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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  11/01/2009  :  06:04
New Year, new topic. If you want to see the old one do a forum search for same title but 2008.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Bruff
Regular Member


479 Posts
Posted - 12/02/2010 : 12:59
Tizer - A particularly infamous incident occured at Victoria Station last year.  The main entrance to Victoria is quite a pleasant looking thing, and the immediate area contains London's premier collection of 'French-style' architecture (most folk miss it - you need to look up).

 
An Austrian tourist and his young son were stooped by several police after taking photos here.  They were made to delete all photos; taken to a police station and datained for questioning; asked to present their passports; and I'm really sure DNA swabbed.

 
This was a middle aged Austrian tourist and his 10-year old boy.

 
Emphasising and in all seriousness, if you take photographs around transport hubs now (as just one example of the newly sensitive environment), you run a very real risk of being pulled up and questioned.  And the moment you question or refuse to tug the forelock, you'll be in even more hot water (I recall the chap in London who, alonng with his little boy, was stopped at a Tube exit as part of a stop-and-search drive by police as part of on-going the 'terrorist' hysteria.  He refused the police's demand - one can hardly call them requests these days - as they hadn't proven to him grounds for his searching based on concern.  He, along with his little boy, was dragged off and questioned.  They seem to like involving children - good to embed the climate of fear I suppose).

 
Our contract with the state used to be that if we got on with things and gave no cause for concern, then we could quite happily be left alone.  This is slowly, and creepingly, being changed, at a rate so slow we won't know what we've lost 'till it's gone (to get all cliched).  And it's starting with 'causes for concern' being photographing railways stations, looking a bit funny, painting factories, laughing too much in a car or sneezing.  And so on and so on.

 
Not the Nine O'Clock news nearly 3 decades ago rather predicted this.  Gryff Rhys Jones was Constable Savage, questioned by Rowan Atkinson as his superior for arresting someone whilst 'being in the possession of an offensive haircut', and 'wearing a loud shirt between the hours of 10pm and 6am'.

 
Richard Broughton



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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 12/02/2010 : 15:26
The strange thing is that while the police are `catching' all these innocent folk I never see any police on the street. Now, I do live in a small village in Somerset but when I go into towns there are no police walking the streets (in Taunton on Wednesday about four police cars went racing through the centre with sirens and flashing lights but we didn't see any on foot, cycle or motorcycle). So how do they `catch' people taking photos, or is it a city thing? (I don't do cities.)


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 12/02/2010 : 17:19
Richard and Peter, you do right to air this subject which is very close to my heart. I have noted during my reading of history that the use of fear by the authorities as a tool of government almost always accompanies bankrupt and dictatorial political policy. It isn't new but we have seen an escalation over the last nine years following Dubya announcing the 'War on Terror'. If ever a reaction to an event was conflated so quickly or had such devastating reults I haven't seen it. The nearest that comes to it is the Reichstadt fire (strongly suspected to have been started by the Nazis to give an excuse for repression).

Thirty years ago I went to Precinct house 13 that always figured in the Kojak films and was given a guided tour of the building by a sergeant, we even saw an interrogation in progress and the cells. When I told him that it could never happen in England he was amazed, he said he thought the English Bobby was the most friendly in the world. I had to explain our attitudes to authority to him. 


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 13/02/2010 : 12:03
Clarification...I presume the `it' in "When I told him that it could never happen in England" refers to the guided tour, not the interrogation?


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 14/02/2010 : 08:14
Of course, try walking into your local cop shop and asking for a guided tour....

Precinct 13 had a row of plaques on the wall behind the sergeant's desk in the reception area. They commemorated all the officers killed on duty from the precinct.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 14/02/2010 : 12:01
Another case of `I just can't beleive it!'...

Man refused bus ride in Dorset over tin of fence paint (from BBC News web site)
A bus driver told a passenger he could not board his vehicle because he was carrying a tin of fence paint. Brian Wakley, from Sandford in Dorset, was 10 miles (16km) from home when told he could not board the 1B Bournemouth to Poole Transdev Yellow Buses service. The retired office worker said he was told the £3.75 can of non-toxic green paint breached regulations. The company said paint was banned from being carried on to its vehicles because it could cause a mess.

