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Yet more 'joined up government'.

The latest entry for the idiots' gallery is a proposal for 'airport-style security screening at certain railway stations. source.

Douglas Alexander reckons that "the public see the need for increased security and generally find the processes used in the trials to be acceptable". Not that he saw fit to back this up with any of the “extensive social research” carried out. Tests were carried out at some main line stations, plus Greenford (?!)

Quite apart from the civil liberties issue, there are immense practical problems in terms of making this an operational reality. If there are security checks at the main stations, the self-detonating community will take it upon themselves to use other stations. If every station in the country is to have scanners, that will mean expenditure running into astronomical figures, plus a minimum of two goons manning each booth. Probably more. While there might be an argument for these costs being passed on to the general public, far more likely is that the costs will be loaded onto ticket prices, thus adding expense to ever greater delays at rail and tube stations. Net result, ever more people decide that they have had enough of travelling by cattle class and opt to use cars. So much for an integrated transport policy, let alone saving the planet.

Back to our self-detonaters etc, will they be screened at the entrance, or at the ticket barriers? If the former, there will need to be an awful lot of pavement freed up, and if the latter, why bother boarding a train to cause carnage if you can set off your bomb in a station concourse jammed with irritated travellers. As it stands, I hate to think what a well placed nail bomb could achieve on the concourse of any main railway station at rush hour before this proposal actually goes anywhere.

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Anonymous Verity said... 7:11 pm

I would like this "joined up" government to be joined up at the neck and taken to the gallows.  

Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 7:59 pm

you can imagine osama sat there thinking,'thats helpful of Douggie'  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 8:29 pm

I would accept it - if the rail comapnies gauranteed everyone a seat and only sold as many tickets as there are seats, that would end the rail system - which relies on fee paying customers standing up on their trains for hours on end. Another possibility is to develop the idea of "Zeppelins" further - I understand the Germans have ben experimenting with them again recently.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 8:47 pm

Do you think I should join the Conservative Party? In my part of the world it is mostly a home for a variety of neo-pagans, armed lunatics, half man/half beast-creatures, huamnoid fungi and the like - would I fit in?  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 8:55 pm

I recently was forced to fly with "Ryanair" (dont ask - an airline apparently) from "Stansted" - they managed to cram about 400 - 500 ++ people into queues waiting to be "security screened" -like take off your shoes and give us your explosive lip gel laughable nonsense - the friendly self detonators could have got several airplanes full in one go in the queues. God knows after the first hour most of us would have welcomed it....  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 9:06 pm

Mr mutley
I say give every passenger an MP5 , no more hijacks  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:32 pm

V - Now there's a thought.

Mutley - Yup, people go on demos when farm animals have as little relative room as comnmuters have on the Nortern line etc.

PH - M.A.D and all that. No-one's messed with El-Al in living memory. As Verity has said before, an armed society is a polite society.  

Anonymous verity said... 10:13 pm

Around 53% of Texas householders have a gun in the house. Many of them,including little old ladies, take it with them when they go out. When people don't know whether the driver of the car travelling next to them is armed, it reduces all that bad-mannered cutting in and cutting the other driver off. Drivers in states that not only allow, but encourage, handgun ownership, tend to be more courteous behind the wheel and hold off on the verbal abuse and florid finger signage.  

Blogger Praguetory said... 10:16 pm

OT, but we have an unfunny comedian and a really boring tax lawyer on 18DS.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:23 pm

PT - Not exactly a laugh riot, is it?  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:25 pm

Hello Mr H.

"Give every passenger an MP5" - still wouldnt have stopped them blowing us all to bits though - whats an MP5 anyway - Im presuming some sort of gun - ?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:28 pm

Looks to be one of these.  

Anonymous verity said... 10:44 pm

PHitch- the MP5 is too ungainly, takes up too much space and is too heavy for a child to carry.

What is wrong with a nice Glock? Also, I don't think absolutely everyone should be armed, just those of us who would have the nerve to shoot. The Ozzies, bless them, have developed a bullet for use in planes and it doesn't pierce the skin (of the plane, that is). It is cleverly designed to bounce off, if the shooter misses his/her target.

I would say on each flight there should be three passengers in First, five in Business and 12 in Cattle Car who are designated shooters and would be given 007 status for the length of the flight.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:50 pm

Ms Verity the Hitchens household is armed (legally)
Glock nice choice, before this shower of shit took my handguns I used to own 6 of them, my fav. was my s&w 686.
The MP5 is a very nice piece of kit. I will say no more.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:52 pm

Verity I like the Meskin attitude to gun control, the laws are there but nobody really cares.  

