/ Plebgate Again

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The New NickB - on 04 Dec 2013
PC Roland is going to sue Andrew MItchell.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25216627
balmybaldwin - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

Some people don't know when to shut up do they?
MG - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

How does this work? Does Mitchell have to prove that Roland lied?
Wiley Coyote - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
No. Mitchell has to prove that what he said was true BUT since Mitchell is already suing the Sun, who will have to prove that what they reported was true, (they may also bring the public interest into it) either way it's going to get complicated and messy. Mitchell's press conference had the definite air of him throwing down to a challenge to PC Roland to sue him.

Worst case is the two cases are heard separately and produce contradictory results so nobody knows where they stand.
Post edited at 18:01
johncoxmysteriously - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Humorous aside - the Mitchell -v- Sun case has been the subject of a very widely reported (and absurd) Court of Appeal judgment, as a result of which Mitchell isn't going to recover his £500k costs even if he wins, as a result of a minor procedural slip by his solicitors. This is the result of some absolutely bonkers reforms to the procedural requirements for civil cases, which I won't trouble you with.

jcm
The Lemming - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

Plebgate

The gift that just keeps giving.
Wiley Coyote - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

But haven't Mitchell's solicitors put their hand up and said it was their fault and he will not suffer? I took that to mean the case will go ahead and they will take the hit on fees.
toad - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

That judgment (and those reforms) have really messed my wife around. However, this particular turn of events really doesn't show the law in a good light.

Donkey? Mule? Burro? what's the word I'm search for?
Jimbo W on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Is this just the ego of Roland? If he did lie, why would he sue? Is it because he thinks he can get away with it? If Mitchell lied, why would he throw down the challenge? I really don't know what to think.. ..except that I don't trust either party!
Wiley Coyote - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Serious question John, why are the reforms bonkers? I've only been following this very vaguely on the Beeb website but as I understood it various deadlines have been brought in to stop cases dragging on, something which many people will agree with. The solicitors in this case(for whatever reason) missed the deadline for filing re costs and the judge ruled that meant they can't have costs. The Court of Appeal agreed and said if they did not impose the penalty it made a mockery of the deadlines.
But I suspect you have been taking more careful note of this than I have (You'd have all on to have been taking less really).
johncoxmysteriously - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

>I took that to mean the case will go ahead and they will take the hit on fees.

Well, they won't, of course. Their insurers will. The legal insurance profession will then be putting up its premiums, which will mean that solicitors' overheads go up, which means that their fees will go up, which means that litigation will become still more prohibitively expensive.

jcm
Wiley Coyote - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

You'd have to ask them that. But it happens and always has. Oscar Wilde ended up in Reading Jail because he sued for libel and details of his homosexuality came out in court. If he'd not sued he might have remained a free man. On a more recent note, Gillian Taylforth, the Eastenders actress, may also have some thoughts on the wisdom is issuing libel writs.
George Carmen, the best libel barrister I ever sawa in action, always used to say: Don't sue. You never know where it will go.
toad - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

I'd be interested to know the Police Federation position on this turn of events. Is Off Duty still around?
johncoxmysteriously - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

The reforms in question require the filing of enormously detailed costs information way in advance of trial and, as we've seen, a delay of a week in doing so is going to have draconian consequences. They won't stop cases dragging on at all. They're supposed to stop litigation being so expensive. They are bonkers for more reasons than I have time to explain, but here are two:

1. A child can see that if you add in more layers of procedural requirements to comply with the cost of litigation will go up rather than down.

2. The delay of a week in fact affected nothing in any way, but the other side was obliged to pretend that it did, in order to secure the result they did. Everyone in the courtroom will have known this, even probably the judge. This makes a mockery of the law.

I could go on but I have to go out.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Oh, and 3, the forms are naturally totally useless. Any decent solicitor knows how much litigation costs anyway and will have informed his client of this, far more accurately than the court can manage, long before the forms are filed. They're a stupid charade. This is not a controversial view, incidentally - I went to a conference recently where a leading QC who specialises in this area agreed with the suggestion from the floor that this was the case, but basically said that the powers that be want this nonsense so we'll have to do it.

jcm
Wiley Coyote - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to toad:

> I'd be interested to know the Police Federation position on this turn of events.