Mr Wakley, who said he was over 65, said: "It's absolutely diabolical. Millions of people rely on public transport to take home things like paint and DIY equipment. "It was a five-litre sealed plastic pot. I know it was innocuous because I took the liberty of contacting the manufacturer. "The driver said to me, 'I'm sorry you can't come aboard because you are carrying a banned substance'. "I said, 'It's a can of paint'. He said it was against regulations." He added: "You see yobs on buses eff-ing and blinding and yet here I am, a pensioner, carrying some paint. It makes me feel like my human rights have been violated." (more on BBC site)


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 14/02/2010 : 16:57
I heard the same report and I despair of the way regulation and 'jobsworth' attitudes seeps into everything. Where is the common sense and reasonable attitude?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 14/02/2010 : 17:22
This afternoon my dad said there was a report in his newspaper about a man who took his child to school one morning. His wife usually took the child while he went off to work but that day she was unable to do so. He saw the child through the gate and was standing there waving when a man came and told him he wasn't allowed to stand there. To cut the long story short, `it isn't allowed' because he might be a paedophile.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 15/02/2010 : 06:39
My attitude when something ridiculous like this happens is to give my name and address and tell them I'd love to be taken to court. Last incident was when a park ranger told me I wasn't allowed to sit on the swings in the playground on the park. Age limit was 12.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Bruff
Regular Member


479 Posts
Posted - 15/02/2010 : 12:58
There was another bloke stopped from taking paint on a bus last year.  God help anyone who takes a bus into town to buy a new set of cooking knives......

 
If you stand on a mainline rail station these days, it is an endless stream of announcements warning not to do this and that, make sure you do this, keep this in mind and so on and so on and so on.  Endless warnings and notices.

 
My favourite is the warning to watch your bags, which ends with ''....any unattended bag will be destroyed by the security forces'', and the subliminal fear that these 'security forces' are watching your every move............

 
One thing I like doing in an attempt to preserve my sanity, is doing a little dance for the CCTV camera or pulling a face.  I think I might get away with this, though I wouldn't bet on it; I sometimes wonder whether round the corner I'll get pulled over one day and swabbed etc

 
Richard Broughton



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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 15/02/2010 : 15:13
You're in for it Richard, they'll think your little dance is a covert signal to your accomplices to come and shoot (dangerous word) lots of buildings with their Leicas.

Talking of paint carried on the bus, I flew back from a lab in California in the 1970s with a brown paper parcel between my feet that was emitting white `fumes'. It contained samples of deep ocean sediment for analysis and packed in carbon dioxide ice. Nobody asked me about it - in fact I was a bit disappointed that I got so little attention. Imagine doing it now!


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 15/02/2010 : 16:27
I like it Richard, a friend of mine in California once told me that to preserve her sanity she committed one small anti-social act each day, like dropping litter or responding to an official instruction. She reckoned it was good for her self-esteem and I tend to agree with her.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Bruff
Regular Member


479 Posts
Posted - 16/02/2010 : 08:29
Tell you what, when I lived and worked in London, I used to walk from Waterloo Station to my offices on Southwark Bridge.  If I did a little jig in front of every camera I passed I'd be jiggered in no time.  It pays to be selective.

 
Quite often, I used to take a little paring knife into work with me to chop up fruit for lunch, or slice pieces of cheese and bread.  I took it in my briefcase.  Don't do that anymore.  Looking like a respectable(ish) business-type with an overcoat, suit and tie would be no defense.