Anonymous verity said... 11:16 pm

Hate to be a wet rag, but in Mexico you are allowed to own a .22. A piffling trifle, admittedly. But they do care. We've got a conservative government.

I just don't think the MP5 is suitable for children. How long before you heard children whining all over the plane, "Daddy, that gun's hurting my shoulders", and before you know it, Daddy has two guns around his neck at the same time as he is carrying his own? How could he shoot, if the occasion arose, so encumbered? I say, let's stick with the Glock or the S&W.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:29 pm

The Glock does seem to be an impressive piece of kit, and V's argument about weight is a thoroughly convincing one.

Apparently the Washington Post was responsible for the first appearance of the 'undetectable plastic pistol' urban myth.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:32 pm

Rather a good demonstration of its capabilities here.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 11:53 pm

Ms verity I am very aware of the supposed arms laws in mesko
I also know that most gents in certain states tote a 1911 38 super and legally. only "millitary" calibres are banned
Norway is also a good place for gun bugs.
MP5? certainly sir , probably as its so fucking cold nobody can be bothered going on a killing spree  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 11:55 pm

C the glock 18c is the man
Never had my gnarled hands on one , have fired a model 17 though  

Anonymous newmania said... 12:03 am

Enjoyed all that, lame I know but there we are.
PITCH and I have been edited from Guido. I do hope that precious ticket is not in peril ......is that the sound of a gun being cleaned ?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:09 am

Guido may have the gunpowder, but Ph ahs the guns...

Meanwhile, I have a 1950s vintage BSA Cadet air rifle. Impressed?  

Anonymous newmania said... 12:20 am

I can flick an elastic band quite accurately ?  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 12:28 am

and I can fart in your general direction. My point remains if all 500 of us had AK47s it would not have made any difference to our self detonating friends.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 12:30 am

Fuck man - how did you get edited from Guido - he doesn't even seem to notice when I deliberately libel tons of people - including the venerable and strangely likable Peter H.- do let me know the secret.  

Anonymous verity said... 1:18 am

PHitch - When you're an immigrant, you respect the laws of the country which is kindly allowing you to live on its territory. This is a lesson 2.5m immigrants to Britain could learn - or should be taught.

Mutley the dog writes: "My point remains if all 500 of us had AK47s it would not have made any difference to our self detonating friends."

Oh, yes it would! If you kill a putative self-detonator before he blows himself up for allah, he doesn't qualify! To qualify for jihadi status, he has to do it to himself. So if you spike his gun, so to speak, by killing him before his big chance, that's him finished 72-virgin-wise.

I know I sound light, and I am aware of, and have deep respect for, the terrible, terrible bravery of the people on the United Airlines flight that day, but if the terrorists knew that someone was likely to shoot them before they'd pulled their detonator, they would be less likely to sacrifice themselves because they wouldn't get credit.

Therefore, the news that there are armed air marshalls and, worse, armed passengers - would indeed put some of these frenzied aggressors back in their box.  

Anonymous newmania said... 1:42 am

We do have a growing gun crime problem in London Verity. Don`t you think the availability of guns might make it worse. ( I `m assuming you would like some general relaxing of gun law)
The truth is I have next to no chance of being blown up but a small chance of being held at gun point or shot on the street.
What do you think of the gun debate in America , I `d love to know ?

Mut - The subject of race cropped up .........I think it ws just getting to boring . No medals for us

Thast right I said "Medals "Mutley  

Anonymous verity said... 2:27 am

Newmania said - you have a growing gun crime problem in Britain. Well, I don't, but indeed you do.

The rightful, law-abiding citizens have been disarmed. The answer to today's horrifying lawlessness in Britain is to allow the citizens to re-arm [no, for the citizens to demand their ancient right to defend themselves, their families and their property. But blair has degraded these ancient rights and greyed them out. I doubt that the one who disarmed you and took away your ancient human right to defend yourself and your family will allow you to re-affirm your human rights, because now HE is in charge.

Why didn't the British object with vigour at the time at the time of Dunblane? Are they that weak? One incident? At one school? Not that it wasn't so ghastly it doesn't bear thinking of, but the perpetrator was a known loon. The police force that allowed him a license is culpable for those terrible deaths of children sent innocently to school.

His sickness was only allowed in to the national debate because tony blair, who is guarded 24 hours a day by armed police, wanted to denude the British of their ability to protect themselves against intruders and become more dependent on ... their own government. That you allowed it fills me with contempt for my countrymen.

