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Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

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Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by skwalker1964 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:15 pm

Posted on my blog yesterday, and already among the most-read posts of the year. Original, including links, is at: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Dear Mr Mitchell,

My facial muscles are getting a bit tired, and it’s all your fault. I’ve been alternating over the last few days between a wry smile and open-mouthed disbelief at the counter-offensive you and your pals have been trying to mount over the whole ‘plebgate’ saga.

The BBC News Channel, and various newspapers, have been featuring prominently the claims, by you and a cadre of your mates, that the recently-disclosed CCTV footage of the incident ‘exonerates’ you. You’ve apparently claimed you were ‘stitched up’ and that the ‘awful, toxic language’ was

hung round my neck in a concerted attempt to toxify the Conservative party and destroy my political career.

while one of your allies has written extensively about the matter, implying that it happened because of a ‘cancer’ of corruption in the police force.

I’m afraid you go too far, and on more than one count.

Evidence and absence

First and foremost, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. I’ve watched the CCTV footage, and (and this is where the mouth-opening disbelief tends to take over from the wry smile for a while) I haven’t seen anything that remotely ‘exonerates’ you. The footage has no sound, and neither the necessary angles nor the clarity to allow any lip-reading.

It does not in any way prove that you didn’t say ‘f***ing plebs’ and the rest of it. It does seem to show that there wasn’t a small crowd of onlookers, which undermines the email supposedly from a member of the public that there was. Or at least, that one angle does – for other angles and an outstanding analysis of the footage from other angles, see this blog post by Gracie Samuels, though I warn you, you might not enjoy it.

However, for the moment let’s take the footage you’re clinging to as definitive, for the sake of argument. While it’s very shocking (if true) that a fake email was written by a police officer (whose grammar and spelling you criticise – I trust mine will meet with your lofty standards, even if it is written by a proud pleb), all it proves is that the police went too far in trying to vindicate themselves after you denied using the words. It does not prove that you didn’t say it.

Of course, it doesn’t prove that you did, either. But you’re going far too far by saying, and having your friends say on your behalf, that it exonerates you. It does nothing of the sort.

It still all comes down to claim and counter-claim, and I have to say that I’d generally take the word of even a bent copper over that of a minister from this government – and there is nothing at all to suggest that the police officer at the gate is bent or even mistaken. For you already to be claiming that you’re now exonerated and should have your old job back smacks of desperation, mixed with a good dollop of the very arrogance that makes it so easy for everyone to believe that you did say ‘f***ing pleb’, ‘You think you run the **** country’ and so on.

What adds to my conviction that you almost certainly did say what you’re accused of saying is your absolute, adamantine refusal – in spite of repeated challenges – to say publicly what you did say. You see, if I found myself in your situation and was wrongly accused, I’d make sure everyone knew, word for word, exactly what I did say. This would counterbalance the words I was falsely accused of saying and would give the media something else to chew on and regurgitate instead of the constant repetition of the ‘false’ words as truth. I’d do this as a private individual, and I’d most certainly do it as a politician, if I were such.

Yet you, while admitting in vague terms that you did swear at the police officer, consistently refused to elaborate publicly what else you said – even when asked in Parliament to do so. Parliamentary privilege would have allowed you complete freedom not only to say what you did say without fear of contradiction by the police or media, but even to accuse the police in stinging terms of the ‘stitch-up’. It appears you told a police federation panel that you’d said ‘I thought you were supposed to f***ing help us’, but even when their spokesman didn’t make it clear that you’d explained even that far, you didn’t cry ‘foul’ and didn’t bring out the recording you’d made of the session.

Of course, at that point you didn’t know about the video footage, so perhaps you were worried that these witnesses would turn up and verify that you had said what you were accused of saying. That would be an understandable reason for not vindicating yourself vehemently while you still had the Chief Whip’s job, while you were prepared to tell the police federation (nobody has said you were under oath, as far as I can tell) an edited version of what you said in the hope that it would go away. There might be one, but I can’t think of another scenario that fits the facts.

