May’s day was an arresting sight for officers

editorial image
Share this article
Have your say

Three cheers for Theresa May! The bold Home Secretary entered the den of roaring lions last week and transformed them all into purring pussycats.

The Home Secretary delivered a Riot Act type speech to the delegates of the Police Federation which had them all reduced to blubbering schoolchildren on the naughty step.

Would a male Home Secretary have had the same effect? I very much doubt it.

The Federation has gained an unenviable reputation for bullying whistle-blowers, undisclosed bank accounts containing tens of millions of pounds and the use of taxpayers’ money for Federation jobs.

And she warned them bluntly, that unless they took drastic action to remedy things, the Government would do it for them by legislation.

Some, but not all the shortcomings of the Police Federation came to light because of what has been seen as the shocking behaviour of some officers in relation to the notorious Plebgate affair. The fact that this happened was, in a sense, a plus for the taxpayer.

But I wonder whether Andrew Mitchell, the former Government Chief Whip, now realises that had he not been so arrogant and bad-tempered on that fateful day, and just wheeled his bicycle through the pedestrian gate of Downing Street, he might not now be in the dire position where he may lose his home to pay for the affair’s legal spin-off.

A very sad story all round, with reputations and careers ruined.

And who are the winners? Well, naturally, it will be the lawyers who’ll emerge from this with bulging wallets.

The way the United States and the United Kingdom handled the case of the now convicted terrorist Abu Hamza speaks volumes about the differences between their judicial system and our own. Here, we faffed and flip-flopped around for years worrying (believe it or not) about this unsavoury man’s human rights.

But once we had managed to ship him over to the United States, they wasted no time on such fripperies, just immediately put him on trial and a jury convicted him. It seems likely that he will spend the rest of his life in a tough American jail.