I have no sympathy with your whining, because ... you allowed it. Those parents will never, for the rest of their lives, get over the thoughts of their childrens' last moments.

Yet,even after Dunblane, the British continued to vote fascism in. I have no sympathy for you. You have sleep-walked into a mad dictatorship. Madder than Hitler.  

Anonymous verity said... 2:35 am

Newmania - there should be no chance that you get held up on the street. The aggressors should assume that you have a gun and know how to use it - even if you don't - but they don't know that. They are taking a chance. In Texas, the assumption is innocence. In Britain the assumption is 'race hatred' and 'race crime' and 'race thought' and you, the victim of alien aggression, will be found guilty and banged up.

George Orwell's sinister world. How could anyone have been so prophetic?  

Anonymous newmania said... 9:58 am

VERITY-I wouldn`t want to imply that I thought I knew anything about it .( Note respectful tone of fawning courtier), but I notice that the availability of weapons seems to have very different very different results in different places . C is the sort of person who would have a hundred examples but I am thinking of the universally armed Swiss , and their crime free country. This compares to what, on the television , appears like an ongoing war in America . You do not have to tell me that our vision of the States is woefully shallow here nonetheless plenty of people get shot . I recall the Sex Pistols ( The J Lydon Quartet comprising the trilling counter tenor of J Lydon ) , took their rebelliousness to the USA . They found the crowd they insulted actually took out guns . A shock to an Islington chap( Lydon)) used to harsh language as the ultimate offensive weapon.

You are discussing a situation where expectations have developed over time . The proliferation of guns here is not proceeding along Swiss lines and the only people who want guns carry them as fashion accessories. Shoot to be cool . Sick isn’t it .

On gun legislation here , the owners were only club members and were not about to carry their weapons around to defend themselves. They were quietly engaged in a harmless hobby that Blair picked on to make showy headlines. It did not disturb criminals.
On the related issue of knives I recently saw an appalling fight in which one young man was beaten senseless by four others in plain view of hundreds. In the past many would have intervened but the fear of a knife prevents such public spiritedness. I felt ashamed to watch but I have a family ; and a life to live.
There is no tradition of blood feuding here ,as opposed say to the continent , common law was early in England and murder by the indigenous people is staggering low even compared to say Scotland .Fist fighting is common as are loud arguments . I dislike the fear of deadly assault that is creeping into our lives I like the old rudeness and freedom to interact
Not exactly joined up thinking , I know I know……. . Sorry for rambling, enjoyed your posts as ever.

Hope the cats are well  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:39 am

As was entirely predictable, the bans on guns served to take them away from the law abiding, while the criminal classes continue unmolested. After all, anyone prepared to commit armed robbery etc is not going to be hugely worried by the additional time in stir that would come from having an illegal firearm.

In broader philosophical terms, citizens have ceded a monopoly of force to the state on the understanding that the state protects them through upholding the law. Policing is failing in this country (insert usual Croydonian piece about elected sheriffs) and vast areas of the criminal law are, to all intents and purposes not being enforced - car theft is ignored, domestic burglary is ignored, assault is ignored. So, if the police will not protect life, limb and property, it does rather beg the question whether we should not be allowed to defend ourselves and our property.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 11:03 am

I noticed i was banned from somewhere, whats was the conversation thread mania?

btw america doesnt have a gun problem it has a violent black people problem , as do we, sorry to say it but its true.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 11:04 am

and a statistic the banners ignore is how mny lives are SAVED by the possession of a firearm and how many rapes are prevented.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 11:07 am

I very leave the house unarmed , even if the "weapon" is a mini maglite , I highly reccomend them , they are a devastaing striking weapon if correctly applied  

Anonymous newmania said... 11:36 am

PHITCH -My posts and yours were removed from Guido. Couldn`t care less myself but I wouldn`t want you to get into Guido`s bad books. I know how you prize that golden "ticket" Charlie Bucket .

Busy toiling , bored ...staring out of window...sigh


Blogger Croydonian said... 11:41 am

Doesn't some thoughtful soul mirror Guido's site, capturing all posts even after Fawkes deletes them? I will investigate.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 11:56 am

Its nice to be invited anywhere , Im not sure I should go "peter hitchens" isnt me ,he exists to amuse me and hopefuly others.  

Anonymous newmania said... 12:37 pm

I can understand that , I `m more WYSIWYG.

