How the Plebgate footage doesn’t show what Mitchell & C4 claim

Out of a desire to be sure, to my own satisfaction, about the provenance and accuracy of the ‘Plebgate’ footage that Andrew Mitchell claims ‘exonerates’ him, and which Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches‘ programme claims casts serious doubt on the police logbook’s account of the incident, I have come to two conclusions. Firm ones.

Firstly, the exterior footage shown by Dispatches is genuine footage. Secondly, the footage – while genuine – is edited and cut in such a way as to give a false impression of:

– the point at which Mr Mitchell started his ‘altercation’ with the police officers
– the amount of time he had to utter the now-infamous phrases, ‘f***ing plebs’, ‘you don’t run this f***ing country’ and ‘you should know your f***ing place’
the number of people outside the gates as the altercation took place

I’ve watched the footage as shown by two separate programmes: Dispatches and Channel 4 News. The coverage by both programmes is available on Youtube, and I’m going to insert them both below so you can watch them directly.

In order to see what I’m referring to, you’ll need to watch specific sections of the video carefully and possibly repeatedly. But I believe you’ll find it more than worthwhile if you persevere and are genuinely interested to get at the truth of the incident and clear away all the ‘mud’ that has been stirred up to obscure it.

Here are the two videos in question:

Video 1: from the Dispatches programme

Video 2: from Channel 4 news

Hopefully they’ll show directly within the post. If not, you’ll need to open them in separate tabs or windows to view them.

I’ll address each of Mitchell’s/Channel 4’s claims in turn, but you’ll need to keep coming back to specific time-points in the videos to see for yourself what I’m referring to:

‘Exoneration 1: the point at which Mr Mitchell started his ‘altercation’

Dispatches suggests that the police report says that Mitchell starts his altercation as he walks his bike over to the gate and concludes that there is probably not enough time for him to say everything he is supposed to have said within those few seconds. It supports this by showing a clip with Mitchell’s voice-over saying ‘And this is where the alleged log-book says that the toxic phrases were uttered’.

Look at video no.1 from 44 seconds through to 55 seconds. 11 seconds in total. Perhaps not enough time to say all the infamous phrases – if the video accurately portrays what happened.

But – the Dispatches video that the voiceover accompanies starts from just before the back wheel of Mitchell’s bike hits the kerb.

Now look at video 2 from the 2m06s mark. According to Channel 4 news’ narrative to the video – which shows Mitchell approaching the kerb with his bike – this is the moment when his rant is said to have started.

However, watch closely how Mitchell gets his bike up the kerb – you’ll see it better if you switch the video to ‘full screen’ mode so you can watch the movements and his body-language more closely. It’s no exaggeration to say that Mitchell stomps up to the kerb, easily outpacing the policeman, and almost flings his bike up onto the kerb.

The pace, the way he throws the front wheel onto the kerb and the way he leaves the policeman trailing in his wake all strongly suggest that by the time we see Mitchell approaching the kerb in this close-up clip, the argument is already in full swing and is probably still continuing.

2. The amount of time

Still with video 2, scroll back to the 1 minute mark exactly. Mitchell reaches the police officers at this point on this video. He then talks to the officers for some time before eventually moving his bike toward the kerb and reaching it at the 1m39s point of the video (according to the Youtube clock – ignore the video’s own timer for now).

39 seconds is more than enough time for an irate man to utter all the phrases in question, and even more so if you add the 11 seconds from the point at which his bike hits the kerb to when he starts to exit the gate.

There is plenty of time. Even the C4 News voiceover repeating the phrases has time to complete them in just the time covered by the 11-second clip. Mitchell – an angry man, speaking quickly as angry men do, had plenty of time to say what he is accused of saying, and even more so given that the argument appears to be well underway by the time we see him come into view.

3. The witnesses

Now here’s where I need to ask you to pay really close attention, and to show a lot of patience. First, let’s look at the segment of CCTV footage that Mitchell claims shows there are very few people outside the gate. You can see this in either of the above videos, but you’ll probably see it best in video 2, from 3m06s. Watch through as a lady walks past from the bottom of the screen to the top, and then a man in white shoes and carrying a black rucksack walks in the same direction, pauses and then walks back in the direction he’s just come.

This man appears around 3m18s, reaches the point at which he pauses at 3m26s, turns back at 3m37s, and reaches the lamp-post near the bottom of the frame at 3m47s.

The first question we have to ask is: what causes him to slow, then stop, then stand still, then walk slowly back where he came so that the scene behind the gates is in view and within earshot? Would an ‘amicable’ conversation, followed by a single phrase, muttered ‘in exasperation’ as Mitchell claims, ‘I thought you guys were supposed to f***ing help us‘ REALLY hold this man’s attention, for at least 21 seconds, and enough to get him to change direction just in order not to miss the show?

Now I need you to look at a different view. Please look at video 1 this time, from the 1m15s mark – again, it’s best to look at this in full-screen view. As soon as you get to the right point, pause the video – right at the moment where the close-up clip starts.

Look at the paused image. Through the fence, just to the left of the gatehouse, you can see our man wearing the white shoes and carrying the black backpack – already turned and on his way back. Because the high-angle CCTV view doesn’t show Mitchell exiting the gate, this frame is essential for fixing the time of what we’re seeing in this view from within Downing Street.

Channel 4 – for whatever reason – blurred out the timestamp on the footage showing the street outside the gate from above. But, thanks to our fascinated ‘boomerang’ passer-by, we can with an extremely high degree of certainty that Mitchell’s altercation is well underway by the time that he starts to move toward the kerb with his bike. This reinforces the fact that Mitchell had plenty of time to say all he is supposed to have said to the officers, and for them to say all they are supposed to have said to him.

But that’s not all. Remember that by the time Mitchell is walking his bike to the kerb, his discussion – and then altercation – with the officers has already been going for 39 seconds.

But the lady who walks ahead of our ‘boomerang’ witness only starts to leave the fenced area at 3m10s – only 27 seconds before boomerang-man starts walking back. This adds a 2nd potential witness. But the police log said there were ‘several members of the public present’. Two isn’t several.

