‘Elf’n’safety Gorn Mad I Tell ‘Ee

British border guards have been banned from X-raying lorries while searching for illegal immigrants at French ports in case the radiation harms the stowaways’ health, it was revealed today.

Sigh.

31 thoughts on “‘Elf’n’safety Gorn Mad I Tell ‘Ee”

  1. “Also yesterday, Mrs Moreton suggested that increased borders checks in the wake of the Brussels attacks are likely to only last for two weeks because the ‘stepped up’ level cannot be maintained.”

    OK, she might be bullshitting. Union rep, wants more money for people.

    But I can never understand the spending priorities in this country sometimes. We’ll pour billions into stuff like HS1 and art galleries, but spend a few million on border guards?

  2. “The French will not allow us to use them…”

    It’s this sort of thing that, whenever a Remaniac ‘warns’ that the border might move back to Dover if we leave, has me asking “and that’s a bad thing because…?”

  3. They should certainly have any cash/valuables they have on them taken before they are deported.

    What stops the lorries being x-rayed over here?

  4. @ Mr Ecks
    “What stops the lorries being x-rayed over here?”
    If it takes 1 hour to scan each lorry then there will be a massive queue of lorries waiting to exit the tunnel.

  5. If it takes 1 hour to scan each lorry then there will be a massive queue of lorries waiting to exit the tunnel.

    Better that than an open door.

  6. “Should illegal immigration carry a death sentence?”

    NiV, doesn’t your question presuppose that, for instance, Dowding and his Few ought to have been prosecuted for their part in the death sentences of several thousand Luftwaffe crewmen in the Summer of 1940?

  7. “Should illegal immigration carry a death sentence?”

    Hmmm. Harsh, NiV.

    But if we shot a few of them, I bet we’d soon find that a lot fewer illegal immigrants try to sneak into our country.

    So I say we give your suggestion a go.

  8. So Much For Subtlety

    NiV – “Should illegal immigration carry a death sentence?”

    Well, I know the answer you expect to that question. I am not sure I would agree. I am perfectly willing to expose illegals to a whole lot of risks rather than exposing the 12 year old girls on the UK to equally bad risks.

    I suspect that after we toast one or two, we won’t have to toast any more.

  9. Ljh – I like your idea. It’s less kill-y than NiV’s plan, but it does appeal to our British sense of fair play.

  10. We should be charging them healthcare fees for the x-ray. Oops, the NHS doesn’t bother chasing immigrants for hospital bills either.

  11. Why bother scanning the lorries over here? There were more than 50 people who were discovered in the backs of two lorries in the UK last week and they’ve all been allowed to stay here as asylum seekers i.e. permanently.I sometimes wonder why our current crop of politicians pretends to control immigration at all. Especially when all that needs to be said is, “You’ve come from France, that’s a safe country, you’re on the next train back.”

    My wife asks why they don’t use heat detectors anyway.

  12. I don’t (qualified – it really depends on the intensity of the xraying which, for a car has got to be stronger than the dentist) think this is necessarily a bad idea.

    Though I’d think that even going through a *single* car Xray wouldn’t be enough, by itself, to injure you – even long term increase in cancer.

    And if you’re constantly sneaking across borders in the back of a truck . . . maybe you should look into a more comfortable smuggling plan anyway.

  13. “My wife asks why they don’t use heat detectors anyway.”

    Won’t be able to see through most things. Plain glass, for example, is opaque to IR radiation.

    They’d probably be better served using a small camera on a stick and shoving it in between the boxes to see what they can see.

  14. @agamammon
    “My wife asks why they don’t use heat detectors anyway.”

    They are not just looking for people, afaik, the xray scans are not at all intended to find people, but things.

    Softy that I am, IOW that if we have a reasonable supposition that there might be people in the container, then we shouldn’t nuke, even if we don’t want those people in our country and they are in act of breaking our laws.

  15. Rather than hi-tech solutions, I believe lo-tech solutions would be lower cost and more effective at detecting stowaways in cargo vessels.

    1. Sniffer dogs/pigs

    2. Live free range piglets and lobsters in each container/trailer

    Regarding x-ray scanning, I’m fine with that.

    To satisfy If the H&S wombles, erect large multilingual and pictorial signs saying “All vehicles may be scanned and this may kill you after a long and painful illness.”

    P

  16. How about a big sign in every known language including hieroglyphics which announces that all lorries will spend an hour in a warehouse full of carbon monoxide to prevent the importation of eg dodgy mosquitos.

  17. I was going to suggest Gamma-ray scans, but it turns out that those actually cause much less radiation to be absorbed by the invaders. Too bad, can always just turn things up higher I guess.

  18. Bloke in Costa Rica

    A 500 Gray dose wouldn’t be too hard to provide given a decent-sized array of coablt-60 sources. It would have the additional advantage of making any fruit and veg on board last for weeks.

  19. “Xrays creates radiation. O Noes, RADIATION! Run away. Stop it. Ban it. Any radiation is bad.”

    The problem is control. Radiation is safe up to a point, after which it becomes dangerous. Anyone who thinks it’s not is being as stupid as someone who thinks it’s never not
    dangerous.

    In hospitals and dentists, they calibrate the dose quite carefully. In a truck, you’ve no idea what materials and density exists between your source and the potential victims. So you can’t know what dose they’ll get. A source intense enough to see through metal and packaging, attenuated by an unknown amount, results in an unknowable but potentially dangerous dose.

    There are potentially lots of safe and effective technologies to sense hidden people – X-rays aren’t one of them.

    “#TheStupidItHurts”

    Ah, the good old Daily Mail…

    “To satisfy If the H&S wombles, erect large multilingual and pictorial signs saying “All vehicles may be scanned and this may kill you after a long and painful illness.””

