It must be apology season for politicians of all parties.
First, last week, we had the heartfelt apology of shadow Northern Ireland minister, Stephen Pound, who denied he had fallen asleep during a commons debate, but who then made his apology, claiming he hadn’t realised it was him who had been spotted dozing (yawn).
Next, we had the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, delivering an apology for his broken promises on tuition fees and who then became an instant ‘pop star’ when his well acted performance to camera was turned into a music video (all proceeds to charity of course).
Finally, we had the puzzling apology of government chief whip, Andrew Mitchell, for something he claims he never said, but both the Sun newspaper and the police are adamant he did. So far, he hasn’t admitted to watching a replay, or made a video, but we live in hope!
In the case of the latter politician, he is said to have berated police officers at the exit to Downing Street, when they refused to open the large gates for him and his bicycle. Instead, they requested he dismount and exit via the pedestrian gate.
Of course, being a ranking member of government, he is claimed to have reminded them: “You guys are supposed to fucking help us.”
and, according to The Sun: “Best you learn your fucking place. You don’t run this fucking government. You’re fucking plebs.”
Most of the criticism of his wording has not been of the abusive language he is claimed to have used to the police officers, but at the word ‘plebs’ which infers he thinks he and his political colleagues are part of a superior species to the rest of the electorate.
I would, however, like to give all of the above politicians my thanks. They appear to be living proof of my words from an earlier post:
“It’s long been thought that politicians have to be born with either a thick skin or a larger than normal dose of arrogance. Some, however, appear to be born with both.