Sentencing them, the judge said
It is right to emphasise that this the planned action would have had no practical effect on the electricity supply.
Yet the head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, Sir Hugh Orde, was on Newsnight last week claiming the opposite. He rebutted the interviewer pointing out that the protesters were not terrorists, saying
They were looking at taking out one of the biggest power stations supplying over two million people - hospitals, vulnerable people - for a considerable period of time.
One of the Ratcliffe defendants, Bradley Day, wryly declared
I find it deeply disturbing that a senior police officer with a responsibility for the country's national security doesn't seem to comprehend how his own National Grid works.
But ACPO clearly think this untruth is their best shot. And indeed, given what an awful time they've having as their secret police remit unravels, they may be right. As they continue to be splattered with criticism from all sides - even the Daily Mail laying into them for fuck's sake - they need to ramp up the fear and lies to take our eye off the ball.
Today, ACPO's Jon Murphy went one better than Orde.
Unfortunately, in the midst of some of these groups – recent history would evidence this to be true – there are a small number of people who are intent on causing harm, committing crime and on occasions disabling parts of the national critical infrastructure. That has the potential to deny utilities to hospitals, schools, businesses and your granny.