 
Richard Broughton



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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 09/03/2010 : 06:36
I’ve been trying to work out what the Tory’s policies are for social spending. Quite hard really because like Labour they are still working it out. Cameron started by advocating ring fencing the headline services of health, education and defence implying that the cuts would be elsewhere with no tax increases. Then he realised that this was pie in the sky and had to change tack. The last thing he wants to do is flag up tax rises and social spending cuts, he’s in a bad enough position as it is because he has to campaign on the reality of the worst deficit in modern history, everyone who thinks about finances at all knows that the reality is austerity but they have to code the message so that the mass of voters will think they are going to do something different. Labour are doing the same thing on a smaller scale but taking a different tack. If you listen to Cameron he has started to use words like ‘connectivity’, ‘participation’ ‘local initiative’ and ‘partnership’. This is code for a reversion to pure 19th century laisse faire economics.  Local authorities funding services from the rates (the old Poor Rate), responsibility passed to charities, minimum funding from central government achieved by shifting some responsibilities to local level but I guess by allowing social benefits to decline by not increasing in line with what will be rising inflation as the other fiscal measures bite. The bottom line is that this is a reversal of enlightened policies that have done much to alleviate poverty and misery in the bottom of the economy in the last hundred years. Before the right wingers start to shout about people having to take responsibility for themselves and that strange beast blanket ‘benefit culture’ which saps people’s will to get on, recognise that the Labour Exchanges were instituted by Winston Churchill. Read Harold McMillan’s book, ‘The Middle Way’ and note that even Oswald Mosley came back from the Great War determined to do something to make the lot of the poorest in society better. In fact when Harold McMillan lost his seat at Stockton on Tees the national newspapers reported that ‘the Socialist Captain McMillan’ had got what was coming to him. This is dangerous stuff because it was these 19th century  policies that led to the realisation late in the century that despite being one of the richest countries in the world, Britain had the worst level of what they called ‘physical efficiency’ and both the Tories and the Liberals recognised that something had to be done. The first result of this was a gradual improvement in housing standards and the establishment of public parks to encourage ‘rational leisure’. These same pressures led to the emergence of the Socialist movement and eventually the formation of the Labour Party. The Great War was the next spur to activity and was reinforced by revolution in Russia in 1917, the ruling classes of the time realised that they were sitting on a powder keg and this led to some enlightened measures like the ‘homes fit for heroes’ movemeny and the Adison Housing Act which was the most enlightened measure ever taken on public housing. It’s instructing to note that as soon as they realised that a recession was looming and this was going to occupy the thinking of the lower orders and make revolution impossible the Adison Act was scrapped and it wasn’t until the 1930s that proper housing improvement was started again. I could go on, the effects of the world recession were made worse in Britain by the disastrous reversion to the gold standard under the Tories. Give Churchill his due, though chancellor of the exchequer he did ask the Treasury official if they were sure this was the right thing to do and they assured him that we had to have what they called ‘sound money’, in other words monetarist policies. See any similarities here? Keynes was advocating deficit financed spending to get the economy moving again but the treasury had the power and did exactly the wrong thing. Eventually it was WW2 that dragged us out of the swamp because the only way production could be stimulated was by Keynesian measures. Alright, the expense of the war almost bankrupted the country but it would have been a lot worse if policy hadn’t changed.  When Labour took over in 1945 they had a worse financial position than we have now but look what they achieved. They put down the foundations of the Welfare State which meant there was a safety net for the sick, disabled, unemployed and disadvantaged, the most enlightened social policies anywhere in the 20th century. They didn’t start to address the problems by assuming they had to revert to 19th century laisse faire. There is a lesson in here for whoever wins the election. Retrenchment on social spending, shifting the burden of recovery on those least able to fund it, is the worst mistake that could be made. It is the danger I see in the emerging policies of the Tories. I fear for the poorest and most disadvantaged. So, listen carefully to what the politicians are saying, analyse the words and ask yourself ‘Just exactly what do they mean by this?’

 


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 09/03/2010 : 07:56
In my opinion the poor and disadvantaged could get by for at least one year without an increase. You missed out the the one real measure "means testing"  but the problem with that is it is unfair at the margins.
They put down the foundations of the Welfare State which meant there was a safety net for the sick, disabled, unemployed and disadvantaged. Which also supports the feckless and gives the politico's control of society and votes. The system is brilliant as long as control is maintained, but when Frank Field was asked to look at the unthinkable Nu Labour baulked at his findings. It has become a game to cheat the system, would you report your neighbour/friend if you knew they fiddled the odd few pound ?? most people won't.
It is going to have to end or be totally re vamped the Expectation can't go on. I don't say that for political purposes it is just the World has changed since the 1940s. Now Japan makes the cars, Korea and Findland make the ships, and Germany makes machine tools, China/India/Bangladesh make the cheap shoddy goods etc 
The Empire is no more, and we have never worked out how to overcome it's loss. But our Expectations continue to grow and they need to be managed, I think this is the difference between Cameron and Brown. Godron seems to deny that we are in a mess, some of which is his making.Cameron is a little afraid to tell the truth but at least he dosen't deny it.

Edited by - frankwilk on 09/03/2010 08:02:05 AM



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