Wow, just when you think you’ve heard all the stupid ideas there are to be heard, a new idea comes along that is so amazingly stupid you wonder why some lackwit didn’t think of it ages ago.
Well this one’s a doozie.
Really? And who came up with this great idea? You can’t move for terrorists on trains. Yes, I know there have been a couple of incidents, one horrifically successful, but really, have we come to this? Why stop at trains? Why not the National Express, the water taxi from Embankment to Canary Wharf, or the car from my gaff to the shops?
The Home Office has published details of what it wants the scanners to detect and how they should work, and is asking for advice on the technology available.
“The main focus is on the detection of explosives and weapons on people and in bags,” the research brief states, suggesting that technologies including X-ray, magnetometry, vapour and trace methods, electromagnetic radiation and ultrasound could be used.
Right, so let’s take a train from a big commuter town, let’s say Ashford. We’ve normal speed trains into the central south of town and the fast trains running up to St. Pancras via Stratford. I can’t be arsed to go and check how many an hour pass through Ashford in peak time, but it must be at least two of each. How many people get on at Ashford? A lot, and it isn’t just there, there’s Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Dover, Folkestone, Canterbury, Margate. . .
And you want to screen a quarter of these people?
Oh, that’s not all, you might have an exploding leg. . .
The researchers also want to know whether wheelchairs, false limbs, crutches, pushchairs, and bikes could be scanned and whether so-called dirty bombs could be spotted.
Yes! Quick! SCAN ALL THE THINGS! Look, I’ve tried the ham and
plastic cheese meltie from the charming ‘Disinterested School-leaver Cafe’ on the platforms at SouthEastern, I’m more concerned about the damage that will do to me than a dirty bomb.
“Ooooh, now come on, Wolfers,” I hear you say, “nasty people want to kill us, to take our freedoms.”
Here’s a thing to think about, we live under a government that has taken more of our freedoms than anyone or anything else, except for the government that came before it. All in the name of our safety. Do you feel safer?
Is standing around in a queue for an hour to get on a train going to make you feel safer, or will you find it just the slightest imposition?
Here comes the really delusional bit:
Crucially, the document insists the scanning must be done without holding anyone up.
“Any screening methodologies proposed must not delay the passengers any more than they are currently as they pass through the station,” it states.
Yeah, right. See how long that lasts as the 25% is upped to 37% and it becomes a regrettable and unavoidable delay, but really you should factor it in to your day, it is for your own safety, after all. And don’t you dare complain or crack a feeble joke, and for fuck’s sake, don’t tweet anything about it. If you do, that disinterested school leaver selling you your overheated, over-priced, under-flavoured savoury product will not be using those latex gloves to handle your food, they’ll be using them with lube.
And who will be paying for this? Well because of the unique way our rail system is run, the companies who pay the government for the right to run trains on our rails get most of that money back in the form of subsidies, and then they bend you over, and when you think you’re getting a body cavity search, they fuck you. Sans lube. Apparently that is free market economics, sounds like corporatism to me, but hey what do I know?
Anyway, you will be herded, treated with suspicion, delayed, inconvenienced, humiliated and be not one bit safer. Why? Because if you want to kill shit loads of people on a train, all you do is drive to some remote rural spot and put a bloody great big bomb on the track. And you will pay through the nose for this.
If you allow me to put my tin foil hat on for a moment, I might forecast a country where you will not be able to board a train or a plane without being bollock naked and sitting silently with your hands open and in clear view on your knees at all times, your car will be tracked. Until cars are abolished and you can only hire them like a Boris bike. And they’ll be electric with a 15 mile range, to stop you going too far, and you’ll be tracked every inch of the way.
They’ll probably outlaw shoes so you can’t walk anywhere.
I’ll make another forecast. We’ll swallow it, every last drop. Because we always do. Except you and me. And we’re the nutters.
Maybe they’re right.
I’m past caring.