This week’s Hypocrite of the Week is Vice Chair of the Police Federation, Simon Reed.
A few weeks ago the former Conservative Chief Whip, Andrew Mitchell and a policeman on duty at Downing Street got into an argument and Mr. Mitchell is accused of calling the bobby a “pleb”. Immediately after, Mitchell apologised, the bobby accepted the apology and the Conservatives leadership called for everyone to draw a line under the incident and move on.
The Police Federation didn’t agree and made sure the subject stayed in the news until, after the leaking of the official police transcript of the conversation, Mr. Mitchel was forced to resign.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Friday morning Simon Reed was asked about the leaking of the transcript and claimed that we didn’t know if the leak had come from the police. The presenter, Sarah Montague, pointed out that it was an official police transcript and so must have come from the police. She asked whether this sort of thing had to end. Mr. Reed ducked and weaved and moaned that everyone is doing it and it’s unfair to pick on the police and then uttered the words which won his award. He claimed that “Now we need to draw a line, we’ve moved on”.
When Mr. Mitchell called the policeman the pleb two woman police officers had just been shot dead and the role of the police as brave defenders of society was upper most in the public consciousness. In this context a toff calling a brave bobby a pleb seemed grotesque. However, just a little earlier, the Hillsborough Independent Panel had released it’s finding into the Hillsborough Disaster and found that 164 witness statements had been altered by the police and 116 statements unfavourable to the Police had been removed. Put in this light the pleb comment seems like just one part of the discredited British establishment fighting with another.
If we couldn’t draw after Mitchell’s apology then why should we draw a line when we discover yet more illegal activity by the police?
Simon Reed is a hypocrite and should resign.