This is what your licence fee pays for

by scotslawstudent

It almost sounds like a Chris Morris bit- “But you were wheeling towards the police in a menacing fashion….?

I think I have a reasonable amount of chutzpah and brass neck but even I have never quite worked out how to justify dragging cerebral palsy sufferers from their wheelchairs.

I especially never quite worked out how to blame the cerebral palsy sufferer for it. But that is obviously why I don’t work for the BBC.

Seriously, you’ve likely never had a better reason to write to OfCom and the PCC than this sound investment of licence fee money:

Opinions vary widely, even on YouTube which is remarkably good at not having crazy racist comments this time, about whether this is ridiculous or not. I’m firmly in the this is ridiculous camp. Look at it, it just is.

This is 20 year old Jody “Revolutionary” McIntyre being interviewed by Ben Brown of the BBC. They show him being taken from his wheelchair by a decent sized (I’d feel pretty special with that level of attention) group of riot police and made to lie on the ground. It’s not immediately clear why they’re doing that — was he running about or something?

He is, jaw droppingly, accused of “rolling towards the police in his wheelchair” and, apparently, this being the reason that he was yanked out of the dangerous vehicle. Please God make that not be true.

It’s clearly nonsense because the guy can’t move his own wheelchair — he’s got cerebral palsy. He can’t make it roll towards anything. He’s then asked if he was throwing any bricks towards the police, which was awesome to hear from a serious journalist questioning someone with a serious disability. Does the BBC have a disability awareness policy? What happened to it?

I’m impressed that the guy never said “wait, what?” when these questions were asked and having, to reiterate that there was a bad thing that was done to him by the authorities. That is not how it usually works. When’s the last time any person complaining about mistreatment was expected to defend comments on their blog? The blog’s irrelevant; riot police don’t pull you from wheelchairs because of your blog.

A lot, an awful lot, is made of him “being a revolutionary” which was the weirdest thing of all. I really don’t think he’s a terrorist BBC, but thanks for being vigilant.

There is a perhaps unkind stereotype of police officers picking on vulnerable people because genuinely scary people are genuinely scary and it’s much safer and easier to pick on the elderly, disabled, young, foreign or some other group. I doubt it’s true on the whole (you get bad eggs sometimes) but, pro tip, this does not help shift the stereotype one bit. There were people setting fire to cars and “poking” the Duchess of Cornwall with a stick and what looks like half a dozen riot police lying a disabled 20 year old down on the pavement for “rolling towards them in his wheelchair”.

Nice try lads. Now how about catching some real criminals?