Posts Tagged ‘Mr Stink’

Labour should not let Christmas cheer go to our heads

28/12/2012, 02:42:25 PM

by Jonathan Todd

As the Justice Collective were securing the Christmas Number One, a new, BBC comedy, Mr Stink, was portraying an aspirant politician as venal and self-serving. At the same time, Labour people were stressing to anyone who would listen – or at least their twitter streams – that Andrew Mitchell swore at the police.

While he admits doing so, and it is unedifying and disrespectful that he did, it seems likely that Mitchell has also been the victim of police conspiracy and perversion of justice. In which the police has been aided and abetted by a capricious media.

The suffering of Mitchell has been sincere and unjustified. It is, of course, nothing as compared with the pain and injustice visited upon the families of the 96 who died at Hillsborough on 15 April 1989. There are, however, some common themes: distortion of the truth by the police, driven by selfish motives and perpetuated by the industry whose failings Lord Leveson has catalogued in detail.

These themes transcend party politics. They char at the heart of what we are as a country: equal before the law; respectful of truth and justice; fundamentally decent.

It is virtually a truism to observe, as John Stuart Mill did, that the worth of a state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it. If we do not have police officers that serve justice, a media that seeks truth and politicians that hold police officers and journalists to these tasks then we have a citizenry of diminished worth, failing to uphold the most essential of British values.

To quibble over a misplaced curse in these circumstances is to confuse the crudely tribal woods with the trees that form the bigger picture. It is to give in to the tendencies that characterised the mendacious and superficial candidate on Mr Stink. Nothing would have got in the way of some personal or party advantage, no matter how small, for this sharp-elbowed sort and her equally unattractive party leader.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon