It seems a while since we’ve had one of these pathetic smear efforts against Police Scotland from the British media. I suppose now that the election is over we must expect that the British state’s propaganda machine will once again turn its efforts to maligning and denigrating Scotland’s public institutions and public services. Because that strategy of insulting public service workers – not to mention voters’ intelligence – has been working so well for them, hasn’t it?
The methodology of this type of smear is now pretty standard. Take some very mundane statistic; remove all relevant context; present it in some sensationalised fashion; phone Willie “Rent-a-quote” Rennie for a dollop of ill-informed knee-jerk righteous indignation.
The fact that the rest day figures are not placed in any kind of context that would allow meaningful comparison tells us only that such comparison would be “inconvenient” for the impression that the story is dishonestly seeking to convey. It tells us that the statistics are, almost certainly, perfectly ordinary. If they were abnormal in any way, we would have been told. If the number of rest days owed to police officers had increased in recent times, this shameful rag would be trumpeting that fact. If the numbers compared unfavourably with England, that information would have featured prominently.
The story is aimed at mindless British nationalist fanatics. It is intended to press their very large buttons. It is not going to deceive anyone other than those who are happy to be deceived. It’s not going to fool anybody who can think for themselves, even to the minimal extent of asking themselves how many rest days they are owed by their employer. Because it is all but certain that the vast majority of people who have a normal employment contract will be due at least one rest day at any given time.
What may be surprising is not the fact that this whole story is essentially a lie – that is no more than we expect from the British media. What may be perplexing is that anyone purporting to be a journalist would be willing to put their name to this dishonest drivel. Have they no pride? No dignity?