Presumbly they are bankrolling the action as his union. Can't see a PC issuing a libel writ at his own expense. Far too risky and expensive. Especially as he will presumably be a key witness in the case against the Sun anyway. As an outsider the whole Roland v Mitchell seems an unnecessary and expensive duplication unless it's all going to end up in a you drop your cae and we'll drop ours bit of legal horse trading.

Wiley Coyote - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Ta. That's a bit clearer.
Paul F - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

> Presumbly they are bankrolling the action as his union.

The Police Federation is a staff association. Police officers are prohibited, by law, from joining a trade union.

But yes I imagine they will be providing the legal fees.
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

>but as I understood it various deadlines have been brought in to stop cases dragging on, something which many people will agree with.

Dishonest propaganda. The only thing, or at any rate by far the most significant thing, that causes litigation to take so long is the fact there are not enough judges and court staff and consequently an action set down for trial now will come on for trial in eight months' time. There are now some more delays built into the system by the same reforms that are trumpeted as 'stopping cases dragging on', but by far the most important factor is the above. If cases could be heard one week after being listed, litigants and solicitors could and would be ready. The reason they aren't is the failure of the government to provide enough resources to make it happen (not that I'm necessarily saying they should, just pointing out the reason it doesn't).

jcm
Wiley Coyote - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
It's many a long year since I sat in a courtroom, in fact on reflection probably abut 30, but back then it was astonishingly common for cases to be delayed or even collapse because lawyers had failed to produce essential documents or witnesses. Judges used to become very exasperated over these basic errors, often by the prosecution. I should say that most of my court work was criminal rather than civil.
JimR - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

Mitchell seems to be a truly obnoxious bully and I hope he gets his comeuppance. The police seems to have been shot in the foot by an overly helpful colleague planting evidence.This does'nt actually mean that the alleged event never took place.
Simon4 - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to JimR:
> Mitchell seems to be a truly obnoxious bully

Do you know anything about him other than biased reporting (basically a hatchet job), about this incident by his political opponents in the Guardian-BBC-Labour party, not to mention overt and utterly disreputable political meddling and lying by the Police Federation? Had you ever heard of him before this incident? Do you not realise that most professional politicians of any stripe are not exactly "nice" people, consider Ed Balls, Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband etc and could equally be subject to a similar hatchet job given the sort of control of the media agenda that the Guardian-BBC have, if the Guardian-BBC decided to make a target of them? (which of course, given its political sympathies, it won't).

Do you recall the hatchet job on Lord McAlpine by the Guardian-BBC (and of course quite a number of users of this website who are noted for their supposed high-mindedness and who were beside themselves with glee), publically reviled as a paedophile who was completely innocent, but that was no protection at all against character assassination, just because he was presumed guilty due to his political history?

Are you in fact a knee-jerk tribalist who is incredibly easy to manipulate and cannot think for themselves?
Post edited at 10:23
ByEek - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to JimR:

> Mitchell seems to be a truly obnoxious bully

To be fair, we don't know him. He has certainly been portrayed as an obnoxious bully in the press but all those close to him who have offered a defence have said otherwise. I think that probably, most people are decent folks, and when pushed one way or the other, most people show an obnoxious side. Just go driving and you will see what I mean.
JimR - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to Simon4:

> Do you know anything about him other than biased reporting (basically a hatchet job), about this incident by his political opponents in the Guardian-BBC-Labour party, not to mention overt and utterly disreputable political meddling and lying by the Police Federation? Had you ever heard of him before this incident? Do you not realise that most professional politicians of any stripe are not exactly "nice" people, consider Ed Balls, Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband etc and could equally be subject to a similar hatchet job given the sort of control of the media agenda that the Guardian-BBC have, if the Guardian-BBC decided to make a target of them? (which of course, given its political sympathies, it won't).

> Are you in fact a knee-jerk tribalist who is incredibly easy to manipulate and cannot think for themselves?


