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back to article UK abandons train and tube scanners

The Brown government has changed its mind on placing security scanners at every London tube station and mainline train stations across the country, because the technology does not work and the public would not tolerate the long delays such scanning would require. Despite doubts from London Underground after the original trials …

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Anonymous Coward

What kind of fuckwit do we have running our country?

"Despite doubts from London Underground after the original trials Gordon Brown gave the scheme his support..."

Despite an expert report saying Cannabis shouldn't be re-Class B'ed, he goes ahead and does so, claiming non-existent "lethality".

Despite unbiased expert sources telling him that ID cards will not work as advertised, he persists with the hare-brained vote-losing scheme, instead of ditching it when he could have as the misguided legacy of Bliar.

So people who might be expected to know tell him that it won't work and he does it anyway. He's taken one or two lessons too many from Tony.

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Stop

Godron's (sic) 3-phase plan

1) Incrementally increase the expense and unpleasantness of motoring in every way possible

2) Incrementally increase invasveness and prevelance of surveillance and searches on public transport

3) Profit!

(I know phase 2 is traditionally left blank, but this time there IS a phase 2...)

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Crikey

Let us all marvel for a moment that sense has taken hold of the government and a stupid idea has been abandoned.

I'd love to believe that this was the beginning of a trend where pointless "security" measures that will provide no protection but needlessly infringe upon people's lives are abandoned, but this governments track record of trashing my optimism is a long one.

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Coat

Lets abandon public mass transport

We are far more vulnerable to terrorist attack in a train or bus than we are in a car. Surely its time we stopped throwing money into the transport black hole, and started investing in a decent road system.

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Anonymous Coward

Bollocks

The government never had any intention in installing this stuff. It was a post-attack, big "oh look, we're doing something". Now that the backlash is getting going they're happily dropping all their unfeasible suggestions. ID cards will be next.

<hopes>

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Happy

How to apply bias...

If you are against the new technology, you would write "..These scanners, which can look through clothes, proved particularly unpopular with young women. .."

If you are in favour of the new technology, you would write "..These scanners, which can look through clothes, proved particularly popular with young men. .."

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Now I'm confused

It would have cost billions; it would have crushed a few more rights; it'd have employed more people in peaked hats and big boots; it have been hopelessly unreliable, inconvenient and infuriating; and most of all - IT WOULDN'T HAVE WORKED...

...and the government is abandoning it?

What (as they say) gives?

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We are to blame

But we (I use the word loosely) deserve this because of our insistence that 'something must be done': any government which turns round and says 'stuff will happen' will be pilloried for doing so. If the idea hadn't been tried and dismissed, then at some future date when something happens (as sadly it no doubt will) the tabloids would have fallen over themselves to cast the blame on those who were offered the chance to improve security and dismissed it out hand without trying it.

Another example of the pressure to achieve security at any cost is CRB checking, 3.6m checks this year. Today's Telegraph: "Beverly was all set to volunteer for her five-year-old daughter Mary's school party last March. She was shocked when she learnt from a teacher that she was not welcome as she hadn't been vetted by the Criminal Records Bureau." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/main.jhtml?xml=/education/2008/06/26/ftchild126.xml . As the article says, this desire for total safety probably works against those it is meant to benefit.

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Boffin

DOH, DOH!

"Instead of fixed scanners British Transport Police will continue to use some mobile scanners and sniffer dogs."

Wow, the cops have more clue than the government, Who'da thunk it?

There is another reason why scanners at rail stations are pointless - most stations are open structures that are impossible to seal so that cattle^h^h^h^h^hpassengers can be directed to the scanner

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It couldn't possibly work

If they scan everyone for weapons going in how are the police going to be able to get their guns through to shoot the passengers? By the time they've explained themselves and got through the queues the train will have left.

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Coat

Sadly, AC (Bollocks) is probably wrong.

The Government cannot drop ID Cards. There is too much money tied up in it already. The howls from the IT & E.Technology industries in UK & abroad would be unbearable. While the UK may not be a massive market - once the technologies and techniques have been proved with the "Bolshie Brits" the world is the IT & ETech industry's lobster.

Scanners are a bit of a different matter - at the moment. I want to know when the rules are going to be changed to make the use of scanners acceptable/required. (Next major bomb attack & loss of life?) In airports - when you travel, you agree to comply with the airport and carriers terms and conditions including scanning. If faced with being scanned - and assumed guilty or prevented from travel if I object - then private transport is the alternative until it becomes prohibitively expensive. What price freedom then?