No – nor does it need to be. There are two more potential witnesses within the right time-frame. Back to video 1. Watch the top left corner of the image from the 1m20s mark. What appears to be two further passers-by appear, walking left to right. Still with video 1 (again, full-screen works best), go forward to the 2m0s mark.

Mitchell’s self-serving voice-over says that the police log talks of ‘crowds of people’ witnessing the scene – but remember, it actually says ‘several’, not ‘crowds’.

Viewing from the 2m mark, we again see boomerang-man making his way to his pause-point, pause, and then turn and walk back. But at the 2m11s mark, two women (probably women) are clearly seen walking in the same direction as b-man is now travelling, toward the bottom of the frame.

Now back to 1m15s again. Watch b-man’s progress outside the gate. He reaches the lamp-post before Mitchell exits the gate.

The video is cut off by Mitchell and/or C4 before he reaches the lamp-post, but even so, the women are already crossing the road outside the gate well before b-man reaches the lamp-post – and so are well within sight and earshot of the events behind the fence while Mitchell’s tirade is still underway.

B-man, the first lady, and the 2 passers-by walking together. 4 witnesses, which clearly qualifies as ‘several’. The log refers to the members of the public appearing shocked – but it’s perfectly likely that boomerang-man was sufficiently shocked to make an impression on the officer who wrote up the incident. Sufficiently that he conflated b-man’s shock with the appearance of the other passers-by, even if those other witnesses didn’t appear shocked, which the footage by no means demonstrates.

One more thing to watch, and then we’re done. Go to video 1 at 1m32s. You see Mitchell go through the gate and then the policeman closing it. At 1m36s, you see another 2 passers-by appear from behind the pedestrian gate, outside the fence. 4 seconds.

4 seconds. The police log states:

Mr MITCHELL was then silent and left saying “you haven’t heard the last of this” as he cycled off.

As he cycled off. Those two passers-by were almost certainly witnesses to at least this parting remark, and quite possibly to more. They don’t appear on the high-angle footage – but the high-angle footage doesn’t even show the pedestrian gate through which Mitchell exited, so it wouldn’t show these two people.

Mitchell and his allies – including, apparently, Channel 4 – claim that the video footage ‘exonerates’ him, because it supposedly shows he couldn’t have said what he is claimed to have said, nor were the witnesses there as the police report states.

But, by going through the footage, from both angles, over and over, second by second, I believe I’ve been able to show that none of the supposedly-exonerating points is actually borne out by the CCTV footage, and that the accusations against the police at the gate are unfounded.

By all means, take a look at the key sections and decide for yourself. I think it speaks for itself.

138 responses to “How the Plebgate footage doesn’t show what Mitchell & C4 claim

  1. Pingback: How the Plebgate footage doesn’t show what Mitchell & C4 claim | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's | Scoop.it·

  2. Really interesting stuff. What we need now is someone in the media on our side who will look at this properly. Of course, it doesn’t get away from the fact we have been let down by an idiot who decided to lie in a statement but I suppose that is a separate issue, no matter what the government would like us to think.

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  3. Excellent !! Very good points ! Like pervious now needs to go into the public domain !!
    The idiot who lied, if he has indeed lied has let us all down !!

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  4. All we need is the truth, individual attempts have thrown up issues, but we have to hope that the police will do a proper, a professional job. Too many people have their own agenda about this incident. Media, politics and sections of the police have had their own slanted views.
    Many have tried to manipulate the views of the public.
    One thing that will live me is the jeering and the baying for blood by the opposition in parliament, it is too easy to rush to judge, to become part of the lynch mob.
    Lets hope the police will be OUR police and not a faction, or in bed with the media or the government. Truth sets us free.

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    • I agree, largely. But I think it’s the opposition’s role and duty to go for the throat when there’s a chance – especially when they’re opposing a government as bad and malignant as this one.

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    • It’s dated and time stamped on the interior-view footage and it’s possible to synch the exterior footage to it, thanks to boomerang-man’s turning and walking back. The timestamp could be faked, but it would be very risky, and it would be hard to coordinate a recreation.

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  5. Very industrious, but the footage tells us nothing substantial, while the ‘witness’ was crucial in undermining Mitchell’s testimony and thus leading to his political downfall. Unless the footage shows us a [man?] and his nephew in the area, it does throw doubt on the officers’ statements, because a liar apparently had access to those statements.

    Anyone who has experience of the police lying to the public, and there are plenty of us, will find the accusations being made against them extremely plausible, I’m afraid.

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    • I’ve made my comment about the fake email, if it’s proven to be fake then it’s a serious matter. My concern in these articles is simply: is Mitchell exonerated by the footage as he claims, or is it likely he said all he’s supposed to have said. I believe he’s anything but exonerated – and the actions of one foolish individual (if proven to be so) don’t undermine the word of the officers at the gate. The footage, analysed properly, seems to support their account.

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  6. Have you got an agenda to down Mitchell-like the Police are alleged to have had? Talk about obsessive. Get a life.

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    • My agenda is to expose this government and its actions for what they are. Obsessive? Perhaps. But ‘get a life’? I have a good one – and I believe it’s our responsibility to stand up for those whose life the government is trying to ruin. Merry Christmas.

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  7. Reblogged this on patricktsudlow and commented:
    Having had experience whilst serving on HMS Ark Royal, on how Channel 4 manipulate information to give a distorted view of events. And they have been caught out by others, distorting the truth. Channel 4 should not be granted a broadcasting license. Most of us, no longer trust the police and especially the Met, which has been a ferule police force sometime. But, this case highlights how Cameron and his cronies will try and protect one of their own. The are trying to blacken the reputation of the Special Protection force, their own bodyguards. How ludicrous is that, like an emperor turning on the Praetorian Guards, whom murdered Emperor Pertimax.

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  8. The CCTV evidence would not have take this long to emerge if it could have save his sorry political arse at the time of his resignation. Nobody except out of touch snobs use the word “pleb” these days.

