Pandora Maxwell is the one name I'd expected to pop up on Leveson that didn't. A police tip-off to the press ensured that when plod went knocking on Pandora's door at 6am there were photographers there to record the public humiliation of the Maxwells. How are the mighty fallen and all that. Others in the public eye, favoured by the police, can attend a station of their choice to be arrested by appointment with little press attention. It may be far fairer to implement a Scandinavian type anonymity for all, but somehow this doesn't quite chime with a robust press tradition of red meat; the Maxwell family had defrauded their companies and were living comfortably whilst their pensioners had been reduced to penury, and perhaps their public pillorying in the press was as fair a penalty as any directorship disqualifications imposed by the courts.
Still, the police tip-off has an honourable tradition in a nation such as ours that prefers to cut down tall straws; handcuffed pop stars and soccer players being pushed into the rear of squad cars are the staple photos of our mass press. Leveson's recommendations would see them banned - police officers would be prohibited from making this kind of tip-off.
Of course sometimes they get it spectacularly wrong, as in the case of Chris Jefferies. Some form of words from the police told the press that they'd got the right man for Jo Yeates' murder, and the press duly unleashed a torrent of vilification against the innocent man. For which they all later paid substantial damages.
As to Andrew Mitchell, it's a tale of two halves. The video shown on the Telegraph website proves little - it shows nothing of the length of the previous dialogue at the main gate between Mitchell and a police officer, and provides no additional evidence at all as to whether the word 'pleb' was used. However, the fabrication of evidence by an officer who was not even present is far more serious.
This wasn't a tip-off, it was criminal malfeasance. The officer fabricated a witness statement as a result of which the Chief Whip resigned; he also leaked the notebook of one of the officers who was actually present to the press. Clearly this individual had an animus against Mitchell and was willing to lie to further it. For the fabrication of evidence alone there can be no further career for this man in the police - that must be clear. Whether he faces criminal charges is up to the CPS. For leaking the notebook, the case is blurred. This information would be exempt under FOI and only enter the public domain if produced in court. Disclosing it would neither pervert the course of justice nor aid and assist a crime - so it must be a disciplinary offence only. For now. However, under Leveson's recommendations such disclosure would be unlawful.
Real life is always more complex than codes such as Leveson's imagine. Mitchell is not an innocent, all policemen are not honest and the press is rarely fair. Let's live with it.