The affair of Andrew Mitchell, the Conservative Chief Whip neatly illustrates a lot of what is wrong with modern Britain. Just to recap on the facts. Andrew Mitchell works at No.9 Downing Street, to get to his office he has to pass through a set of gates at the entrance to Downing Street. These gates where erected some time back, at great expense, to protect Downing Street from terrorist attack. He reportedly asked the policeman on duty to open the gates to allow him through and the policeman refused on the grounds that because he was on a bicycle and not in a car he would have to use another gate. Understandably Mr. Mitchell called the policeman a F****** idiot/moron or pleb or whatever.
So what does this incident show about the state of modern Britain?
1) The proliferation of footling little rules devised by mentally retarded officials
2) That the police and officialdom generally are overpopulated with people who consider that rules - however stupid - are sacrosanct and must be obeyed at all times to the letter
3) The desire of little men -like the policeman and his superiors -to 'sneak' and attempt to destroy a man's career - a man who - actually - had very good reason to swear at them
4) The media love of enjoying a feeding frenzy over any minister who they think they can destroy.
What the media ought of course to be outraged about is that a Policeman should deliberately have impeded a very senior Minister going about the business of HM's government. further that his superiors, rather than reprimanding him for his arrant stupidity, should have publicised the whole affair to the press with the aim of getting the said Minister into serious trouble. In the old days everything would have been handled so much better, a quiet word, perhaps a bottle of whisky changing hands and that would have been that. Now though I suspect the Policeman is taking time off and attending trauma counselling from the shock of being called a F****** moron.