Tuesday, January 05, 2010

What's all this then?

Ah, yes: I think we can rest easy that all is well with the implementation of anti-terrorism legislation in Britain:

They [a series of stupid, plodding efforts by the police to bother law-abiding citizens] stem from section 44 of the 2000 Terrorism Act, which designates particular areas as vulnerable, and within those places the police can stop and search whomever they want, even without what is legally termed "suspicion". As the Metropolitan Police's website helpfully explains: "Officers have the power to stop and search a person who they reasonably suspect to be a terrorist."

Thus, last year, police officers must presumably have thought they had reason to suspect that Alex Turner, taking pictures of a fish and chip shop in Chatham called Mick's Plaice, was in fact a terrorist. Chatham no longer has its dockyard, or indeed any army barracks... but that didn't stop two officers from stopping him taking his fishy snaps; and when Mr Turner – quite rightly, in my view – questioned their authority to stop him, he was arrested, held handcuffed in a police van, searched and interviewed by two plain-clothes officers.

(Observant readers will note that the act that has led to such things was passed before that fateful Date That Supposedly Changed Everything.)

And these are the people that will soon have new powers to root around in our pants.

I'm...hmm...yes, I think reassured is the word.

On the other had, think of the positive side of this: you'll be able to tell future generations of a time when airline travel was not a grim, dehumanising torture. (Even though, by some counts, things have rarely been better, safety-wise.)

I already feel nostalgic for...what, a couple of weeks ago?

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