissioner were such that if ever there was martial law here then his officers would be able to act with impunity, framing and jailing innocents without any form of redress.
Fuller details... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plebgate
Some news media headlines...
Edited by simple simon, 20 October 2013 - 04:52 PM.