There's a thin blue line between Policing and Participating and photographs from the ScotNat Bannockburn Rally on 23 June 2018 show that some Police Officers have become confused about the difference. We help them to understand.
BREAKING Sunday 24 June 18: Stirling's Forth Valley Police Division removes Facebook Report on ScotNat March after A Force For Good takes Issue!
On the afternoon of Saturday 23 June 2018, the Forth Valley Police Division Facebook page posted a report of the Scottish Nationalist Bannockburn march (immediately below).
For the record, the address of the Post was: facebook.com/ForthValleyPoliceDivision/posts/1771676789536898
This included 2 photographs of Police Officers on bicycles (below) appearing to endorse this highly controversial event, as well as a surprising claim that '15,000' had attended. A Force For Good entered the Thread and highlighted the inappropriateness of the photographs. We led the complaints and the Nats weighed in to attack us. On Sunday 24 June, within 24 hours, Forth Valley Police had removed the entire Post. We discovered it had been removed around 4pm. We include a screenshot of it here.
We congratulate (someone in) Forth Valley Police Division for having the sense to realise the inappropriateness of the photographs. But we now have a lot more to say about what happened yesterday, as follows...
Firstly...Why do the ScotNats get Photos taken with the Police?
It's a deliberate political strategy. It makes it look as if their political message is endorsed by authority.
Why do the Police allow Themselves to be Used Like This?
We always want to be fair to the Police and so we will say this...
The (modern) Police will often participate in photographs because they want to be seen to be friendly, rather than antagonistic towards the public. That's perfectly understandable.
Even just 10 years ago – before the advance of mobile phone and photo technology – it would have been considered somewhat undignified, as well as highly inappropriate to behave like this at a political rally.
However, today, mobile phone and photo technology has given rise to the 'Selfie' phenomenon. This has driven new forms of social behaviours to the point where some Police Officers might feel it is churlish to refuse.
Nevertheless, the Police must walk a fine line because there is such a thing as participating in, and thereby endorsing, an event.
We believe the 3 photographs of Police Officers which we've highlighted on this page clearly demonstrate that this line was crossed at the Bannockburn March on 23 June 2018.
They crossed the line (probably unintentionally) and have directly participated in, and endorsed, the event itself.
Why is this a Bad Thing?
The SNP-supporting people in these photographs represent a political ideology that at least half the country doesn't actually agree with.
Yet these are images of the country's Police grinning alongside these people and their banners, as if they are all best buddies together; as if they're having a big laugh at some kind of Butlins Holiday Camp!
For many of us, Scottish 'independence' is not a grinning matter. Everything about it is a very serious matter.
For many of us, looking on, these images clearly say: "The Police of our country support the separatist political view."
People think that, because – on its face – that is exactly what the pictures show.
Don't believe us? Look at the above pic.
These Police Officers are not being neutral. They are literally standing behind a Yes Banner!
Or take this picture. It shows 3 grown-assed men – who call themselves 'bikers' – who have actually gone up to the Police to ask for a picture. Think about how sad that actually is!
Of course, they are doing it deliberately because, as we say, they are seeking to acquire a perceived 'endorsement' of their message from these authority figures, and in that sense they have been successful.