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    • Sorry to disappoint you seekers of truth but the phrase ‘you fucking pleb’, and many and varicose variations, was in common use in the Met as recently (?) as 1993. It was effective and understood by everyone who ever worked in a nick, so it’s unlikely to not to be used at all nowadays. Don’t forget the Police don’t like change.

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  9. Pingback: Anonymous – lynch mob or thought mob? » 21stCenturyFix.org.uk·

  10. My mother who was a very strong Catholic and not the type of person you would expect to say anything like this, once told me that she used to live near a Police Station and the sounds she heard coming from there were absolutely terrible and that the Police were just legalised criminals. It doesn’t look as though things have changed over all those years and no matter how you go through this video, that is not going to change the corruption that exists. I would also like to add that my niece who is half caste, trained as a Police Officer but was driven out by the racism within the Police Force.

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    • Hi Katie,

      There are good and bad people in every profession. My article wasn’t written to make any comment about police in general, but to analyse a specific incident. I believe my analysis was correct, and these officers were blameless, on those occasion, with Mitchell the culprit.

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    • Well when your own family uses unacceptable racial terms what chance do you have in this world? The term ‘half caste’ is quite offensive you know!

      Your poor Catholic mother. Mind you I’ve heard of a few Catholic persists who have sexually abused children so we’ll just brand your mother as a paedophile too shall we? Seems to be an acceptable practice that is applied to the police.

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  11. Excellent post. A few points.

    i. The CCTV would have been analysed in detail by the security services and Cabinet Office Staff within hours of the event. Why has it only now been released?
    ii. What, if any, explanation has been given by Channel 4 or the Cabinet Office for the blanking of the time stamp on the external view video?
    iii. You should be encouraged by any ‘get a life’ comments – suggests you’re onto something and you’ve got them worried.

    I’ve downloaded the videos just in case they are pulled, I suggest you do too if you haven’t done so already.

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  12. if you are downloading the cctv videos “just in case they are pulled”, you are a deluded fantasist

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    • I’ve highlighted other incriminating things that were then taken down once highlighted, so it’s not fantasy. I tend to make screenshots of pages just in case but wouldn’t work with a video.

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      • As an aside to the removal of video after something has been highlighted. The video that was (might still be) shown on the bbc site had the timestamp of the outside shot shown, however the timestamp was fuzzed on part of the stamp; I assume it did not match the time of the other vid, although this could be legitimate as they were from different system potentially so errors can occur

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      • Actuall I should add that the C4 footage currently on its pages has the whole timestamp removed by way of croping the top of the vid from outside and not as earlier shown with the timestamps fuzzed in part.

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  13. Just one question, how many times do I have to watch the video before I get an explanation why a member of the Metropolitan Police claimed to have witnessed the event when in fact he wasn’t there.

    Looking forward to your answer given your commitment to the truth and all…

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    • There is no explanation or excuse for that, if it’s proven to be true. But my post only addresses whether the footage supports Mitchell’s account and his claim of ‘exoneration’. I don’t believe it does.

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      • There are two things that bother me about your post, the first if you have to make your case by ignoring salient evidence, the Met Police Officers claim to have witnessed the incident, then that is hardly a commitment to the truth. Beware the selective use of evidence to make your case.

        The more profound concern is that the basis of your case is not to prove what Mitchell did or did not say but to make a case against his claims of innocence – his claim that he “feels exonerated”. It is one thing to demonstrate that someone has done something wrong (whether beyond reasonable doubt or on the balance of probability) but to try and undermine someones claim to innocence – that he “feels exonerated”?

        I’m not too sure what this tells us about Mitchell’s claims of feeling exonerated but are you comfortable with what this says about your own sense of justice? Prove him guilty by all means but trying to prove someone “not innocent”? I’m not sure that’s a sense of justice or law that I’m comfortable with.

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      • The fake email, if such it was, is evidence of a police officer trying to sew up the case or cut off complaint against a fellow officer. It’s a clear case of wrongdoing if proven. What it is not is pertinent to what Mitchell actually said or whether the police log was accurate The person who purportedly sent the email may simply have been outraged that Mitchell was trying to deny it and, effectively, impugning the reputation of the police officers at the gate.

        And that latter point is why I’m comfortable with the justice of questioning it. Mr Mitchell’s claim of innocence is an accusation of corruption – and, as it turns out, a distortion of the video evidence. I’m very comfortable putting that under the spotlight.

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      • Can’t go to the end thread (for some strange reason I can’t post there) – again your sense of justice is warped “if I prove someone is not innocent I’m proving he must be guilty!” That’s not justice and that’s not a commitment to the truth.

        Never happy with “I’m comfortable with it” as an answer to questions about justice since PC Harwood gave similar answers (when asked about reasonable force) at the Tomlinson inquest.

        Please write a blog about what you think of as justice because what you currently say is wrong. Completely wrong.

        Is your idea of justice “disprove they’re innocent and they must be guilty of something” something you would like applied to your own family?

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      • You seem to be confusing justice for the accused with the need to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Mr Mitchell is accused of no crime and didn’t even receive a formal caution – just a warning he’d be arrested if he continued to swear. He’s not going to prison.

        On the other hand, his attempt to exonerate himself involves accusing police officers of falsifying reports and lying about what happened – a very serious matter. His accusations shouldn’t be believed if they don’t stand up to scrutiny – and they don’t. I’m perfectly comfortable with that.

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  14. Re the question when did the angry exchange begin – one part of the original Sun report that has been completely overlooked is this: “The row followed a similar stand-off on Tuesday night when Mr Mitchell was going home on his bike from the Whips’ office in Downing St and was also denied access through the main gate.” If true, this was not a one-off, it was a running argument from the night before.

    As for the CCTV, the whole of the footage should be released and not just edited highlights with a voiceover giving Mitchell’s version of events (eg “please can you open the gates” vs “Open this gate, I’m the Chief Whip. I’m telling you – I’m the Chief Whip and I’m coming through these gates”, the account given by one source to The Sun as quoted in its report on 21 Sep 12). I’m not saying I know which of the various accounts is true, but in my view it’s not helpful to watch the footage with a C4 voiceover repeating the Mitchell version as fact. Crick’s report is far too partisan.