I say just because one enjoys the PHITCH persona , doesn`t mean one cannot deliver flowers to the blushing thesps` dressing room.All the greater tour de force of artifice

You wwould have to try pretty damn hard to be as tediously boring and normal as self and C.
I doubt its possible  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:05 pm

been reading your campaign stuff , I have to say I admire your balls !
Not in the same way Mrs mania does (+: but its great to see somebody who actually "believes" anymore.
If I thought you had a ghost of a chance I would come and canvass for you (a first for me)
Why shouldnt you have a chance I ask myself.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:06 pm

You would do well in K&C everybody fucking hates Livingstone over there.  

Anonymous newmania said... 1:39 pm

Just a protest PHITCH I lack the cash..and brains ..and ability to stay sober etc. etc.

Real life is this

Dull.( Not out yet )

Oh what a let down  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:41 pm

Everyone should have at least two identities, and one of mine gets an airing when I feel the need to be incendiary. Not that I've ever used it here.

Anyway, good for Mr N for doing more than just being a keyboard warrior.

But 'tediously boring and normal'? Moi?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:44 pm

N - at the risk of lowering the tone, I'm a bit worried about the woman on your site's front page. It looks as though a mystery hand is intent on no good.  

Anonymous newmania said... 1:51 pm

C I only meant that if PHITCH imagined he had to go around being the "Floor-Show " in real life it would be pretty unbearable for him and everyone else.

C - You are a Catherine wheel of creative invention..yawn....oops sorry and no snickering.We had about 50p to spend and don`t you dare reproduce any hysterically brain dead moments in your customary way  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:12 pm

That looks very much like a scarlet cloth waved in the direction of male horned ruminant quadruped to me N.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:33 pm

newmania dont know if repateing my self here, but read an excerpt from tommy coopers boigraphy it was obvious that he did have to be the "floor show" 24/7 it was an illness , he once walkied into a library walked up to the counter asked the librarian for some scissors , cut of the bottom of his trousers and gave hee the cloth and saying "heres a turn up for the books" cant guarantee if its true but its a good tale.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:35 pm

How I ever managed to get an A level in English (when they meant something)is beyond me.
jeesh , note to self "check before posting"  

Anonymous verity said... 2:41 pm

The British believe what they see in the movies and on TV and I do not understand why. The TV programmes have lots of crime and shooting in them because they are make-believe. They do not reflect American society which is, in fact, a far more civil and courteous society than Britain.

Yes, there are pockets of lawlessness, like South LA, and some areas of Detroit, but I lived in Houston for 10 years and never witnessed a single violent incident or even a non-violent confrontation. My boyfriend lived in Dallas, 250 miles north, and I never witnessed anything untoward there, excepting running the red light, either.

And, of course, to drive it home, an armed society is a polite society and I'll bet they're just as courteous in Colorado, New Hampshire and other states where owning guns is perfectly legal and normal.

The one time I called the police - there was an intruder in my garden around 1 a.m. - they were at my house within five minutes. The first thing they asked me was, "Where do you keep your gun?"

If you shoot someone who is actually in your house without your permission (this is in Texas; don't know about other states), you'll be asked to go to the police station and sign a statement. That will be, essentially, the end of that episode. You will not be charged with any crime because defending your homestead (as it is quaintly termed) is not a crime. There isn't much breaking and entering in Texas.

People quote high figures for gun deaths, but oddly enough, they never break it down into the percentage of those deaths that were occasioned by the pursuit of a crime.

I have also said before, although perhaps not on The Croydonian, that when I was in Texas, you could not carry your gun around with you concealed - as in your briefcase or glove compartment. It had to be visible.

This was inconvenient and people made representations to the government of Texas. (As you may know, the Governor of the state is the chief executive of that state. The President of the United States is not their boss. The electorate is. That's why Bush couldn't send Federal assistance into Louisiana after Katrina without Governor Blanco's permission. He called her three times asking for permission to send in federal help and she hemmed and hawed. The President is in charge of the federal government only.)

Anyway, the Texas legislature bowed to the wishes of the voters of Texas and they voted to allow "carry concealed" and it was signed into law by the Governor at that time - a fellow called George W Bush. So now you can carry your gun in your purse, your briefcase, under your suit jacket, your glove compartment, whatever.

What's more, the crime rate in the major Texas cities - Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Austin - continues to drop. The murder rate is comparatively low. Oh gosh, do you think that has anything to do with the fact that Texas has capital punishment?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:43 pm

A fine anecdote. I like the tale of Frankie Howerd exiting a taxi, saying have a drink on me and giving the driver a tea bag.