Toxic Tories

The other way in which you went too far – and here the wry smile starts to predominate again – is in suggesting that this incident ‘toxified’ your party. To that, I would ask you: ‘Can you ‘toxify’ arsenic, or strychnine, or anything else that’s already poisonous?‘

Your party is toxic because of its sustained assault on the most vulnerable in our society while it heaps advantage on the already-privileged; because of its proven links to media and business interests that it then goes on to promote; because of its readiness to demonise anyone as a prelude to stripping them of the little they have, in order to win the support of the foolish and gullible; because of its willingness to lie for the sake of a soundbite; and yes, because of the palpable arrogance of its representatives.

You don’t ‘toxify’ what’s already toxic. Instead, you label it so that no one takes it by mistake. The label doesn’t change what’s in the pot or bottle – it just makes it clearer to everyone what it contains.

That’s all that ‘plebgate’ has done. Whatever the truth about that specific incident, few of us really doubt that most, if not all, of the Tories in Parliament do consider ordinary people plebs or worse. It’s perfectly obvious in the statements your colleagues make in Parliament and elsewhere, in the decisions you take and who suffers from them – and who benefits.

So please, reel yourself and your chums in just a little on the ‘stitched up’ rhetoric. It’s possible someone in the police crossed the line in his/her zeal to vindicate a fellow-officer, but you weren’t ‘stitched up’. You – and your Parliamentary colleagues – have simply been exposed. Shown more clearly for what you are.

That’s a different thing entirely.
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:41 pm

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attack is the best form of defence


The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
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How the 'Plebgate' footage doesn't show what Mitchell & C4 claim

Post by skwalker1964 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:26 pm

Original at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - if I can't get the videos to work here, please go to the blog for those:

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

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Video 2: from Channel 4 news

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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.

'Exoneration' 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.

'Exoneration' 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 usREALLY 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 say 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.

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.
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by tlttf on Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:13 am

Gosh Steve, this is going on about making an apology awfully long.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year. Very Happy

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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by skwalker1964 on Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:58 am

tlttf wrote:Gosh Steve, this is going on about making an apology awfully long.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year. Very Happy

Same to you! But I'm sorry, I can't parse your other comment to know what you're saying.
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by Phil Hornby on Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:08 pm

I tend to find that a rough translation of anything a Tory apologist says is, essentially : " We are better than you and we want to remove as much as possible from the pockets of the poor..." Shocked
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by Redflag on Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:27 pm

Phil Hornby wrote:I tend to find that a rough translation of anything a Tory apologist says is, essentially : " We are better than you and we want to remove as much as possible from the pockets of the poor..." Shocked

Every word you have said in your post PH is true, but you will not get a Tory or tory voter to admit too it although they know its true its in there blood and Ideology of the Tory party. I would imagine when Labour get into power in 2015 or sooner that is when we will find out exactly where the taxpayers money has been wasted and how many Tory donors have got a contract for their business, I only hope that Ed Miliband tells these people to go take a HIKE or refers them back to Scam..er..on.
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by Ivan on Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:16 pm

tlttf wrote:-
Gosh Steve, this is going on about making an apology awfully long.
While on the subject of apologies, I'm still waiting to read your one to Margaret Hodge MP, after you libelled her on this forum. No doubt you couldn't wait to post what turned out to be a pack of lies about her, yet you seem very reluctant to withdraw your comments, even though your source, 'The Daily Telegraph', has done as much.
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by Redflag on Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:00 am

Ivan wrote:
tlttf wrote:-
Gosh Steve, this is going on about making an apology awfully long.
While on the subject of apologies, I'm still waiting to read your one to Margaret Hodge MP, after you libelled her on this forum. No doubt you couldn't wait to post what turned out to be a pack of lies about her, yet you seem very reluctant to withdraw your comments, even though your source, 'The Daily Telegraph', has done as much.

