This post will mean little or nothing to those of you outside of the UK, so my apologies in advance.
Something very unusual happened this afternoon, at The Royal Courts of Justice, in London. The just side won, in a high-profile libel case. The sorry ‘Plebgate’ affair came to a conclusion, after two years of heartbreak and distress for those concerned. Former government Chief Whip, and Tory high-flyer, Andrew Mitchell, lost his libel case against The Sun newspaper. One aspect of this case, was that someone I know well, was also vindicated. Dedicated Police Officer, former colleague, and all round straight-up man, Toby Rowland, was believed by the judge. After all this time; facing the end of his career, and the loss of his reputation, justice prevailed. He told the truth. Mitchell is not only a liar, he has been proven to be one. His true nature has also been confirmed, with the ruling that he not only swore at the police officers concerned, but also called Toby a ‘Pleb’. This word has been at the heart of the issue since it was first reported in the tabloid concerned. It shows exactly what Mitchell (and let’s face it, many of his ilk) really think of ordinary people, including those who risk their lives to protect him at his place of work.
Not only am I overjoyed for Toby, who has proved his integrity to any who doubted it, I am also pleased to see this rare example of justice handed out by our High Court. Other officers involved in the incident have been dismissed, disciplined, even imprisoned. Lies were told by some, collusion was evident with others. None of this should take anything away from the fact that Toby told the truth from the beginning, and that he was willing to lose everything, to protect his reputation. It is reported that Mitchell now faces costs of over £3 million, and that his career is ruined. I say good. It is less than he deserves. No doubt one of his friends will come forward, and offer him a lucrative directorship, enabling him to slip away from the world of politics, and recoup his riches.
Toby will be left with much more. Something priceless. His good name.