In the aftermath of the Andrew Mitchell incident last week, I have heard on the radio and seen on Twitter people making the ridiculous assumption that all Conservatives look down on people and that if a Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner is elected, last week’s incident shows that they will treat the police with disrespect. This is patently nonsense.
Many years ago, before I was a Councillor but when my husband was, we were invited to a drinks reception in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour. Someone who was there (they shall remain nameless) was standing smoking (you were allowed to do that in the Council House in those days) and when there was a lengthy portion of ash on their cigarette, they turned to the Lord Mayor’s attendant and barked, “Ashtray!”
No please, no thank you, they simply barked the order to be brought something which was within their sight and almost within their grasp. The attendant duly obliged.
The person who had behaved so rudely to a Council employee was a then Labour Councillor.
I thought it was appalling behaviour, so appalling that I haven’t forgotten it – but I didn’t immediately jump to the conclusion that all Labour politicians would behave the same way given half the chance – because quite obviously they wouldn’t.
And neither would Conservatives.