    You say Channel 4 blurred out the time stamp on the FCO footage – Crick told me on Twitter that Cabinet Office did that. He has not responded to further questions asking why they did that. You also have to ask whether it was Crick’s choice to show only the small segment of the relevant FCO footage that he does or whether that editing was also done by Cabinet Office. All very odd.

    Another point that

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    • Good to see Mr Crick has engaged with you on Twitter. As anyone asked if whether it was true he met with Mr Mitchell on the night of the altercation or whether they are good friends? Not that it matters too much to me as I don’t see anything wrong with a friend fighting your corner lawfully.

      What the officer is alleged to have done but has already been found guilty by the facebook jury is criminal hence his arrest.

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  15. The other question that needs to be asking surely is if there is close up CCTV showing the pedestrian entrance is there not close up CCTV showing the main gate where vehicles come through? Having been past Downing Street there certainly appears to be camera pointing down at the main gate?

    I know it has been said but surely ALL the relevant CCTV footage needs to be showed if they are going to just show snippets. This however is now a matter for the investigators.

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    • There are three front gates one pedestrian turnstyle type rarey used one vehicle and one pedestran and cycles gates all are covered from various angles by internal cctv and externally from different operators including FCO. MOD Main Building and City of Westminster. An assumption is that all work all of the time which is not realistic. Using either of these gates requires the opening of both an internal and an external gate involving more than one officer however the smaller gate is clearly easier to open physically and would be seen as an easier option. With different shifts operating under different shift leaders unwritten rules will vary, such as all pedestrians to be sent to the furthest away style as it is less time consuming for officers or that not using the vehicle gate for cycles after 8pm is tactically correct. Cant be forgotton that the role of these officers is to provide security to the buildings and premises they are tasked to guard whoever is in office however much they disagree with their policies or personalities it is not their role to delay some one at a gate or send them to another gate when they possses the correct credentials unless there is an over riding operational reason. Theres a man outside the gate with a tin of paint in his hand eggs etc. After all of the spin will come most of the truth but by that time all of the damage will be done 🙂

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  16. ‘ The footage, analysed properly, seems to support their account.’

    The footage doesn’t provide any indication of what was actually said, and given that police *do* lie (fact) or, at best, make a very bad job of accurately recording events, there is no ‘support’ for them here. That being so, there are only important questions about why anyone thought they needed to perjure themselves to corroborate the original accounts. No-one is ever going to be able to trust those accounts now, but that’s not quit the same as being able to say categorically that the police lied. It’s a pickle, but also another nail in the coffin containing the police’s reputation.

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  17. And I’m still waiting for someone to answer the question of whether or not those police were actually within their rights to block Mitchell from using the main gate if, as he has claimed, he’s been allowed to use it before? A point the media seem to be showing little interest in.

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    • The Police are entitled to syop ANYONE who uses this gate. The `stopped` person is required to show positive ID when requested by the Police/Sedurity Forces.

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  18. Despite the recent history of lies from journalists, the Met management and politicians, the CCTV footage evidence may no longer be interpreted as giving Mitchell the benefit of the doubt, despite his spin, thanks not just to the analysis above but, perhaps more importantly in the view of the public, to the immense warmth shown towards him by colleagues, particularly by Michael Fabricant in The Times today (page 11, 26 Dec ’12):
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article3640447.ece

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  19. Oh that is fun. Have you noticed they didn’t blur out the full timecode on the material. Why blur it at all if you are not blurring out the full thing? Why can’t we compare the time’s for each video?

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    • If the cameras are connected to different systems, the system times may not be in synch. Might be they wanted to avoid debate on the time, but of course blurring it only looks suspicious.

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  20. Why is the timecode in one video at the top and one at the bottom? Have the two video’s been created by two separate post houses or do they come with timecode burnt in already?

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  21. “Mitchell and his allies – including, apparently, Channel 4”

    The idea that Channel 4 are ‘allies’ of Mitchell, or any Conservative for that matter, is laughable.

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    • In this instance, they appear to be acting as such – showing misleadingly-edited footage and touting Mitchell’s version as fact, including his voice-over.

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    • Channel 4 must have been ever so grateful to have been chosen by Downing St, enabling an exclusive!

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  22. Ask yourself if the following is likely…
    Mitchell cycles out of No.9, approaches the gate on his bike,and having had a stressful day, asks the officers politely to open the big gate for him.
    Mitchell is politely told ‘no’ and is then asked by the officer to use pedestrian gate. He complies but cannot restrain himself, due to exasperation, from muttering under his breath, “I thought you guys were supposed to f’ing help us.”…before cycling off.
    Immediately after this seemingly tame interaction, the officers risk their collective jobs, pensions and possibly freedom just to ‘toxify’ Andrew Mitchell.
    Of all the MP’s that came and went that day whilst they were on duty, they conspired to single out and toxify Mitchell by putting pen to paper that evening before going off duty, fabricating the entire contents of the incident report.
    The officers did this without giving consideration to being in an area which is covered by numerous overt CCTV cameras, (and possibly some covert cameras) which may or may not have an audio recording capacity.
    This is what Mitchell wants you to believe. I think its preposterous.

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    • One unsavoury little detail you’ve missed out somewhere around “…cannot restrain himself…” and “…exasperation…” is the ominous gurgling of that rich curry lunch as it made it’s way in the logical direction seemingly with a mind of it’s own. Sorry, but that’s part of the story. Unless Andrew would like to tell us otherwise.

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    • Thanks for the link – I referred to the same article in an earlier post.

      However, the Dispatches footage doesn’t look it was filmed on a September morning – the streetlights are lit and casting shadows, and that wouldn’t be so on a morning at that time of year.

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  23. What I can believe is that there is more to this story than either side is letting on, but that the custodians of the law had a duty to record only the truth, and the video evidence, as well as associated shenanigans, casts doubt on their testimony. Bear in mind that shortly afterwards, Mitchell sat in a room with members of the police association and told them what he said. A spokesman then told the media that Mitchell had *refused* to tell them what he said. The conversation was recorded, though, revealing the [lie? Cluelessness?].

