The BBC are clearly shocked this morning about a Reuters report quoting Akhtar Hussain, a former president of the Sindh High Court Bar Association.
He is quoted as saying: "Police beat lawyers with batons as they came to the High Court in the morning” - "Many of them have been arrested."
This was because they were protesting outside the High Court in Karachi, Pakistan against the state of emergency, declared in the country over the weekend.
As I read it, the thought occurred to me. They are significantly more shocked than if this had happened to any other sorts of protestors. They expect their readers to be more shocked too. It is an almost subconscious assumption. As if lawyers should have been immune because they were lawyers. As if the rules that apply to the rest of humanity should not apply to them.
Then the black humour of the situation hit me and I thought. “It’s about time, they had it coming if anyone did”.
Now I am not commenting on the current situation in Pakistan here, or the rights and wrongs of it.
What I am commenting on, is that the BBC’s reaction tellingly reveals just how well the political elite have the public and the media conditioned.
The legal profession is, for want of a better word, the spawning ground of many politicians in the West and the Anglosphere, for some reason we do tend to think of them as untouchable, either in one sense of the word or the other ;-) No doubt they would prefer us to continue to think they should be viewed that way.
With the BBC projecting that unconscious assumption no doubt it will…