Do not be terrorised by anti-terrorism.

I feel like a stranger in my own City. This is not my London that I live in, it is a town that has been handed over to the security forces. We are a town under threat of a “known unknown” though all evidence that there is a threat is of course a security threat in itself.

The numbers of security personnel needed to guard us against the terrorist threat has tripled

  • G4S alone were required to increase numbers of people supplied from 2,000 to 10,000 in two years
  • The cycle and towpath around the Olympic complex has been closed 23 days before the games
  • We are advised not to drive our cars into central London for fear of gridlock
  • We can’t drive our cars into central London because of Games’ Lanes confusing and congesting – an unwelcome replacement for the M4 closure of last week
  • I will pay a fine of £135 if confusion or wilfulness or a need to get to my destination gets the better of me and I drive on a road for which my road tax has paid.
  • The streets of our capital are further clogged with unmarked security cars – sirens blazing.

Drug-tests, bag-checks, road-blocks!

No fly zones, gun-boats on the Thames, ground to air missiles.

The onus for keeping London going has passed from Londoners to the military.

The culture is now about things not going wrong rather than things going right.

People are frightened not elated – we are scared about not being in the right place at the right time. We are not enjoying hosting this event – we are allowing ourselves to be terrorized by the threat of terrorism.

This morning I receive a threatening e-mail telling me that unless I logon to their website and confirm I have no dietary requirements, I will not get my Olympic tickets and will “fall at the final hurdle”. No telephone number, no signatures – an automated threatening e-mail.

I tell you – this security bullying is contagious everyone’s up to it – it’s the Olympics!

There’s not a lot that can be done, control has been lost and those, like Westminster pulling the plug on Macca and Springsteen, who have been handed the keys to our city, are revelling in their new found powers.

But when these games are over WE ARE HAVING OUR CITY BACK

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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5 Responses to Do not be terrorised by anti-terrorism.

  1. Mike Atkin says:

    I can totally agree with you Henry. Let me give you my perception from 125 miles north of you. It started with a flurry of enthusiasm on ordering tickets although this was tempered by reading the terms and conditions. Anyway we then had a period of uncertainty and a debit taken from my account on the off chance. Time went by and enthusiasm returns as I am allocated tickets. Enthusiasm dies completely as I try to book an hotel within a reasonable distance of the venue at a reasonable price (a little naive perhaps I know). Secured a hotel but the event is in Greenwich and the hotel is in Chiswick. Sent some emailed observations to our london tourist authorities to alert them to the impending rip off scenario but no interest from them. Receive numerous emails from Locog all trying to sell me some more tickets (no chance) or souvenirs (not yet – not got there yet). I’m just wandering about the longer term effects on Londons reputation as visitors are “fleeced for flea pits”. Theres a new strapline for the games. Then we have all of the stuff that Henry has mentioned above and then I get a text to my phone from locog threatening me with excommunication and hanging drawing and quartering if I don’t read an email sent to my home email which I couldn’t access at the time. I sent an email through locogs contac page but a week later – no reply. I honestly wish that I hadn’t bothered.

  2. Abandon TV says:

    The so called ‘war on terror’ has been going on for a decade now. Presumably the contract to provide security (insecurity?) for the games was arranged well in advance of the games.

    Why wasn’t the security and its implication worked out in detail well in advance? Here are the main priorities regarding the olympic site itself: Buildings, security, transport, facilities. That’s it!

    Things that bother me:

    – Why aren’t (more) police being used? They are already well trained (and paid for).
    – Reports of the army being flown in from Europe by chinook helicopter at night and stationed at local barracks were circulating on the web several weeks ago. Yet this is being portrayed as a new development in response to the failings of G4S. Are the G4S failings being used (perhaps engineered to some extent) in order to justify the heavy militarisation of the games?
    – Why are so many people including ex MOD personnel talking about the possibility of an ‘alien presence’ at the games? It feels like we are being primed for just such an event.
    – In relation to the last point why is ensuring a totally clear and *controlled* airspace over the games of such a crucial importance?
    – Finally, why are people actually bothering to go? I couldn’t think of anywhere on earth I’d less like to be than Stratford during the olympics. We should all be holding a cheap and cheerful ‘sports days’ where we live instead, with lots fun races (anyone remember ‘fun’?) and lots of homemade cakes and tea on tables (etc). ……… and let Coca Cola, MacDonalds and the various military industrial corporations do their own thing in London *on their own*. The whole thing is insane.

    • Mike Atkin says:

      I think that we should perhaps be approaching it all from a different angle.
      Somewhat along the lines of volounteers for the trenches in the first world war we should manfully bear all that they can throw at us and over the top we go. They consider that they are affording us a privelege to attend their Olympics. I’ve realised that I’m an unpaid extra in all of this buts its very galling to be continually reminded of the fact. At least I’m only going to Greenwich and not Stratford.

  3. henry tapper says:

    I suspect that there will be outbreaks of spontanaiety; disruptive influences will insist on smuggling in teacakes and Chelsea buns and eating them in front of outraged franchisees in the Olympic park.

    There will be outbreaks of fun which will avoid supression and will be reported in the underground press that will spring up after the internet has been turned off ( a prime means of propogating terrorism that internet).

    Summer has been cancelled.

  4. Mike Atkin says:

    All is now well. Macdonalds are allowing other food suppliers to sell chips.

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