    When a policeman thinks his account can’t be challenged, he’s liable to make anything up. Sadly, but not for us, some of them are becoming overconfident.

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  24. Was that Daily Mail article not written back when everyone thought, because of the fake witness statement, that Mitchell was caught bang to rights? It reads lik a hatchet job. The claim that Mitchell *must* be accusing the officers of lying looks a little puffed up, now…

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  25. Times:

    Headline: ‘Tory vice-chairman Michael Fabricant questions Mitchell account’

    Text: ‘Mr Fabricant appealed on Twitter for witnesses to the altercation with police in Downing Street in September that cost Mr Mitchell his job’

    All this, and *nothing* else.

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    • How do you work that out? The video – viewed in full, not just Mitchell’s little clip – fits their account better than his claims. That was the whole point of the article.

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  26. Sorry, I assumed you must be a police officer, whereas now I see you’re just drinking the koolaid. I guess you’ll have to wait for the truth to out.

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  27. At 2:27 in the 2nd clip, you can just make out (at the extreme left of the frame) what looks like one officer pointing toward Mitchell (just out if frame) and I can well imagine that this might be the moment where this officer warns him that his conduct might lead to his arrest. The same officer follows AM to the gate.

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    • I think your vivid imagination has already been established. It’s funny how when this story first broke, friends of Mitchell said it’s just not the sort of thing he would say to anyone. Then the ‘corroboration’ turned up, and any thoughts of innocence went out the window, as evidenced by the Daily Mail article. Do you not think it’s ‘fair exchange’ that his accusers are now subjected to the same merciless pillorying he was?

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      • What Mitchell’s friends say on the matter should be treated as bias, not fact and I’m not interested in pillorying anyone. Please try to open your mind to the obvious fact that just because someone (allegedly) falsely claims to have witnessed an incident, that it doesn’t mean that the incident never happened in the first place…does it?

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  28. The Commandant, Bernard Hogan-Howe, has stated publicly via The Guardian, ‘That when the full story of what happend at Plebgate emerges (and he knows that story) then people will be surprised’. As I’ve said elsewhere, this is said with an apparent degree of understatement; he seems completely confident that he (and presumably his Service) will be exonerated. If that is not the case he will almost certainly be required to resign his post.

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  29. The police log states. <>

    The inside CCTV evidence clearly shows this to be false. I agree there are some doubts about the outside film, but I find it hard to believe that this would have been faked.

    Ask yourself the question, why did the police log invent these phantom witnesses? The most plausible answer is to use them. And another diplomatic officer does seem to have claimed to be one of the these ghosts. You don’t need to be too paranoid to scent a conspiracy.

    I also quite like the next sentence <>. It doesn’t read like a witness report to me, more like something planned for publication.

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    • The quotes were deleted, reply should have said:
      The police log states. ‘The members of public looked visibly shocked and I was somewhat taken aback by the language used and the view expressed by a senior government official.’

      The inside CCTV evidence clearly shows this to be false. I agree there are some doubts about the outside film, but I find it hard to believe that this would have been faked.

      Ask yourself the question, why did the police log invent these phantom witnesses? The most plausible answer is to use them. And another diplomatic officer does seem to have claimed to be one of the these ghosts. You don’t need to be too paranoid to scent a conspiracy.

      I also quite like the next sentence ‘I can not say if this statement was aimed at me individually, or the officers present or the police service as a whole.’ It doesn’t read like a witness report to me, more like something planned for publication.

      Like

  30. Trollhunterx, I agree it would be ‘fair exchange’ for the accusers of Andrew Mitchell to be subjected to the same merciless pillorying now but surely you’re doubting those on the police shift at the gate who recorded the verbal exchange only because someone else later saw and misused their log?

    Although you may have experienced lying by police in the past and might even be correct in this case, have you dismissed doubts about Mitchell’s counter-claims even though support for his interpretation of the CCTV evidence isn’t even shared in public by some of his own colleagues?

    Doubt has been raised on both sides regarding the motives of the protagonists and, as the evidence isn’t unequivocal either way, perhaps all accusations should be tempered somewhat until more convincing proof either way emerges.

    I suppose discussion of who is most likely to be telling the truth or perhaps more likely to be lying must go to and fro’ based on a judgment of the balance of probabilities at the moment.

    I’m not a member of the police but nevertheless still tend to side with the account of the original officers at the scene – ignoring the later dishonest use of their log which I assume, possibly incorrectly, was a totally separate calumny. You may suspect they were linked but I’m not yet convinced of this.

    As was pointed out above, the original officers would have pointlessly risked their careers if later shown to have lied but Mitchell has already lied and is likely to be bitter and so desperate to regain his position as to feel he now has much more to gain than lose, even though by doing so he is repeating his implied accusation that the original police did lie. Although possible, at present I feel they are less likely to have taken the risk to lie but, if they did, Bernard Hogan-Howe has also risked his position by publicly expressing the same view.

    We’re probably discussing angels on pins but the stakes for the police service from the policies of Mitchell’s party are so high that perhaps premature judgments must inevitably be made on only the current evidence and its dissection.

    The bullying & lying tendencies of Mitchell and his party are matched by those shown by the Met management against its own employees much more than by its employees themselves (e.g. http://www.kaimtodner.com/news/2012/12/04/media_statement__pc_james_patrick.asp and http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/crime/article3634248.ece, etc) so, until really convincing evidence to the contrary is produced, it just seems more logical to believe those who are more likely to be lied against by politicians or bullied by the top brass.

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    • I’m not sure that police do think they’re risking their careers when they falsify logs to ‘get the story straight’ between themselves. I think they’re more concerned with the impact on their careers if they break ranks. One of the starkling things about the Hillsborough inquiry was that 116 police statements were altered to corroborate with the official police line. Follow orders, stick together.

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      • Yes, that may often be true. In this case Mitchell’s implied accusation that the log-writers lied was challenged in order to get the story straight not between themselves but on the wider public stage so any risk they perceived may have been greater.

