Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In which I defend a conservative

So it transpires that an angry and tired conservative whip may have sworn at police officers when they wouldn't let him cycle through the main gate, as he was accustomed to. Upon being accused of such an action, he apologised for his manner, but claimed that the exact words attributed to him were not those he used.

Now, as many of you may be aware, I am not a huge fan of the conservative party, and am not usually inclined to defend them, but if we are to call out their behaviour, perhaps we should pick on more egregious examples? Which one of us haven't been frustrated with people in positions of authority being (we feel) over judicious in the application of their duty. Which of us haven't, when tired and frustrated, snapped at someone we shouldn't have.

He has, in fact, apologised for his behaviour. I also don't really care about what language he used, and whether he said pleb or not. I think in the heat of the moment we might all say things which we might regret, and I'm not sure being a snob should deny one office as head whip.

There is, of course, an actual issue, which is why this story hasn't quite gone away, and that is that he has denied saying pleb, while the officers have insisted that he has said so. If he has persistently lied about the language he has used, then there is an issue there, although I'm not entirely sure how we are meant to establish the facts of the matter. It would not be the first time police officers have lied, nor a politician, so we shall see how that plays out.

One final note. Twitter points out examples of people who have been jailed for swearing at police officers. To me at least, this is an argument for legal reform in that instance, rather than continuing an injustice by jailing the politician.

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