I normally have had, and do have; very little time for Andrew Mitchell MP. I find him dodgy in the extreme, a proven liar ( ‘pleb’ remark outside Downing St.), a bandwagon-climber (libel case against Sun), not a good MP in that his service to his constituents was less than satisfactory. But, for a change, I find at least one truly redeeming quality in this man; he stands up, one hundred and ten percent, behind his friend.
The story, ” broken‘ very strangely on the BBC Today programme yesterday morning, was that a former police officer, part of the crew which illegally entered Parliament without a warrant, whilst conducting a search to pinpoint a ‘leaker’ who had ‘outed’ information on illegal immigration to newspapers: had ‘remembered’ discovering and cataloguing pornographic material on one of Damian Green’s office computers when he was an Opposition spokesman. He told Today interviewer that he was ‘shocked’ to discover extensive porn viewing had taken place over a three-month period’ He also state that he ‘Could Not Prove’ that Damian Green’s fingers were on the keyboard when the porn was being downloaded or viewed; but he ‘Had No Doubt’ that Damian Green was the person doing the viewing etc.
There is a Parliamentary Inquiry proceeding into allegations against Damian Green, but instead of speaking to the people within the Inquiry, and presenting them with the ‘New Evidence’, he goes instead to thr BBC: despite having no copies, either digital or physical of the hard drives which were inspected, no proof of this ‘Three Months Continual gazing at Completely Legal Pornography’, apart that is from a hand-written observation in a note-book, no proof whatsoever of the physical location of the alleged ‘Thousands of Thumbnail Porn Images’ on the ‘mirror drive’, copied from the actual PC hard drive for inspection purposes; and of course the most interesting statement that he was told by the authorities to delete the mirror copy material, but he did not. He does not know if the copies still exist, but may have been destroyed.
The Today reporter stated that he had ‘pressed the retired policeman’ very hard on his reasons for stating that Damian Green was guilty of accessing porn (legal porn to be sure but still porn) during working hours at Westminster; and again it was stated that he ‘Could Not Prove’ that Damian Green downloaded and viewed porn, but that again ‘He Had No Doubt’ that Green was guilty of gross malpractice, and should be fired if he did not resign!
The one question which I, or any probing reporter would have asked is this:- If the offences were so heinous, why did this dutiful, accomplished, experienced and long-serving policeman not push for an immediate prosecution? If this policeman was truly intent on discovering and placing evidence of wrongdoing before the Crown Prosecution Service, why do exactly what he was allegedly told by a senior officer, and left the whole thing in limbo? Instead of waiting ten-odd years, and, completely coincidentally pushing a great big bundle of crap into the actual Enquiry which is about whether Damian Green had made inappropriate advances to a political activist. Was the instruction to delete all porn from the copies given because the Parliamentary raid itself was deemed illegal,; and therefore any allegations or evidence therein was also deemed inadmissable?
This ‘long-serving, dedicated policeman’ never said a single word about this alleged huge stash of porn on two computers before Green stated that Bob Quick, the leader of the illegal Parliamentary raid, had circulated ‘false’ information about him; then, and only then, did this ‘dedicated’ policeman show, or rather didn’t show, the proof of his allegations.
But returning to my words at the start of this small epistle, Andrew Mitchell defended Mr Green on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, saying: “We need him getting on with the job of helping [to run] the country and not being attacked and blackened in this way.” Mitchell got his legal quotations a bit mixed up saying:- “I think that Mr Green is entitled to be believed, after all, you are not guilty until proven so in this country.”; instead of “You are innocent, in this country, until proven guilty”
But I wouldn’t quibble with the misquotations spoken by a man standing up for his friend.
As an complete afterthought, when I was working in engineering projects, I was heavily involved with computer networks, I used to write my own spreadsheets for internal work, and I regularly took over a second computer to check how things looked and worked. I am fairly certain that nowhere on that second computer was evidence that instructions from another computer had been received. I may be wrong, or, as Rick from Casablanca might say, maybe I was misinformed!