        I suspect the log was written immediately because AM had threatened that this wasn’t the last they would hear about it. If the log was embellished and fabricated the same day then those who suspect this must imply a conspiracy was also hatched the same day.

        To me, the release of the log text to newspapers seems more like a riposte by someone to AM’s continued implied accusation of lying against the log-writers, as does the earlier matching letter by someone who did lie about their own identity in order to challenge it.

        Although a conspiracy is possible and such conspiracies have been rife as you say, the CCTV analysis above does undermine the certainty with which Mitchell claims to have proved that the emailer & log-writers lied about ‘several passers by’ being visibly shocked and that sufficient time was available for the abuse recorded.

        If further evidence or analysis does prove that important parts of the email – and so log too – were lies, this would certainly shift suspicion back to the log writers rather than AM.

        At present, while some of his own colleagues already express doubts about the interpretation of the CCTV sequence by AM & C4 – and Bernard Hogan-Howe still views the log to be substantially accurate – the jury still seems out, yet just not ready to return a unanimous decision.

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      • Hello Guy. I see from your blog you’re from Liverpool. Obviously Hillsborough will be of great interest to you. However I find it highly suspicious that Hillsborough and Plebgate are being used as a double barrelled weapon at this precise time. Christmas, when police are stretched and stressed. This year of all years after the Jubilee, Wedding and the need to provide emergency back-up for the Olympics. And right now when the attempt to privatise policing and turn it into a profit driven affair is at a peak.
        Where, I ask, is the mention of Assistant Chief Constable Walter Jackson’s apparent mental breakdown? This after all is alleged to be the primary cause of the abysmal lack of leadership during the few minutes of disaster.
        Now some of the stories I could tell about police involve torture, theft, and one case of torture to extract information on the location of a quantity of cash followed by leaving the victim to die slowly of exposure. Allegedly.
        I’m not here to say they’re all lovely little darlings. Life isn’t like that.
        If you say Hillsborough I say read this. I wrote it. I’d love to see the list of talking points that have been prepared to rubbish my work.
        Thank you.
        http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread890548/pg1
        If anyone wants to see more, also this….
        http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread893274/pg1
        And there’s always my youtube channel for a bit of light relief.
        http://www.youtube.com/user/underterraingrunter

        Like

  31. To be fair one has to consider too that the bloke standing on the gate bored out of tiny with nothing to do may well be a complete pleb.

    Like

    • Ah, the old “..bored out of tiny..” talking point. Doesn’t it get a little monotonous endlessly asserting that rubbish? Or is it quite enough for your little….. Oh there I go.

      Like

  32. ‘Trollhunterx, I agree it would be ‘fair exchange’ for the accusers of Andrew Mitchell to be subjected to the same merciless pillorying now but surely you’re doubting those on the police shift at the gate who recorded the verbal exchange only because someone else later saw and misused their log?’

    What do you mean, ‘only’? The fact that someone felt it was necessary to perjure themselves to provide back-up says volumes about the reliability of the original claims.

    ‘Although you may have experienced lying by police in the past and might even be correct in this case, have you dismissed doubts about Mitchell’s counter-claims even though support for his interpretation of the CCTV evidence isn’t even shared in public by some of his own colleagues?’

    The claims above about ‘public’ doubts by colleagues are revealed as semantics when scrutinised. Provide an account by someone who wasn’t temporarily taken in by the spin.

    ‘Doubt has been raised on both sides regarding the motives of the protagonists and, as the evidence isn’t unequivocal either way, perhaps all accusations should be tempered somewhat until more convincing proof either way emerges.’

    It’s more than a little late to start preaching restraint. The police federation tore a hole in that notion from the very start, and raised a rake of new questions they are going to find very difficult to answer.

    ‘I’m not a member of the police but nevertheless still tend to side with the account of the original officers at the scene – ignoring the later dishonest use of their log which I assume, possibly incorrectly, was a totally separate calumny. You may suspect they were linked but I’m not yet convinced of this.

    As was pointed out above, the original officers would have pointlessly risked their careers if later shown to have lied but Mitchell has already lied and is likely to be bitter and so desperate to regain his position as to feel he now has much more to gain than lose, even though by doing so he is repeating his implied accusation that the original police did lie. Although possible, at present I feel they are less likely to have taken the risk to lie but, if they did, Bernard Hogan-Howe has also risked his position by publicly expressing the same view.

    We’re probably discussing angels on pins but the stakes for the police service from the policies of Mitchell’s party are so high that perhaps premature judgments must inevitably be made on only the current evidence and its dissection.’

    No, what you appear to be doing is making the ‘argument from incredulity’. I.e., ‘it would be crazy to think those officers could believe they would get away with such an implausible accusation if it *weren’t* true, so it *must* be true’. Sorry, but you’re ignoring statistics, which suggest that a small percentage of cops sometimes do really stupid things, and those really stupid things are more likely to be picked up on than everyday, run of the mill, genuine stuff.

    This ‘really stupid thing’ that needs covering up, may be that these officers had no right to stop Mitchell from using that gate, and exaggerations about his behaviour, which he has no means to refute, were an attempt to muddy the water *just* enough to get off the hook, which might have worked if it hadn’t gone so public so quickly. If that’s not so, then maybe someone will finally answer the question about the use of the gate.

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  33. I fail to see why two police officers would risk their jobs/ pensions by lying about this incident. It does not make sense. While Trollhunter is wildly paranoid about the police and reckons that one will happily flush his career down the toilet just to stitch Joe Public up, I have to disagree. How about just taking it at face value. Like bullies everywhere, A.M thought that no one would stand up to him, after all wasn’t he Chief whip raking in stupid amounts of cash and having his dinner paid for by the tax payer? Not bad work if you can get it. Then he has to let his ego do the talking and gets himself sacked. Who’s fault is it? Not his- it was the pesky policemen who have the audacity to say “No, sir. I can assure you that both you and your ego will fit through the pedestrian gate.”
    While some of us have been on the recieving side of some individuals who are employed by the police, that does not give us carte blanche to lump the good cops together with the swine who will take advantage of their position. To do so is foolish.
    Might just be me but if a police officer asks me to get out of/ off of my vehicle- I comply because I have nothing to hide.
    If a police officer directs me on a different route- I comply because he/ she must have a reason for doing so.
    The fact is-A.M could have just climbed off his bike and went through the side gate simply because a police officer asked him to.