The reason he has not withdrawn his statement is he knows when Labour get into power they will find a large amount of scandalous fiddles, that have went on during the Tory gov't time in office and will need all the lies about Labour MPs to cover up his own parties FAILURES.
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Definitive analysis shows Plebgate video does not undermine police credibility

Post by skwalker1964 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:12 pm

Original is at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

The Chair of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, is quoted in today’s Sunday Telegraph and on BBC News as saying that

Public confidence in the police has been shaken after failures over the way officers responded to the Hillsborough disaster, and new disclosures over the “Plebgate” controversy

and calling for a public inquiry into policing.

Nobody can question that the Hillsborough disaster was a catastrophe for those affected by it, or that it cast South Yorkshire police in a very grim light. But to put that tragedy – which happened over 2 decades ago – alongside ‘disclosures over the “Plebgate” controversy” in order to describe public confidence in the police as ‘shaken’ is to give the supposed ‘disclosures’, by former Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell and his supporters via Channel 4′s ‘Dispatches’ programme, a weight and credence that they simply do not deserve.

The BBC News channel went further. Showing a very brief clip of the CCTV footage of Andrew Mitchell leaving Downing Street, a commentator’s voiceover today says:

This CCTV footage of a brief encounter in Downing St between police officers and Andrew Mitchell MP raised new questions about the police role in the ‘Plebgate’ row.

I wrote, in the very early hours of Christmas morning, about this footage – and how a proper analysis of it reveals that it is very far from corroborating the claims of Mr Mitchell and his allies of ‘exoneration’.

That post has, to date, been the 2nd-most read post since I started this blog, so clearly ‘Plebgate’ is a matter of significant public interest – and one which Mr Mitchell and his supporters are now evidently keen to use to turn public opinion against the police so that he can campaign to get his old job back, or perhaps another senior ministerial post.

I believe that a careful watching of the CCTV footage shows clearly that the police log is not demonstrated to be untrue by it. However, a few comments on the blog post and on Twitter have made me think that perhaps the matter needs to be made clearer still.

So, I’ve spent the last day or so trying to learn a few new (and very basic) video-editing skills, in order to be able to put the footage and my commentary together in a single, straightforward video to shine a more accurate light on the CCTV images than I believe has been done by ‘Dispatches’, by BBC News, or by any other of the mainstream media so far.

Until and unless Mr Mitchell, or someone else, is prepared to provide the full, uncut footage from every CCTV camera with a view of the gate at the relevant time, including sound where available, I believe that this video can claim to be the definitive analysis of the footage made available so far.

I hope the fact that this is no doubt a very amateurish first attempt will not distract you from the evidence itself!

Please note that the video has no sound – intentionally, to let the images speak for themselves without distracting commentary by Mr Mitchell or any TV presenters:

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Dispatches 'Plebgate' #2 adds nothing new. So why make it?

Post by skwalker1964 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:34 am

See [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] for version with links.

A little while ago, I wrote two posts analysing the ‘Plebgate’ CCTV footage and showing that the spin put on it by Michael Crick of Channel 4′s Dispatches programme was not consistent with a proper viewing of the video evidence.

Monday night’s further Dispatches programme on Channel 4 was much-trailed and would supposedly ‘reveal’ a conspiracy against former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell. ‘Surely,’ I thought, ‘if they’re making a new programme about it they must have some further evidence and probably some additional video’. So I was waiting for the programme with substantial interest.

Well, it wasn’t worth the wait. As far as I could see, the show presented nothing new and substantive that actually bears on the issue of whether Mitchell called the officers at the gate ‘plebs’ or used the other phrases such as ‘we run this f***ing country, not you’. There were interviews with people friendly to Mitchell’s cause, various assertions framed as if fact even by the narrator’s voiceover and some drawing of conclusions that to me looked like the opposite of the logical ones. But nothing new that actually meant that the police log of the incident was wrong, and Mitchell was ‘innocent’.

