"A look at (this) scandal dispels trite illusions. Robert Harris, a friend of Mitchell's, compares it to the Dreyfus affair, the subject of his latest fine novel. Harris is going over the top, but you can see his point..." - Oor NickThe scandal in question is "Plebgate", so we might ask - if we're saying Plebgate is like the Dreyfus affair, then why aim so low? Why not compare it instead to the assassination of Dr King, or to the Highland Clearances, or even the Black Death?
Why not go the whole hog and say well, Some guy has compared Plebgate to the destruction of Guernica... He's going over the top, but you can see his point?
Ach, I know Nick's work is never complete without a wildly inappropriate historical analogy, so we'll let it slide in favour of the larger hilarities - for example, that the title of the piece incautiously announces: "Thanks to Leveson, the police are above public scrutiny".
Nick probably didn't pick that title and should in fact be seething about it, because the chronology goes like this:
Plebgate: 19 September 2012
Leveson Report: 29 November 2012
...Which can only suggest that Lord Leveson's conclusions were so authoritarian, so utterly Draconian in nature, that they've actually reverberated backwards through time to encourage Plod's malfeasance.
Now I imagine that many of you, like me, regard the whole Plebgate debacle as an entertaining and rare instance of a minister winding up being battered with the truncheon of his own class's Papers, please policing agenda, rather than an infamous historical injustice.
We're all no doubt disconcerted to discover that a Tribune of the Plebs can be thusly accosted by Caesar's thugs on his way home from the Senate. Still, I'd like to think most of us are also savvy enough to spot that an ongoing power struggle between two sections of the Patrician class may have little to do with accountability to the actual citizenry.
While I'm entirely open to arguments about the accountability of the police, I suspect that all this chat about "accountability" ultimately means "to the government" rather than, you know, "to the rest of us, even via some vague representational proxy". Which somewhat dulls my sense of democratic outrage.
Anyway, let's shoot straight past Nick's belief that "Justice is indivisible", which is surely why it took around eighteen months to get somebody banged up for inconveniencing a high-ranking Conservative Party official, while other issues... Well, let's let Nick say it himself, shall we?
"You cannot call for justice for the victims of police lies about the Hillsborough disaster while denying justice to a victim of a political conspiracy by the coercive arm of the state".
Well, plainly you can - I'm doing it out loud just now, as it happens. No bother.
Nonetheless, let's observe just how tasteless it is to dragoon the unavenged shades of the dead into a battle being fought in nothing but self-interest between the Tory Party, the police and the very media organisations who have all done so very much to frustrate justice of any kind being done in their names.