Dear Mr. Mitchell,


I am writing to you as a fellow cyclist, albeit one that doesn’t get police protection to be rude to, but a cyclist all the same. I understand your frustration at not being allowed through a gate at the end of your road; we to have one at our flats and that breaks sometimes. It can get very annoying.

And I must admit I to have sworn at the gate. The gate, though, didn’t mind but it seems like the police you allegedly swore at are not happy. And I have never called the gate a pleb, or any other archaic expression.

Of course like all these things there are several different versions of events, you have sort of aplogised in a half hearted politican kind of manner and denied the police claim that you said ‘Best you learn your f***ing place. You don’t run this f***ing government. You’re f***ing plebs.’

This is quite some tirade and I may use it myself next time the police ask me to cycle a slightly different way as it seems like something you are allowed to say now.

Maybe the police made this tirade up? Or you think they are lying. It’s all very complicated isn’t it.

I suppose once you have the cycle clips on and you have mounted your bike having a humble police officer telling you to use the other gate most be ‘jolly annoying’ not to mention it must be a bit humilating being bossed around by a ‘pleb’. I guess there is also the frustration of yet another bad day at work, floundering around out of your depth in a sliding government. These things can add up and frustrations boil over. We can’t even begin to understand how annoying this all is!

I guess you probably now understand how the teenager caught upon the riots felt when he swore at the police and got 16 weeks for his troubles. The teenager apologised as well. I suppose you feel you don’t need to apologise, why start now eh? But as a former UN peacekeeper you should be fairly well qualified to tidy up this little mess.

 The use of the word plebs is also interesting, not sure if many people use it these days, did it come from your tender years at Eton or Cambridge or from time spent in the banking sector? Maybe it came from a Carry On film, it’s a most curious put down and one that says far more about you and the current governemt than the police.

Mr. Mitchell, who knows what happened at what they are calling ‘gategate’, like the riots there are lots of different truths out there but people are saying there seems to be one rule for you and one rule for the rest of us and they don’t feel comfortable with being called plebs.

 None of us are perfect. Cycling seems to be an endless tirade of swearing as we negotiate the dangers of travelling on two wheels in the city but swearing at cops who are meant to be protecting you seems to be a bit silly doesn’t it.


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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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