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Re: What kind of fuckwit do we have running our country?

An elected one, sadly... For as long as we take the attitude "they're all he same, I don't care enough to vote/stand/complain/..." we have to take some of the blame.

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Anonymous Coward

@What kind of fuckwit do we have running our country?

He's called Gordon Brown.

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Er...

"because the technology does not work and the public would not tolerate the long delays"

And this does not apply to airports ???

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Paris Hilton

@Lets abandon public mass transport

>We are far more vulnerable to terrorist attack in a train or bus than we are in a car.

Yep, but you're far more likely to be killed in a car accident than in a bus or train (annual total for terrorism + bus + train accidents last year is less than a 10th of the deaths caused by cars). Your greenies will also point out that the global warming caused by cars is significantly more likely to kill you, make you homeless, starve you etc than that caused by public transport.

>Surely its time we stopped throwing money into the transport black hole, and started investing in a decent road system.

We tried that - it doesn't work - more roads cause more cars, which implies more roads, which eventually ends up with no space for food, housing etc. The countries where there are fewer traffic problems do it in one of two ways - by being too poor for most to afford cars, or by having a decent public transport system so people don't need to clutter up the roads with cars.

Anyway, back to the point - investing in security at stations will have three notable effects 1) diverting funds from useful and desperately needed improvements to public transport. 2) slowing down the users, making it even less attractive than the current unreliable, dirty and run by muppet systems, and 3) having no effect whatsoever on terrorist activity, showing once again, that our government just does not understand security.

Paris - because her knickers are more secure than a scanner enabled tube station.

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Linux

For once, the man sees sense.

This government is like a badly behaved toddler, you tell them "don't touch that, Its hot." Then they do it anyway and then they wonder why the public burns them. Honestly. it doesn't matter who tells them that their stupid schemes are stupid they do it anyway. Then for once they do realise "hmmm stupid scheme is stupid" but it isn't far enough. they need to realise that the nanny/police state we are walking into is unacceptable too. School teachers are afraid to let kids climb in trees, or go pond dipping, we have more CCTV cameras than anyone else, The government is also behaving more and more like the NSDAP.

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Paris Hilton

@ Steve

"Elected"? You sure about that?

I don't recall anyone actually being given a chance to *vote* for the sour faced incompetent git.

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@Nic Brough

Yes, because there are infinite cars, and infinite people to drive them, apparently.

*rant* Anyway, what kind of fucked up logic dictates that traffic congestion is a problem to be solved by... restricting car use by other means? What problem exactly are you trying to solve? Do you solve hospital overcrowding by shutting hospitals? */rant*

/man from a part of the country with ample road provision, very high rates of car use, and very little real traffic congestion

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What kind of fuckwit do we have running our country?

The answer is the one we voted for - or not (when Blair was re-elected, Brown as leader was part of the ticket). This lot may appear clumsy but thats got a lot to do with the advice a leader gets. Don't expect the next lot to be any better I've worked alongside one of them and he and his mates seemed most worked up about the abolition of fox hunting. I suppose the only good thing is that the goverments final seen sense. Anon as they'll be after me on horses.

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Joke

unpopular amongst women

... because just like most men the first thought regarding the new "through clothes" scanners is X-ray specs!!! The sexes agree on this one!!

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Stop

Up north public transport is a joke

so I tend not to use it. Round these parts no one wants to use it as it is thought to be unsafe. They set buses on fire here, as well as assaulting and robbing the drivers. If you want go to through the city centre you need to use 3 modes of transport (each requiring a separate ticket). A friend says if it were like London an had the Corporation running the show (like it used to be 40 years ago) it would work much better. However, as it stands at the moment, they wonder why no one wants to use it. We can have some transport in 5 years. I want it now not in 5 ruddy years.

Stop as it's all gonna grind to a halt.

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Joke

@Jon Press

>> "because the technology does not work and the public would not tolerate the long delays"

> And this does not apply to airports ???

Most people don't commute to work on aeroplanes!

Imagine trying to catch the 08:21 to Waterloo only to find that you have to arrive half an hour earlier to get through the security scanners whilst removing your shoes and disposing of any bottles of liquid greater than 100ml...

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@ Dan White

We have never directly voted for any Prime Minister ever. They are elected or appointed by the party who is in power at the time, who were elected.

If you want a directly elected head of state or parliament, I would suggest you do not continue to live in the UK.