A Level English. Way back lost in the mists of time I got an 'A' in it (preen, preen).  

Anonymous verity said... 3:00 pm

Well, I will join the preen-o-rama. So did I.

That's a funny anecdote about Frankie Howerd. Being a Londoner, the cabbie probably had a good laugh.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:54 pm

Since my readers are, as is only to be expected, erudite literary types, perhaps we should compare works stuided at A:

Othello, Antony & Cleopatra and the Winter's Tale

The Franklin's Tale

Doctor Faustus

All for Love

Jude the Obscure

The Metaphysical poets

The Rape of the Lock

And probably many more I've forgotten about, but that was in another county: and besides the wench is dead  

Anonymous newmania said... 4:47 pm

PHITCH - Yes "always on". It must be strain. Great story though
.I am not on the guest list of the Club la Preen , having a mere B on the record, I did a degree in it subsequently and got a 2.1 .
Mediocria Firma. say I

Eng Lit is harder for me as I did everything again and loads and loads more . Lear Othello , GM Hopkins , Tom Stoppard,( seriously ) don’t remember otherwise.

Boris Johnson said applicants for the post of helpmeet and familiar had A level results that “cascaded down the page like a suicidal scream” .AAAAAAAA....

When, in Venice I and a few others drunkenly phoned up for our results to make the occasion a bit more bearable we agreed to say the result . Mine was BBB(1) which is crap as a word but …

OOO worked well ( there may be trouble ahead)
EOO Nasty
BAA for the clever clogs slightly disappointed
My chum peter Warner who went to St Johns and is now the possessor of a mile of crunchy gravel drive produced the sigh of satisfaction
AAAA ……………


( Not again with the wench C ,not again)  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 6:32 pm

I got an "E" and an "E" in Economics
Seeing as my career choice was to be an Army officer and I didn't read any of the books I was quite happy with that, it sufficed(not that the career path worked out)
The Army views anybody with good grades as deeply suspicious and probably better suited to the Navy or RAF  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:42 pm

N - All I got was a gentleman's lower second. I got a C(1) in Geography, of which I'm moderately proud.

PH - same with civil engineering. Firsts are reckoned umemployable.  

Anonymous verity said... 6:48 pm

I did King Lear and A Winter's Tale, but I can't remember which one was for 'O' levels and which was for 'A'. Pride And Prejudice. A Thomas Hardy, but I can't remember which one. I have a feeling we did Piers The Ploughman.

I can't remember them all because I was also reading so much English literature off piste at the same time.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 6:56 pm

let me qualify that
The Army does have some intelligent people but they tend to be shunted off to REME if clever and practical(engineers)
If dull they get sent to the pay or catering corp ,If mad they join the medical corps (doctors).  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:58 pm

I was fortunate to have had two very fine English teachers for A level, one of whom was good enough to supervise, so to speak, my reading for Oxbridge entrance. I repaid her efforts by throwing a seven in the interview, but I did get to read a lot of Shakespeare, Metaphysical poets etc.  

Anonymous newmania said... 7:46 pm

What did you make of Pride and Prejudice Verity ?I love Jane Austen ?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 7:50 pm

Way back lost in the mists of time, I heard about a senior common room game called 'humiliation', in which lecturers etc had to confess to books that they had not read. I've never read Austen...  

Anonymous newmania said... 8:31 pm

Lucky man , I have saved little for my dotage . You have a treat in store .

I have persuaded JAQ to drink at the Croydonian well( I think) , look out for her.  

Anonymous verity said... 10:11 pm

Yes, of course, a book with an opening sentence of such acuity and humour is bound to be a wonderful read. I also loved Sense and Sensibility.

I don't know why people think Austen should have referred to the Napoleonic wars. She wasn't writing War And Peace.  

Anonymous newmania said... 1:07 am

VERITY-She wasn't writing War And Peace.- No indeed , something much more to my taste . Do you remember when Elizabeth says she first began to love darcy

"I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley. ..."

A joke , of course but also just a little bit true  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:20 am

N - I will keep an eye out for Jaq.

Nothing useful I can say about P&P, S&S and so on....  

Anonymous verity said... 3:06 am

Newmania - because she appreciated his taste and sensibility. She fell in love with what he had created.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 4:45 pm

She fell in love with what he had created.
There lies an insight into the female view of love/lust ,it wasnt his tight trousers or handsome face it was his mind.  

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