Whipgate - So Andrew Mitchell was told not to use the Vehicle gate on his bike...

by alotronic   September 25, 2012  

All this hot water Andrew Mitchell is getting into was apparently caused because a police woman told him to use the pedestrian gate, not the vehicle gate when he was cycling out of Number 10. His line was that he had always ridden through the vehicle gate previously.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/9563847/Police-log...

So yes, he's a prat, but I'm not sure that I wouldn't have done the same thing if busy-bodied by a PC over something so trivial - though my class wouldn't have shown as much!

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If you look at the gates to Downing Street there are the main big gates and outside of them are another set of barriers, both of which have to be opened to allow traffic through whereas the side gate is simply a side gate.

The problem is he didnt want to get off his bike and walk through the side gate and automatically expected to have both sets of main gates opened.

The man is a buffoon (i wont use swear words even though he fits the bill to use them) and he has no place in any govt position with the attitude he has. He should be reported for sect 5 poa for using foul and abusive language in a public place and forced to resign.

However he is one of the bum chum friends of cameron and osborne so he is safe. Angry Angry

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2642 posts]
25th September 2012 - 7:36

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Stumpy, if he had been riding a motorbike and not a bicycle the police would have opened the gates. He was quite right to be annoyed, although extremely stupid to be annoyed in the way he acted. The police were being a) lazy, b) discriminatory against cyclists and c)wrong.

Don't we all hate "cyclist dismount" signs?

I don't like his politics either, but it is noticeable that appear to be more bicycling Tory and Lib Dem MPs than Labour ones.

Edgeley

posted by Edgeley [156 posts]
25th September 2012 - 7:53

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Edgeley: how were the Police being lazy, they have protocols to follow and will do regardless of who comes to the gates.

There is a perfectly suitable gate at the side which people with bikes use on a regular basis and the fact he was on a bike and not a motorbike has nothing to do with it.

And to say he was perfectly entitled to get annoyed is nonsense. Why would anyone get annoyed over being told "sorry you will have to use the side gate" which is about 6 foot away. He was simply trying to use his position in govt to get them to change their mind and when they didnt he became abusive.

I agree you have a point about more cons than others cycling and it would be great if even more cycled but that has nothing to do with the post.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2642 posts]
25th September 2012 - 8:03

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Edit - apologies you didnt say "entitled to get annoyed" my mistake but you did say he was quite right to get annoyed, which i still disagree with. Big Grin

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2642 posts]
25th September 2012 - 8:05

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I guess it all comes down to prior use - if he has been cycling in and out of the vehicle gate for years and then gets told to use the pleb, sorry pedestrian gate then... he's still a prat but I could empathise a little..

I guess there's a question there for a sleuth - what do the regulations say? If he just wanted ministerial treatment where everyone else gets told to go the pleb way AND the regs say she should go through the ped gate then he is indeed as stupid as he first looks.

BTW I hope I wouldn't reserve this kind of judgement just for Tories, but it is fun watching them get picked off for things 'just like normal people'. As said above it's good to see MPs on bikes, maybe they are part human after all? Lets hope so, for all our sakes.

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posted by alotronic [242 posts]
25th September 2012 - 8:32

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If as he claims he normally uses the vehicular gate, why on this occasion was he told not to? The police officers on 'guard' never look that busy? My worry is that two people who you should normally be able to trust to tell the truth (even if it is an economical version) are claiming different versions of events? The stories are not compatible either he said it or not; I do not know AM or the layout to have an opinion as to his attitude or whether they should have opened the gates or not. The vast majority of police officers are great but some do satisfy AM's description shall we say?

posted by SideBurn [763 posts]
25th September 2012 - 8:41

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It's the police, they're doing an important job and if the letter of the statutes or whatever says he has to use the pedestrian gate then that's what it says. If other police had been lenient with him in the past, or whether he got through behind other traffic when the gates were already open, that doesn't matter. The police were just doing their job.

What bothers me more than the 'pleb' comments or the general abuse is the comment:

Quote:
you learn your f------ place . . . you don’t run this f------ government

It just shows that he thinks because he's an MP he's entitled to superior treatment, thinks he's better than everyone else and can abuse underlings until he gets what he wants. That really bothers me because really, he works for us, he works for the people of this country and his place is determined by those who vote for him, he's also paid to be an MP through my taxes just like the police therefore his role is not so different, he serves the public. That he thinks otherwise isn't a surprise but his public school atitude of being better than the common man offends me.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
25th September 2012 - 8:48

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Mitchell was on a bike. A bike is a vehicle. He should therefore have been able to use the vehicle gate, as he had before.

There must be no compromise on the key point that a bike is a vehicle. Particularly in a place where important decisions are made.

Edgeley

posted by Edgeley [156 posts]
25th September 2012 - 9:06

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Edgeley wrote:
Mitchell was on a bike. A bike is a vehicle. He should therefore have been able to use the vehicle gate, as he had before.