Here are some of the ‘highlights’:

The note & email

Much was made of the fact that a brief Downing St note, made about an hour after the events, made no mention of the word ‘pleb’, but that an email sent by the duty press officer 3 hours after the event contained both the ‘pleb’ allegation and the statement ‘You don’t run this f***ing country. These facts were framed as if significant, but the reality is that it’s not at all surprising that a note just after the events might not contain all the pertinent information, especially before the police log contents were known.

Swearing ‘at’, or ‘in frustration?

Mr Mitchell was allowed, without challenge, to repeat his claim that he did not swear ‘at’ the officers, but instead ‘swore in front of‘ them, out of frustration. But according to his own account of this ‘not-at’ swearing, his words were

I thought you guys were supposed to f***ing help us!

I don’t know about you, but if someone refers to me as ‘you’ when he’s swearing, I consider it pretty incontestible that he’s swearing at me, and not just ‘in front of me’ or in my presence.

‘Crowds’ vs the ‘odd passer-by’? Or neither?

Again without challenge by Dispatches, Mr Mitchell was allowed to repeat his assertions that:

a) the police log claimed there was a ‘crowd‘ of ‘horrified onlookers
b) that the footage ‘clearly‘ shows that there was ‘merely the odd passer-by

But as my post last month pointed out, the police log does not mention a ‘crowd‘, but merely ‘several‘ onlookers. ‘Several’, according to the Oxford Dictionary, means

more than two but not many

All you need for ‘several’ is more than 2, and certainly ‘not many’.

And how many do we have present during Mr Mitchell’s interchange with the police?

Well, late last month I took a look at the video shown as fragments by Dispatches and put together a properly-synchronised compilation to see exactly who was there. Let’s look at a few stills from the CCTV footage. This first one shows the white-shoed man who is seen on the Dispatches footage walking outside the gate, stopping as his attention is arrested by what’s going on inside, and then turns back to follow the action:

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That makes one onlooker. Next we see the two women who walk by while the action is still happening, before Mitchell has exited the gate - and during the period in which Mr Mitchell has already admitted swearing:

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Here are those two from a different angle after they’ve walked a little further toward the pedestrian gate – this snapshot captures the moment where one of them swerves and because her attention is so engrossed with what she’s seeing:

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To get a sense of this ‘veering’, please watch my collated footage from around the 1m13s mark. But clearly these two women, who overtake ‘Boomerang Man’ as he meanders back watching the action, were able to see at least a substantial part of the action.

Boomerang Man plus two women = 3 witnesses. We already have enough witnesses to qualify as ‘several’. But we’re not done yet. Next is a snapshot of the pedestrian gate from inside Downing Street, a second or two after Mr Mitchell exits the gate:

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These people were either standing near, or approaching, the pedestrian gate as Mr Mitchell was approaching it from inside – the point at which he has admitted swearing ‘in the presence of’ the police officers. They cannot be seen on the exterior footage only because the camera angle of the footage released does not show the pedestrian gate area.

So, we have at least 6 people who were in a position to see all or part of the events in question. ‘More than two but not many’? Definitely. ‘Several’ is the perfect description.

‘No sign of aggression’?

Again, Mr Mitchell was allowed to make the assertion, uncontested, that

Firstly, there’s no sign of the aggressive behaviour that you would associate with the log.

Is this true? Mr Mitchell is holding up his bike, so the long-shot footage from behind him doesn’t show much, but he could hardly have been waving both arms around. However, there is an indication. The next image shows 2 snapshots from the footage as Mr Mitchell wheels his bike to the pedestrian gate:

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[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Mr Mitchell can’t go through the gate until the officer gets there, but rather than following the officer he walks off, leaving him behind. In between leaving and arriving – though you’ll need to view the video to get a good sense of it – he almost flings the front wheel up onto the kerb and bounces the back wheel off the kerb.

