Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


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Thursday 6 February 2014

609: Plebgate

It is not easy for me to explain why I have resisted the urge to comment on this farce; all the traditional (for me) elements were present after all!


[pli-be-uh-n] Show IPA

belonging or pertaining to the common people.
of, pertaining to, or belonging to the ancient Roman plebs.
common, commonplace, or vulgar: a plebeian joke.

So the rather unprepossessing Police Constable Keith Wallis has been sentenced to a year in what he probably knows as "the slammer."  His defence counsel informed the court that his client had been "suffering from mental health problems" and in addition he was alleged to have been drunk at the time of the offence.

 Keith Wallis
 The unprepossessing P.C. Keith Wallis.  Image BBC

There are one or two matters arising from this case.

First (being serious) this officer was a member of the Diplomatic Protection Squad; if it is true that Wallis had the  "mental health problems" claimed, then why was he employed in such a sensitive division of the Police Force?  Indeed, why was he in the Police at all?  Do these diplomatic protection officers carry arms?  As Private Eye likes to ask from time to time, I think we should be told.

Second, much was made of Mr Andrew Mitchell's swearing and especially use of the word "plebs."  Where's the problem?  I would be willing to bet that the individuals concerned are indeed plebeians as are the majority of the population; why the sensitivity?

I can offer an answer to the rhetorical question that concluded my last paragraph, thereby I suppose, de-rhetoricising it.  I offer the explanation that whilst it is perfectly acceptable in these so-called democratic times to abuse individuals for being "posh," "snobs," for having attended a public school, or for membership of e.g. The Bullingdon Club, any reference to the lower classes in any sense perceived by said lower classes as derogatory, is practically a crime.

Double standards again I fear; quelle surprise.

Actually, I suggest that the greatest shock is the revelation that a member of the police lied!  Ho ho ho.

Until the next time.

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