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@Dan White

Elected - I think you'll find the electors of his constituency got the chance to vote for him in the first placae, and then the Labour Party MPs got another chance. These would be the MPs who were elected to represent a majority of seats in the country.

And please try to remember we do not have a ruling President, voted for personally, we have a ruling Party, voted for collectively. Blair may have /acted/ like a President, but he was still just the chief exec of the party with the largest number of seats.

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@Anonymous Coward / Hospitals

"Do you solve hospital overcrowding by shutting hospitals? "

Flawed analogy - people don't have a choice about needing to go into hospital, they do have a choice about how to travel.

Make it hard /expensive / tiring to travel by method A, and people will start to use method B. Petrol prices (which are NOT controlled by the Govt, let it be noted) are a case in point. As prices rise, people reconsider non-essential trips. I've stopped driving the kids to the nice leisure centre for a swim, because it became cheaper to pay for guest passes at my local gym. We didn't do our son's birthday at the jungle-tumble place because some parents were unhappy driving the 20 mile round trip.

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This lot may appear clumsy but thats got a lot to do with the advice a leader gets.

Gets...and then ignores it seems...

No excuse for it.

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re:What kind of fuckwit do we have running our country?

Yep, as the guy above says, the one you voted for. But I disagree with him on the point that someone else wouldn't be better. Who could be worse and how so?

One of the things that people really don't understand in Britain is that the money spent by government, whether local or national, is their money. You give it to them for two purposes. To protect you and to provide services to you.

Now tell me how well this is going? Which services do you think have improved with the massive increase in money they've taken from you in the form of arbitrary increases in taxation? How better protected do you feel?

Which projects, all of which should serve only those purposes, do you feel actually do serve those purposes? And of those projects, how many have been successfully completed and given a reasonable period of bedding in, work as advertised?

Now tell me again that you believe just about anybody else couldn't do this job better than the current idiots you've voted for.

My belief is the only way things will change is if you do two things. First you need as many people as possible to vote for anyone other than those currently elected - and to do so regardless of the party of the incumbent or the party of the opponent. The other thing is for as many people as possible to make it clear why this is happening.

Politicians are like the media, mostly of them are retarded. They can't see the obvious if it came up and bit them. So unless the public informs both the media and the politicians why and how you're dissatisfied, every new MP will think they can get away with the same shit all over again.

The thing is you have to repeat this process until they finally understand that in order to get re-elected, they actually have to do their jobs, listen to the electorate and do as the electorate wishes. The process I'm talking about is called lobbying, and big business is not the only entity entitled to do this.

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Coat

@Lets abandon public mass transport

Using the same argument as the poster...

Because car bombers use cars, let's abandon cars and use public mass transport.

Apologies for feeding the troll. Mines the one with the suspicious bulges, which will doubtless get me shot in the head by over-reacting armed police when I board that public mass transport.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Hospital analogy

banning/restricting cars in favour of mass public transport

vs

closing smaller outlying hospitals in favour of city hospitals

erm... not only does the analogy work, but is a fair assesment of a lot (all?) of government policies.

lets try it with other issues

post offices

librarys

schools

prolifferation of WMD

OMG the gummint only has one policy!!!

centralise then outsource.

mines the one without the spellchecker, ta.

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Mat

@ MarkMac

"Flawed analogy - people don't have a choice about needing to go into hospital, they do have a choice about how to travel."

So you've never heard of 'Elective Inpatients' then..............

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Unhappy

What bombers? And what terrorists?

We had real terrorists back with the IRA.

More people die every month in any single London burrow than "Terrorists" kill.

Yet the "Terrorist Card" is used to control us and to make us fear each other.

The word "Terrorist" can find a direct analogy in the word "Hell"

Both mythical ideals, used to control the credulous and to hold power over the population

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Anonymous Coward

<no title>

Even if more roads generated more cars (and there is a limit at worst) then it just goes to show that the real problem is that many folk are regretfully abandoning the benefit of personal mobility, and enduring the limited abilities of public transport. The answer isn't to pile more misery on us, it is to supply sufficient roads for all; and to do whatever is necessary so folk do not feel the need to make so many journeys in the first place. But of course beating up the public (in particular the poorer sections) is the easy option.

The answer to things been done badly in your own country is rarely to leave. That's a last resort, "given up", situation. Why should folk effectively get pushed out of their own country simply because they can see that the status quo is not "right"? The answer is to take action to put it "right", so one can feel more proud of one's own nation.