Proof of a tantrum? No. Suggestive? Yes. Certainly consistent with what you'd expect from a man getting angry, but not being enough of a complete idiot to kick off a physical confrontation and get himself arrested.

You’d expect some reaction

Again unchallenged, Mr Mitchell says

Had I used those phrases you would expect some reaction.

How, exactly? Does he think experienced, professional officers would throw up their hands in horror like an affronted Victorian lady? Or perhaps faint dead away in shock?

'Discrepancies'

The narrator then says, in a tacit affirmation of his honesty and integrity

Mitchell can no longer go along with the idea that it was all just a misunderstanding

as if his version of the case is already proven. He then continues:

We viewed the CCTV footage, compared it with the eyewitness’s email and concluded..that there were discrepancies.

This statement misses the whole point. The eyewitness’ email is a completely separate issue, whether it proves to be false or not. Discrepancies between an allegedly invented email and the footage have no bearing on whether the gate log was accurate about what Mr Mitchell said – and as my analysis showed, nothing in the footage released so far proves that it was not.

The ‘fake’ log?

Much was made of the log being ‘fake’, but what Tully said was that he’d ‘been unable to verify’ the log’s authenticity, which is a different thing altogether. It will be a simple matter to confirm whether the log on file matches other logs used by those officers – and it must, because if it didn’t you can be sure that Dispatches, Mr Mitchell and his friend and cheerleader David Davis would be trumpeting it in foot-high headlines via every possible outlet. So all we get it more suggestion framed as fact.

The arrested officers

The programme made much of the fact that

2 further constables have been arrested on suspicion of leaking documents.

But note that these officers were not arrested for falsifying documents – just on suspicion of leaking them. In other words, the arrests have no bearing whatever on the veracity of the police log. If any misdeed took place – and bear in mind that an arrest is necessary for an interview under caution and does not prove anything – then it was in releasing the documents without authorisation. There is no suggestion, in the fact of the arrests, that the log was inaccurate.

The programme then compounds its misrepresentation:

One of them was a policewoman who was on duty in Downing Street at the time of the Mitchell incident.

This is stated as if it casts further doubt on ‘the Mitchell incident’ – but of course it does the opposite. If the policewoman was on duty and leaked the documents, it adds support to the veracity of the record. It finished the segment with the statement that

4 other members of the diplomatic protection squad were served with what are called ‘Regulation 15′ notices telling them that they are being investigated on suspicion of misconduct. 3 of them have been placed on restricted duties.

Again, the officers are being investigated, which doesn’t prove they did anything wrong. Given the pressure on Met Chief Bernard Hogan-Howe to show he's giving the matter his full attention and conducting a fair and thorough investigation, you'd expect nothing less than the officers being investigated. And if they’re being investigated for leaking documents, like the other officers, then the fact of their arrest does nothing to undermine the authenticity and accuracy of the police log. As for being put on restricted duties – what does that have to do with anything? Nothing, certainly, with the issue of whether Mitchell dropped the ‘pleb-bomb’.

I couldn’t wake up

Dispatches still had time for a little more (again, uncontested) sanctimoniousness from Mr Mitchell:

I couldn’t [lie low]..I couldn’t wake up every morning for the rest of my life knowing that I had been stitched up.

Allegedly. Though there was no sign of the programme making this important distinction between allegation and proven fact.

No – in your endo!

And still time for a little innuendo in the form of:

Andrew Mitchell’s lawyers have sent legal letters to the Sun and to the reporter who broke the story.

A legal letter is not proof of anything, nor does it mean that Mr Mitchell is suing. If you have a dispute with someone, you can pay a lawyer to send them a letter – it proves nothing, but can be a relatively cheap way of trying to intimidate someone into desisting something you don’t like them doing.

