Imagine, in another country far far away, a deadly pandemic sweeps the land, killing thousands. The democratically elected, popular government acts to save lives by enacting ‘emergency power’s‘ to enable the nation’s unarmed and respected police force to tackle the greatest risk of infection spread, which scientists have identified – house parties with large numbers from several family groups.
The trade union representing police officers, charged only with protecting their members’ interests, questions the feasibility of the emergency powers.
In this other land, the state broadcaster, responsible for helping to communicate the changing national strategy to fight the virus asks the trade union to defend its hesitancy when the emergency powers have been approved by the parliament and are based on scientific evidence.
Back in Scotland, the trade union, the Scottish Police Federation, said there were loopholes in the new legislation but we don’t hear what they are, nor had we, do we hear the reporter ask the ‘federation’ to defend their viewpoint.
Instead, the state broadcaster suggests that the Chief of Police who has explained the new powers at a briefing has had to defend these new powers allocated to his force by democratically elected politicians, acting on scientific advice to save lives, in the middle of highly dangerous viral pandemic.
There’s a huge irony in this positioning by the state broadcaster for those who remember, in the 1970s and 1980s, their uniform support, day after day, of the government and management positions when reporting on the manual worker trade unions defending their members against job losses.
Out of interest, I asked five educated neighbours what they thought the Scottish Police Federation was. All said ‘a government body.’ In the past, I’ve found the Royal College of Nursing and the British Medical Association to be similarly imagined.