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  34. Sadly an error prone summation.

    The log clearly states when the ‘altercation’ started and it was, according to that very log, during the walk from the main gate to the side gate.

    If you are going to take something, or anything that for that matter, you should make sure you have looked at the sequence.

    The Channel 4 item kept ‘exactly’ to both the video and the written account and conjoined them, the ‘problem’ is the official log doesn’t fit.

    That’s just how it goes.

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    • Sorry, mate, but it’s your own summation that’s error strewn. The exterior C4 footage didn’t even show Mitchell leaving the gate and clearly cuts off the last seconds during which the exchange was continuing just inside the pedestrian gate, as I showed by synching the footage thanks to boomerang-man.

      As I wrote in the article:

      One more thing to watch, and then we’re done. Go to video 1 at 1m32s. You see Mitchell go through the gate and then the policeman closing it. At 1m36s, you see another 2 passers-by appear from behind the pedestrian gate, outside the fence. 4 seconds.

      4 seconds. The police log states:

      Mr MITCHELL was then silent and left saying “you haven’t heard the last of this” as he cycled off.

      “As he cycled off. Those two passers-by were almost certainly witnesses to at least this parting remark, and quite possibly to more. They don’t appear on the high-angle footage – but the high-angle footage doesn’t even show the pedestrian gate through which Mitchell exited, so it wouldn’t show these two people.”

      We only know of those two people because they were walking from right to left out from behind the pedestrian gate as the interior footage shows. Anyone standing still, or standing to watch and then heading off in the other direction, wouldn’t show in the interior footage, and would not be covered by either the timing or the angle of the exterior footage.

      Why are you so keen to clear him in spite of the evidence?

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      • I suspect it is not so much attempting to clear Mitchell as attempting to reinforce the prejudice against the police. I’ve met some swine, it’s true. I’ve also met those police who would risk their life for a stranger and never ask for recognition. What we are seeing here is part of a concerted and very long term attempt to destroy the office of constable and replace it with an obedient force of profit driven private police who will do us no favours yet open any amount of gates for the patricians.

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      • There is continual video with no breaks during the few seconds that the ‘abuse’ was supposed to have occurred.

        Please read the log, the ‘abuse’ started after leaving the main gate and walking to the side gate, the fact that the kiosk was also in the way of witnesses also appears to have escaped your notice also.

        The evidence is quite clear, your bias is also quite clear.

        I am not particularly keen to clear him, I would like the police in this matter to have behaved properly, but the evidence is that they did not.

        From the log… note the sequence of events…

        “…After several refusals Mr MITCHELL got off his bike and walked to the pedestrian gate with me after I again offered to open that for him.
        There were several members of public present as is the norm opposite the pedestrian gate and as we neared it, Mr MITCHELL said: “Best you learn your f—— place…you don’t run this f—— government…You’re f—— plebs.”

        Note that the ‘abuse’ happened here according to the log and that is patently not the case.

        Your cavilling over bits of tape you can’t see is an irrelevance, the ‘abuse’ happened at that point in the course of events not in anything that is missing.

        I don’t like politicians much, no matter who you vote for a politician always gets in is my default position, but if there is clear connivance of people with authority doing something seriously wrong, then they need to be exposed for the liars they are.

        No bias, just contempt for wrong-doing.

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      • You’re wrong, I’m afraid. I think the new post, with a clear analysis of the footage on video, demonstrates that. But thanks for your comment.

        Like

  35. Trollhunterx (“What do you mean, ‘only’? The fact that someone felt it was necessary to perjure themselves to provide back-up says volumes about the reliability of the original claims.”) – the assumption is that the ‘someone’ requiring back-up or offering to perjure themselves in order to provide it, is one of the writers of the original log or someone they deliberately allowed to read it with the expectation they’d perjure themselves. Possible but not sure why probable or so certain.

    If concerned that the later email matches the log, it obviously would if someone read it but a number of people may have had access to read it so don’t yet see why its original writers must necessarily be implicated.

    If concerned that the CCTV evidence doesn’t show several passers by or that they’re shocked, others (https://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/how-the-plebgate-footage-doesnt-show-what-mitchell-c4-claim) have questioned if that can be inferred from the tapes and point out that the faces (and so expressions) are blacked out and am not sure the argument can be convincing if based mainly on their body language.

    If concerned that the log must be false because the later email makes the same (false?) claims about passers by, this isn’t a surprise – whether or not the claims are false – if the email is based on a view of the log. The assumption that the writers of the log were complicit with the emailer has not yet convinced Bernard Hogan-Howe at least, unless it is being suggested that he is also part of the conspiracy.

    Again, although possible, is this more likely than that a politician is still lying?

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  36. Trollhunterx (“The claims above about ‘public’ doubts by colleagues are revealed as semantics when scrutinised.”) plus the earlier (“Times:
    Headline: ‘Tory vice-chairman Michael Fabricant questions Mitchell account’ Text: ‘Mr Fabricant appealed on Twitter for witnesses to the altercation with police in Downing Street in September that cost Mr Mitchell his job’ All this, and *nothing* else.”) seem to be based on para 3 of only the extract of the article referred to earlier (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article3640447.ece).

    Reading the full article doesn’t give the impression that doubts by colleagues amount merely to semantics and *nothing* else. For example, in para 10:
    ‘Mr Fabricant said that the whole exchange could have taken place if timed from when Mr Mitchell first came face to face with the officers. “CCTV shows 46 second interaction between AM and Police. AM’s report only takes 20 seconds. What else was said?”‘

    Just as Andrew Mitchell has questioned the support from CCTV evidence for points made in the later email which match those made in the earlier log, it must be equally valid for others (as in this article above by skwalker1964) to question the support provided for Mitchell’s point that, as the emailer lied about himself, the log writers are likely to have lied about the use of ‘plebs’ if both they and the emailer also lied about the number of passers by being counted as ‘several’ or being visibly shocked.