There must be no compromise on the key point that a bike is a vehicle. Particularly in a place where important decisions are made.

I think your missing the point here mate, he was on a bike which he could quite easily dismount from and one of the cops would have opened the side gate and he would have been through and away, but no, he decided "i'm a politician, i want the main gate opened" and when he didnt get his own way he spat his dummy out and became a foul mouth yob.

I work at a local nick and cycle backwards and forwards to work. We have a large main gate for the cars and a side gate for pedestrians and cyclists who dismount. There is a buzzer system to get the main gate opened however the time it takes to get the gate opened we are through the side gate and on our way. Now if i had been abusive to the civilian office staff who operate the gate i would be sacked without recourse and rightly so, so what is the difference ......none Angry

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2642 posts]
25th September 2012 - 9:40

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'Open Sesame' The row over the 'Gate' is immaterial now but what was revealed was the attitude and arrogance behind the slipped masks of the tory cabinet boys.

antonio

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posted by antonio [923 posts]
25th September 2012 - 10:09

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Isn't it nice to have an appropriate use of 'gate' in a political scandal for a change?
7/10 for 'Whipgate'. Was using 'Plebgate' myself but my fave so far...
'Gategate'.

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posted by Joselito [132 posts]
25th September 2012 - 10:24

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To be fair the, "you learn your f-ing place" quote appears to be what he is alleged to have said? He admits to swearing at the officer (which is bad enough) but surely it is only a matter of time before one of these witnesses backs one story or the other? Surely the issue of exactly what was said is secondary to who is lying?

posted by SideBurn [763 posts]
25th September 2012 - 10:30

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Stumps, Not wanting to get into a bun fight over this but... if when you cycle to work an ignorant driver tells you to get off the road and use the pavement I am sure you would be peeved (and rightly so) perhaps this is yet another example of car orientated culture rearing it's ugly head with one of your colleagues telling a cyclist to use the pavement and pedestrian gate. Having said that I do believe that this has been a storm in a tea cup and swearing at anybody let alone a police officer is wrong.

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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [555 posts]
25th September 2012 - 11:22

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The guy is a twat. He was told to exit by the side gate. There was no need for his outburst. If I had have done the same I would be in cuffs and flung into the back of a landrover along with my bike. The officer was probably trying to save him time by doing so!

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posted by giff77 [1032 posts]
25th September 2012 - 11:28

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Pictorial update (NSFW, bad language) The Andrew Mitchell Horn.

This might get moderated out (fair enough) so here's the link:

http://politicalscrapbook.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/andrew-mitchell...

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posted by alotronic [242 posts]
25th September 2012 - 11:40

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i'll moderate it out when i stop spitting my coffee over my keyboard, eh. Big Grin

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7234 posts]
25th September 2012 - 12:13

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dave_atkinson wrote:
i'll moderate it out when i stop spitting my coffee over my keyboard, eh. Big Grin

Brilliant update mate Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2642 posts]
25th September 2012 - 12:21

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It is pretty offensive... I only linked to it out of a sense of duty on moving the debate forward. Plain Face

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posted by alotronic [242 posts]
25th September 2012 - 13:16

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The point is that, despite the gate, Downing Street is a road. Bikes on roads apart from motorways have the same rights as any other vehicle.

Of course it would have been easier and quicker for Mitchell just to push his bike through. But he had every right not to do so.

And there was no reason for the police guard not to open the gate for him. The Met habitually fail to take cyclists seriously, and this is another, albeit minor, example of the problem.

Not justifying the abuse. Certainly not the pleb comment.

Peter Hitchens, normally wrong on everything, is right on this in todays M**l: http://t.co/uWfcy9dl

Edgeley

posted by Edgeley [156 posts]
25th September 2012 - 13:50

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Edgeley, yes its a road and yes he has every right to be there and of course there is nothing wrong with using his bike.

However when a gate is available to use and he is told by Police - not little old mrs canny body - that he cant use the main gate just accept it and go on his way instead of being a foul mouthed prat.

The whole incident is not about using bikes on roads or not being allowed to use your bike its all to do with him trying to use his influence as a minister over the Police to get what he wants and when he doesn't he produces a string of foul mouthed abuse at the very people who he would expect to come running to his aid if the "shit hit the fan". Thats what its about, the bike is inconsequential in all this.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2642 posts]
25th September 2012 - 14:02

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Have to agree with stumps, this is a story about an arrogant toff who thinks he's better than the 'common man'' and who threatened to use his influence against a policeman to try and get his own way. I don't see the reason behind turning this into another 'cyclists are a discriminated against minority' story. There's plenty of stories that fit that bill.without having to co-opt this one.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
25th September 2012 - 14:10

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ISTR reading that the policy is for pedal cycles to be let out using the side gate.

If you disagree with the policy, you campaign to change it, you don't swear at the people who have to implement it.

IMO.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

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posted by John_the_Monkey [417 posts]
25th September 2012 - 20:18

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