Actually he was a family friend of a mate of mine.


next!

tony on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to JimR:
Even if he is an obnoxious bully, that doesn't mean anything in relation to the incident. When you say
'This does'nt [sic] actually mean that the alleged event never took place.'
you might equally say
'This doesn't actually mean that the alleged event ever took place.'
Post edited at 10:23
johncoxmysteriously - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Criminal trials are different for a whole variety of reasons. Civil trials never collapse because one party isn’t ready; that party just suffers. The only sensible reform the authorities have made in the last decade of non-stop procedural changes has been to declare that trials will basically never, ever, be moved once fixed, short of mortal illness or the like.

jcm
galpinos - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to Simon4:

Simon, I realise you hate the Guardian with a passion but I do think you over estimate it's influence. It's the 12th most popular paper in the UK, the Sun has 10 times the circulation, the Mail 9 times, the Mirror 5 times, even the Daily Record sells more copies.

I know you love to hate them but, really?

(I concede this doesn't take into account web based readership)
wbo - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to JimR: Rather than just a 'helpful colleague planting evidence' (which is a damning indictment of police corrpuption), so far every piece of the police story seems to be from fairyland. Just because Mitchell's unpleasant (in one persons opinion) is irrelevant.

I wonder why PC Rowland is doing this, but probably feels he's getting increasingly rough justice in the media, and needs to clear his name. I hope he has a better story than any spun so far.

johncoxmysteriously - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to wbo:

Actually, for the police to be doing this is incredible. The Police Federation has clearly no desire whatever to be seen as a responsible organisation. They've already been conclusively shown to have lied; the only reason their officers aren't being disciplined and hopefully sacked is, as I understand it, that their lies weren't connected with police as opposed to union business, and still they want to go on digging a bigger hole.

I do try to support the police, but they go out of their way over and over and over again to make it hard.

jcm
JimR - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to wbo:

if you're going to quote do it properly.

The "overly" in front of the phrase changes the whole nature and tone of the sentence.


That particular policeman's actions were deploreable, however if you read the transcripts and follow the timeline of the rest of it , I'm struggling to see what else was incorrect. Depending on the camp you are in your perception of the transcripts will vary. Pleae bear in mind that verbal exchanges are only 10% of communication and, as demonstrated by his ex-position of chief whip, Mitchell is a master of communication and manipulation.
ads.ukclimbing.com
wbo - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to JimR:

Time will tell. In this case the verbal communication is not just 10%, and Mr Mitchell seems to believe the filmed timeline doesn't fit the original story.

Perhaps the mysterious onlooking (but invisible to camera) tourists will come forward?
Paul F - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to wbo:

> Time will tell. In this case the verbal communication is not just 10%, and Mr Mitchell seems to believe the filmed timeline doesn't fit the original story.

> Perhaps the mysterious onlooking (but invisible to camera) tourists will come forward?

From the CPS who had the full facts from Operation Alice -

We have been supplied with previously unseen and unedited footage of the incident from five different cameras. The CCTV footage does not determine the issue completely as it could be consistent with either the accounts of the officer on the gate or Mr Mitchell. It is clear from the footage that there was sufficient time for the words to have been said either as described by the gate officer or as described by Mr Mitchell, and this has been confirmed by an expert. The fact that an expert has confirmed what is possible does not of itself determine the issue. Both the officer and Mr Mitchell agree that the officer warned him about swearing and that Mr Mitchell made a further remark on leaving. There is no sound recording and the faces of the officer and Mr Mitchell cannot be seen sufficiently clearly. It does show that there are a small number of members of the public present immediately in front of the gate at the relevant time, but what cannot be seen is how many people were immediately off camera but in the vicinity, at least some of whom then quickly came into view. This is consistent with the officer’s account that several members of the public were present. No officer ever mentioned “crowds” being present – this was first mentioned in Channel 4 News/Dispatches programmes in December 2012 and February 2013 – which showed edited footage that was less than clear in a number of regards.

http://blog.cps.gov.uk/2013/11/cps-decisions-in-operation-alice-incident-at-downing-street-on-19-sep...
teflonpete - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to galpinos:

> Simon, I realise you hate the Guardian with a passion but I do think you over estimate it's influence. It's the 12th most popular paper in the UK, the Sun has 10 times the circulation, the Mail 9 times, the Mirror 5 times, even the Daily Record sells more copies.