    If there were sufficient passers by at some point to be termed ‘several’ and their expressions, being blacked out, can’t yet be interpreted, the case of lying against the original log writers isn’t wholly convincing to those still vaguely impartial – yet Mitchell’s whole case demands that they lied because he flatly contradicts them.

    His case might be more persuasive if his colleagues fully supported it and if Bernard Hogan-Howe had by now expressed any doubts as to the log origins himself.

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  37. Trollhunterx (“may be that these officers had no right to stop Mitchell from using that gate”). Yes, if you’re right to suspect the officers were just trying to cover up the fact that they’d lied to Andrew Mitchell about the main gate not being available, it would obviously swing opinion against the truth of other claims in the log book.

    This point is surely simple to clear up and you’d expect would have been highlighted much more by now if seriously in question. How likely it is for the officers – however bored – to have bothered lying in this way is another matter.

    I imagine they might have been tempted if already subject to a stream of abuse as AM was approaching the main gate – but even he agrees this occurred later.

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  38. Trollhunterx (“..‘argument from incredulity’. I.e., ‘it would be crazy to think those officers could believe they would get away with such an implausible accusation if it *weren’t* true, so it *must* be true’.”): no-one said it must be true, only that it seems more likely to be at present.

    Otherwise it could equally be said “..‘it would be crazy to think that Andrew Mitchell could believe he would get away with such an implausible accusation (that the log-writing officers lied) if it *weren’t* true, so it *must* be true’.”

    The arguments on both sides are surely all based on the current balance of probability or relative likelihood, considering our view of the evidence available to the public so far.

    I agree that it is highly curious that someone with access to the log felt it necessary, despite the risk to their position, to leak its contents to the press in support of those who wrote it – to refute the implied accusation by Andrew Mitchell that they lied – and that someone (else?) who lied about themselves and also with access to the logs later felt impelled to fabricate, despite the risk to their career too, a matching email for the same purpose.

    Although this could easily smell of a random conspiracy, to me these two separate interventions reek more of loyalty to the original officers, a belief in the truth of their log and an urge to refute the implied accusation that they both lied.

    This doesn’t mean that, even if it’s crazy to suppose that both officers at the gate believed they could get away with it if the log weren’t true, that therefore the accusations made in the log and email must be true.

    Also, regarding the statement much further above, that “the footage [..] does throw doubt on the officers’ statements, because a liar apparently had access to those statements.”, seems illogical in the same way as if someone else were to claim that no doubt is justified because, of all those with access to the log, one didn’t lie.

    Nevertheless, if later evidence swings suspicion back to the log writers and does reveal a conspiracy, merciless pillorying will be back in vogue and I’ll be well pissed off, not only because I’ll need to apologise to you but also due to all this wasted holiday time..!

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  39. Correction to para 4 in last comment (because the dodgy email was sent before the full log text was leaked to papers), it should read:
    “I agree that it is highly curious that someone with access to the log felt it necessary, despite the risk to their position, to lie about themself and felt impelled to fabricate a matching email in support of those who wrote the log – to refute the implied accusation by Andrew Mitchell that they had lied – and that someone (else?), also with access to the log, later felt they must leak its contents to the press for the same purpose, despite the risk to their career too.”

    Like

  40. Pingback: Definitive video shows Plebgate should not damage confidence in police | skwalker1964·

  41. “skwalker1964 30/12/2012 at 2:31 pm · ·
    You’re wrong, I’m afraid.”

    I don’t think I am and any reasonable person viewing the footage along with the content of the log will also agree with me.

    But that is only a peripheral matter in this event.

    The further and greater problem is the connivance of an officer in the same unit compounding the lie in the log by appearing as a coincident member of the public, the inference being that this imposter was one of the (quoting again from the log) members of the public that was ‘visibly shocked’ at this fictitious outburst.

    The reality of this situation is that the collusion is an attempt to ‘shuffle the cabinet’ by defamation of an individuals character.

    The most openly political of manoeuvres of a third party since the USSR left the game of politicking in the 1990s.

    Yet you appear to be completely unaware of this sinister behaviour.

    I’d like to thank you for this opportunity to voice a, perhaps, against the grain view of the matter.

    Cheers

    Gene.

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    • I agree that the matter of the fake email – if proven – is very serious.

      However, it has no bearing on whether the footage agrees with the log – and it substantially appears to.

      You’re making way too big a leap to jump from one ‘rogue’ action after the fact to inferring a conspiracy to bring down an ‘innocent’ cabinet member.

      There is no demonstrated connection between the events at the gate and the officer(s) who wrote the report and the author of the fake email, if it’s proven to be fake.

      If the video footage exonerates anyone, it’s the police at the gate.

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      • The fake email is just a form of ‘sexing up’ the log, which itself is at best now suspected of being a bit laissez faire with the actualite.

        It is not a leap, it is a simple step, the fake email came from a fellow officer doing the same duty as the officer that made the log at the time, remember the connection is a very strong one in that regard.

        Vendettas are not the exclusive domain of the Mafia.

        The video footage shows the events were to some extent fabricated in the log, that fabricated version was then leavened with the email.

        I grew up in an era where it was inculcated in me to respect the law and its enforcement, I have no criminality in all my years, not even points on my driving licence from day one of its issue.

        The plain fact is that I am witness to an outright corruption of police methods and practices, it needs to be stamped on firmly.

        The police in this matter look to have behaved like common criminals, fabrication and bearing false witness are serious matters, really serious matters even outside of the police force, but inside it?

        It’s not looking good in simple terms of honesty, trust and integrity, in broader aspects it has sinister undertones that should concern all who have borne witness to this event.

        Thanks again, for your continued tolerance.

        I take no pleasure in the police wrong-doing in this instance

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      • “The video footage shows the events were to some extent fabricated in the log, that fabricated version was then leavened with the email.”

        But that’s exactly the point. It shows no such thing, as I’ve shown in my latest post.

        Like

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