WARNING - Non Worcester Park related rant............. I was at a long meeting yesterday with a bunch of security people, none of whom think any of the security measures I am about to rant about has any value.
Are you sitting comfortably? Let me begin......
A while ago I posted about my miserable experience at Heathrow on the way to Phoenix and since then the Terminal 5 problems, plus an increasing number of other factors, are making flying less appealing. So in this economic downturn you might have thought that the G8 might want to give their airlines/airports a bit of a break to stop them going bust......... but no.......... they've come up with another idea to make the whole flying experience even more unappealing, as the Telegraph explains:
IPods, mobile phones and laptops could be examined by airport customs officials for illegal downloads under strict new counterfeiting measures being considered by G8 governments this week, it is claimed.
Now I'm just happy to be sat on a plane with some assurance that there are no bombs or guns on board but to be honest if the person in the next seat has an mp3 player stuffed with Boyzone tracks that they've downloaded from the net I'm not really going to lose any sleep over it (other than concern for their taste in music). The problem, as always, is that the "security" measures (I use the term loosely) are put forward by people with another agenda.... in this case the music industry who, I'm sure, could come up with a "Dodgy Dossier" of how downloads are related to International Terrorism as justification. If downloaders are going to be treated in the same manner as terrorists and knife carriers then is the eventual conclusion going to be that we'll have mp3 scanners at stations next to the knife scanners and sniffer dogs (are they going to train sniffer dogs that can smell an iPod from three feet away?) before we can get on a train?
With this trend in overbearing security measures I'm waiting for the day when I get frisked for taking a picture of Worcester Park railway bridge "because I could be planning a terrorist attack on critical infrastructure". Then I can stand alongside the man in Hull who had his memory card confiscated for taking pictures in the street and the bus-spotter in Wales who's given up his hobby because of constant harrassment, the Ipswich photographer who was forced to delete his photos of the Christmas lights by the Police, and so on.
When the media and the Government want you to be afraid of everything then does that mean we're on the path to paranoia and xenophobia? Or are we already there?
Repeat after me "I'm mad as hell..........."