> I know you love to hate them but, really?

> (I concede this doesn't take into account web based readership)

How many people in influential positions amongst politicians, law-makers, policy-makers, education departments etc read The Sun?

Maybe The Guardian doesn't have as much sway with the voting public to get a Labour government elected, but it does have quite a lot of sway within middle class left wing sections of society who filled the jobs listed above when New Labour were in power.
Gordon Stainforth - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to Paul F:

It's extremely hard to believe that PC Roland would be doing this if the Police Federation doesn't believe that he has an extremely good chance of winning. Their reputation has already been very badly dented, and if he were to lose the case, they would look even more foolish. This suggests to me that they have at least one witness, possibly several, to corroborate Roland's version of the events.
The New NickB - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to teflonpete:

Mitchell is taking the Sun to court not the Guardian and whilst the BBC were responsible for the mistake whilst implicated McAlpine in child abuse, it was the Guardian that revealed that it was a case of unchecked mistaken identity.

This would lead most sensible people to think that in the case of the Guardian at least, Simon's essays are more than a little partisan and not based on real events.
Jim Hamilton - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

or perhaps their reputation is so badly dented they have nothing to lose, and are hoping "attack is the best form of defence"
Jimbo W on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to galpinos:

> Simon, I realise you hate the Guardian with a passion but I do think you over estimate it's influence. It's the 12th most popular paper in the UK, the Sun has 10 times the circulation, the Mail 9 times, the Mirror 5 times, even the Daily Record sells more copies.

Its not so much the circulation, its that they tend to hit the bullseye that erks Simon4 so!
Wiley Coyote - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

> its that they tend to hit the bullseye that erks Simon4 so!

Yeah, but only the bull's left eye. To get the right eye you need the Torygraph

j0ntyg on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

The only thing, or at any rate by far the most significant thing, that causes litigation to take so long is the fact there are not enough judges and court staff and consequently an action set down for trial now will come on for trial in eight months' time.
> jcm

Also lack of interpreters.

j0ntyg on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

> It's many a long year since I sat in a courtroom, in fact on reflection probably abut 30, I should say that most of my court work was criminal rather than civil.
Does that mean that you have been banged up for the last 30 years, or what?



johncoxmysteriously - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to j0ntyg:

Really? Criminal maybe, but in civil I've never known it cause any trouble.

jcm
Wiley Coyote - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to j0ntyg:

> Does that mean that you have been banged up for the last 30 years, or what?

They are very strict about double parking round here
j0ntyg on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

> They are very strict about double parking round here.

So you know this miscreant jcm. He must be the notorious double parker I read about 30 years ago. I wondered what had happened to him when the media stopped writing about him. Serves him right I say. So does colonel blimp next door.

The New NickB - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

> Yeah, but only the bull's left eye. To get the right eye you need the Torygraph

I don't think either are particularly reliable in that sense, but I think Simon's issue with the Guardian is simply that it exists.
teflonpete - on 05 Dec 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> Mitchell is taking the Sun to court not the Guardian and whilst the BBC were responsible for the mistake whilst implicated McAlpine in child abuse, it was the Guardian that revealed that it was a case of unchecked mistaken identity.

> This would lead most sensible people to think that in the case of the Guardian at least, Simon's essays are more than a little partisan and not based on real events.

Sorry Nick, my comment wasn't about this case in particular, but about which sections of society each paper appeals to and influences. It wasn't a criticism of either paper. My response was to galipinos, who seemed to be asserting that the Guardian had no influence because its circulation was too small. My point is that although its circulation may be small, it is largely read by people on the intellectual left who have positions of responsibility / power in shaping our society and provision of state services in much the same way that the Telegraph or FT influence the middle class right.
Post edited at 15:38

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