I give you my word

In one of his self-serving monologues in the programme, Mr Mitchell said of his interview with the West Midlands police federation that he had said to the Federation representatives:

I give you my word

that he had not sworn at the officers or used the word ‘pleb’. This would suggest that he was not under caution during the interview (which is to be expected in a police federation interview rather than an interview on a criminal matter). Not being under caution would have given Mr Mitchell far greater freedom to simply make up his own version of events if he so chose, without fear of repercussions – yet this was not commented on by Dispatches.

There was more, such as the unsubstantiated allegation that No. 10 ‘stalled’ on providing ‘evidence’ that would supposedly have helped prevent Mr Mitchell from losing his cabinet post, but for the sake of brevity I’ll end there.

This was Dispatches second programme about the Plebgate affair – yet it added nothing new and substantive to the first one, but just provided a platform for Mr Mitchell to protest his ‘exoneration’ without being challenged on the facts, and an opportunity for a lot of supposition to be presented as if decisive.

In view of that fact, one has to question why the programme was made at all?

I’m sure that it can have nothing at all to do with the fact that Michael Crick and Andrew Mitchell are apparently old friends.

I’m sure it can have nothing at all to do with trying to weaken the police in the eyes of the public as part of the assault on their pay and numbers, and the drive to privatisation of law-enforcement. That would be a sneaky, underhand trick and therefore couldn’t possibly be something the dear old Conservatives would do.

And I’m equally sure that it can have nothing to do with senior Tory David Davis, who has lost the Conservative leadership battle twice, most recently to David Cameron, trying to damage his leader and strengthen his own position for a further attempt – after all, they do say

‘third time lucky.’
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:08 pm

Such a lot of discussion about a topic which was effectively closed by the resignation of the principal figure.

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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by skwalker1964 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:55 pm

If only! But he's trying to make a comeback, while Davis is agitating in the hope of a 3rd leadership bid. Allegedly.
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by Redflag on Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:07 pm

skwalker1964 wrote:If only! But he's trying to make a comeback, while Davis is agitating in the hope of a 3rd leadership bid. Allegedly.

I will only say "There's is no Smoke Without Fire" is my comment skywalker, and why did he not tell his side of the story ??
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:19 pm

skwalker1964 wrote:If only! But he's trying to make a comeback, while Davis is agitating in the hope of a 3rd leadership bid. Allegedly.

We might almost feel compassion for the odious Mitchell, who now finds himself hailed as a heroic victim by fellow Tory MPs (working to a totally different agenda of changing the Party Leader), which he has to go along with or look like a complete "No Mates".
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:16 pm

If, by some chance, there has been a conspiracy to frame Mitchell, we can say two things : (a) he almost certainly deserved it, and (b) the perpetrators must be punished - that sort of thing should be left to those who lie and make false allegations for a living - ie the Tories themselves...
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:39 pm

Lie down with dogs and you'll get up with fleas.
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by Redflag on Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:25 am

oftenwrong wrote:Lie down with dogs and you'll get up with fleas.

That is a very apt saying OW, but it stills leaves me with an unanswered question maybe tittf or blue could answer it, Why has Mitchell not told people what exactly happened on that night ?? he did say that he swore at the police which is an offence in itself £80.00 fine plus a night in the cells. So if anybody has any ideas WHY Mitchell has not said anything about what really happened beside the swearing. cheers
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:02 pm

To many a Tory, the truth is a flexible commodity, to be used sparingly and only when there is no profitable alternative.
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by Redflag on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:26 am

oftenwrong wrote:To many a Tory, the truth is a flexible commodity, to be used sparingly and only when there is no profitable alternative.

Thanks OW I should have been able to work this one out for myself knowing how good they are at lying through their back teeth to the public, as they have done since coming into power but the biggest LIES where on the run up to the 2010 general election and straight out of scam..er..ons mouth.
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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:19 pm

These things are sent to try us ....

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Re: Does analysis of 'Plebgate' footage support Mitchell's 'exoneration'?

Post by boatlady on Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:15 pm

what a plonker
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