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Labour's not working!

"because the technology does not work"

Since when has this sort of reason stopped a Labour government implementing it?

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Stop

We never vote for Prime Minister

It really annoys me when people say 'We didn't vote for Brown'. We've never voted for any Prime Minister, all you vote for is your local MP. Then whichever party has the most MPs picks the Prime Minister. The only way you can vote for the PM is to be a member of the party that wins the general election.

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Unhappy

@ neil

So, lets see... other candidates intimidated into not standing, leading to a pointless election with only one candidate that nobody has any respect for, with a reputation for bullying and arrogance. Leading a party full of cronies who have been screwing the masses to get what they want...

Zimbabwe? No, Gordon Brown's appointment just 12 months back.

And don't worry mate, I'm actively looking to get out of this shit-hole police state.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @ neil

>>Zimbabwe? No, Gordon Brown's appointment just 12 months back.

I don't know that Gordy authorised the breaking of the arms and legs of Tory supporters, did he?

Still, I think that's an entirely apposite comparison, and sensitively made.

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Happy

@Sarah Bee

Thanks for that. I've had my coffee and morning rant now, and I feel much better :-)

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Pirate

@We never vote for Prime Minister

"Then whichever party has the most MPs picks the Prime Minister"

Er, no. The Queen picks the Prime Minister. It's worth remembering that she doesn't have to select the leader of the party with the most MPs either. Not that she would do anything else in practice, but it's ultimately her decision and no-one else's.

I've been thinking recently that she should dish out a short sharp reminder to ZanuLabour of who really is the British head of state. I'd lobe to know just how many letters she's had recently begging her to give Gordon the sack.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @Sarah Bee

Sorry, Dan, but I was being facetious.

I mean, it's Zimbabwe, ffs. There is no comparison to be made.

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Anonymous Coward

On who we vote for...

Yes, technically, we vote for a candiate for a parliamentary seat. Generally, though, who the candidates are forms only part of the decision as to which candidate to vote for. There are other elements, each of which weighs differently in different voters' minds: the "brand" (party) of the politician; their likely policies; their likely leaders; whether it's sunny or grey outside. Some of these are linked in reality, but don't actually impact peoples' decisions: "I've voted Tory all my life, and so did my father and his before him,".

If there was a general election now, Labour would probably be kicked out.

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Black Helicopters

OMG!

But won't we be overrun with terrorists if they don't do it? Same as with ID cards, detention without charge, etc, etc...

Perhaps if they (i.e. No.10 and the Home Office) calmed down a bit, and stopped aggravating Middle Eastern conflicts (not having Blair as a 'peace envoy' would help), we could all sleep a bit more easily...

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Happy

@Gordon Pryra.

I hate to be pedantic, but I think there's an error in there.

s/people/rabbits/

There, that makes sense now.

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"Security theatre"

Makes Joe Ordinary annoyed and lets the terrorists think they are achieving something.

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@ Mike Smith

Yes, you're right, my mistake. But it only strengthens my point - the general public didn't vote for Tony Blair, they didn't vote for John Major, they didn't vote for Maggie Thatcher, even if they thought they did. So moaning about how they didn't get a chance to vote for (against?) Gordon Brown is a bit silly, really.

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ZanuLabour

Can people please stop saying this. I keep belming at my computer and my work mates are looking at me funny.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: ZanuLabour

Yes. And yes. It's offensive and I'm not letting it through any more.

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Voting is irrelevant

The civil service runs the country - didn't you ever watch Yes, Minister? The scary thing is how many plots from those books have actually ended up happening.

Personally, I think voting in general elections is like standing in a burning building and arguing about what colour curtains you should put up.

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Coat

@ Sarah, Re: Neil

"I don't know that Gordy authorised the breaking of the arms and legs of Tory supporters, did he?"

*YET*, Sarah... 6 weeks (AKA 42 days) is about the length of time for a broken bone to heal, isn't it?

the one with the reinforced arms, ta!

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Go

Good things come in threes?

Yesterday I found out that, unlike Tony Blair in 2004, Gordon Brown has actually stood up and banned (sorry, Sarah) Zimbabwe from playing cricket here next year, and now an unworkable technological "solution" proposed to fight a popular bogeyman-du-jour has been dropped!

What's next?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @ Sarah, Re: Neil

42 days is a world of wrong, but there's still no comparison if you look at what is happening right now. Sorry.

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