Monday, 24 September 2012

We Reap What We Sow

I suppose it goes without saying that all politicians are liars, the trick being either not getting found out or failing that, being able to get away with it. What I find most interesting about the now notorious outburst by the government's Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell directed as it was towards the police in Downing Street, was his reaction in the first place. 

All of us who visit prisons on a regular basis are well used to officers wielding their power often seemingly arbitrarily, but we're wise enough to realise that arguing is utterly futile and we just 'grin and bear it'. But if you are by nature a bit of a bully, and I guess Mr Mitchell's school nickname of 'thrasher' gives some indication as to why the prime minister feels his attributes are perfect for the institutionalised role of government Head Bully, your true character just pops out.

Lying seems to be the default position for politicians and clearly Mr Mitchell thinks he can just carry on accusing the 'boys in blue' of lying and hope to get away with it. Not in my experience, and as it happens in this instance I think the officers are being completely truthful.

I think most of us would have realised that coming clean from the outset was the best policy, no matter how toxic the language used, but once again a politician demonstrates those very familiar traits many of our clients possess - poor thinking skills and an unerring ability of not always acting in their own best interests. I would recommend a Thinking Skills Course, or similar.  


  1. Or an inability to tell the truth.

  2. It's been said before and I've always agreed that, in the UK, we are blessed with having the best politicians money can buy. A consequence perhaps of market forces and an over-emphasis on the virtues of the private sector. Not sure about them meeting the Thinking Skills Programme criteria though - most of them seem prime candidates for a PCL-R and a DSPD unit.

  3. I'm waiting for Mitchell to invoke the "John Terry defence".

  4. Indeed - but look where it's got him!