Ignorance as ever

Mr Moore added there were \”well-rehearsed plans\” in place and the agency was “fully prepared” for busy periods during the Olympics.

Asked how he would feel if there were four-hour queues to enter Britain during the Games, he said: “If that is necessary in light of the threats and risks that we face at that time, then so be it. We will not compromise on safety.”

Safety, just like anything else, is a trade off.

And we always, but always, trade off safety against other considerations. We would undoubtedly be less free but safer if we all had a luminescent bard code tattooed on our foreheads which the police could read at 200 metres. Despite successive Home Secretaries we are less safe but more free.

Part of the point of the Olympics is to show off London as a great place to come as a tourist or to do business.

4 hour delays at passport control rather fuck up the point of spending the £10 billion in the first place. At which point, this is the job that we pay you to do: sort it out mate.

12 thoughts on “Ignorance as ever”

  1. Moore has the great consolation of knowing that – in the great tradition of public “service” – if he screws up, he won’t be fired. Just promoted.

    Trebles all round!

  2. Safest, and cheapest

    I suspect there are all sorts of penalty clauses built in to the many, many contracts. I wouldn’t argue about the safety thing, though.

    Do you reckon it is too late to let the French have it?

  3. The most ridiculous Olympic security measure I’ve seen so far was in yesterday’s Evening Standard, where it claimed snipers will be riding in helicopters, patrolling to shoot the pilots of any aircraft that misbehave.

    (Failing the sniper having the skill of Stallone or Schwarzenegger, said aircraft will be destroyed by the anti-aircraft missile launchers, vehicle- and shoulder-mounted, being dotted around London, or jet fighters.)

  4. @formertory – Moore’s predecessor was fired for relaxing checks (for sound operational reasons) without the minister’s permission.

    And the minister would be hounded out of office if checks were relaxed and a cat-burglar or some such got into the country (even though the checks would not have prevented this). So we had a kind of “don’t ask, don’t tell” system where the unnecessary checks were relaxed when appropriate and the minister had plausible deniability.

    This of course failed when the tabloids found out. Always remember that UK immigration policy is made by phone-hacking police-bribing criminal scum, and the failures become understandable.

  5. The whole point of border checks is to inconvenience the law-abiding majority. Does anyone think that a serious criminal would be impacted by them? If someone wants to enter the UK, just get a ride on a yacht/motorboat from a French Channel port.

  6. Safety includes people not dropping dead of heart attacks or anything else while waiting in the queues. Oh, no, that isn’t listed as one of his Key Performance Indicators, so if a thousand people die of hypothermia while waiting it doesn’t count. How about using all your staff and reserves?
    I went to a wrinklies athletics meeting last night and there were quite senior AAA officials pleased at being allocated to teams that, for instance, swept the Olympic track clear of sand etc so that no Olympian would slip over – if the Border Agency had 1% of their public spirit or esprit de corps, the queues would be handled *quicker* during the Olympics.
    PS that does matter: anything slippery is dangerous and Usain Bolt’s initial acceleration is comparable to Schumacher’s so

  7. The solution is quite simple. Here on the continent (since the continent is all the same and all different from Perfidious Albion), countries routinely suspend the Schengen “no border checks” rules for major sporting events (though in practice they simply don’t have the manpower to stop and look at more than 1% of people entering or leaving the country).

    The UK should do the reverse, and temporarily join the Schengen zone during a major sporting event.

  8. @Jonathan Monroe

    Certainly. Good call. But bear in mind that the previous incumbent was fired for not clearing his actions with a politician; if this one fouls up entry to the country, when the criticism starts he’ll be promoted out of the way for not exercising the leadership required.

  9. I said, repeatedly, when it was announced that London had ‘won’ its bid, that this whole thing would be a clusterfuck of galactic proportions and would cost amounts of money that at the time seemed utterly implausible. It wasn’t like I needed to be Nostradamus or anything.

    I earnestly long for a bunker 6000′ down a coal mine without any communication with the outside world where I can hide for the duration of the whole ghastly farrago. I know that it is going to be painful, right from the cringe-inducing opening ceremony (Duran Duran? Are you fucking kidding me? Why not Bucks Fizz or A Flock of Seagulls?) to the presentation of the final bill.

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