    Unfortunately, H&S have been made aware that a great deal of humanity is at the level of Daily Mail readers, and therefore it is not permissible to assume they have even minimal levels of intelligence.

    If this tactic would actually work, then it would be easier and cheaper to just put the signs up and skip the scanning. Obviously, that won’t work, because lots of them will assume that’s exactly what you did. You know that. So if you then kill them, it’s premeditated.


    I know people are joking here, but still, it’s an interestingly revealing attitude.

    I’ve seen people make the same sort of jokes about smokers (“Free chest X-ray!”) and drinkers – suggesting they could get rid of the problem by distributing poisoned drinks. Once word got around, people would give up drinking out of fear. Win!

    A large proportion of the world are stuck in corrupt and totalitarian hellholes with lousy economies. They can’t replace their governments by themselves (the Syrians tried, which is how the latest round kicked off). We won’t help them. (The dictator-loving peaceniks on the left and the isolationists on the right seem united in not wanting to get involved.) So what the hell else are they going to do? It’s human nature.

    From an economic point of view, immigration is good, and makes society richer. That’s standard free market economics. From a cultural point of view, there’s a problem with Islamic societies – but that problem isn’t solved by isolating it. It can only be solved by persuasion – by showing them the advantages of Western values – we want the kids in Saudi wearing jeans and T-shirts, and eating at McDonalds. We want all their talented workers to flee, so the dictators and kleptocrats are forced to improve conditions there out of self-defence. You can’t bring that about by locking them all out.

    Opposition to immigration is protectionist thinking – it appeals to ‘common sense’ in the same sort of way that Socialism does. You want to help the poor? Give them money taken from the rich! You want to raise wages locally and keep your culture pure? Ban immigration! There’s a lot of fat chavs moving in to your nice neighbourhood lately? Ban sugar! Ban junk food! Ban the advertising!
    Simplistic solutions for simple people.

  20. Opposition to immigration is protectionist thinking – it appeals to ‘common sense’ in the same sort of way that Socialism does.

    People aren’t goods, something that it seems all but impossible to get certain free marketeers to understand. a failing that they share with socialists in fact. So you see anyone can throw the “your just like” argument about, it’s lazy and shows a disinclination to listen to what the objections really are.

    OK you are entitled to your view of the best way of making everyone happy and better off, personally I think it naive, reductionist and based on a mistaken idea of our obligations to strangers but each to his own. I’d rather not risk destroying our own societies in order to civilise the natives and it would be nice if my view of the subject wasn’t drowned in a flood of self righteousness and accusations of inhumanity from pro-immigrationists. That’s why people make tasteless jokes on the subject, no one is listening to our rational objections so we might as well laugh in the face of chaos.

  21. Bravo NiV.

    The single biggest inconsistency of the close-the-borders-right is how many of them are themselves migrants, or descended from migrants.

    I am a little bit threatened by people who are different to me (especially authoritarians, and the religious) – I wouldn’t particularly like cheap competition for my job, or an increase in housing costs, or struggling to get my kids into school. But I know that calling for serious restrictions (or ‘shooting them at the border’) for those who are trying to make a better life for themselves is a hypocritical sham – since I would do (and I have done) exactly the same thing.

    So come out and tell the truth – that you want some favouritism for you – that you think you should be arbitrarily declared a winner via random luck of birth over some other poor sod who happened to be born in a shittier set of circumstances – say ‘I happen to have a vote and I vote to use the coercive powers of government to favour me at the expense of someone else’ but don’t pretend that you deserve it or manufacture some morals to justify a self serving bias.

  22. “People aren’t goods, something that it seems all but impossible to get certain free marketeers to understand.”

    No, nobody is is saying people are a good (unless you’re talking about a slave market). What economists are saying is that labour is a good. The time, effort, and skills spent making products or providing services is a good that employees sell to employers. The price of this labour is called ‘wages’, and the market for labour follows the same laws of supply and demand as every other market.

    Unions are an attempt to obtain a monopoly on the supply of labour, in order to restrict supply and artificially raise the price. The closed shop is the ultimate form of this. It’s pure protectionism.

    And a nationality is essentially a labour union in which people born in a particular geographic region are eligible to be members. The idea of keeping immigrants out to raise wages locally is essentially the same tactic as the union closed shop. You legislate that only members of the particular nationality can sell work here, so that jobs for which there is an insufficient supply of local workers have artificially raised prices.

    Like all forms of protectionism, it is psychologically appealing to those whose businesses are protected (union closed shop members, monopoly holders, citizens of a nation) because they think that by raising their own prices they can become rich (or at least, continue to make a living) at the expense of everyone else. The problem is that everyone else is doing the same, so all you’re doing is creating artificial barriers to trade which you then have to expend resources overcoming, raising the prices of all the goods and services you need, and in the end losing more on average than you gain. If everyone’s doing it, you lose more paying everyone else’s inflated rates than you gain by inflating your own. It’s a stupid, stupid waste.

    You bring immigrants (non-union members, competitors) in to lower the prices of goods in the shops, and you move out of jobs where wages are falling and into jobs that pay more, which in turn makes those more expensive goods cheaper, and so on. Allowing people to move freely results in all the goods being produced as cheaply and efficiently as possible, meaning you can produce more goods with the resources you’ve got, which means there’s more to go around for everyone.

    “I’d rather not risk destroying our own societies in order to civilise the natives and it would be nice if my view of the subject wasn’t drowned in a flood of self righteousness and accusations of inhumanity from pro-immigrationists.”

    Civilising the natives, in the long run, is the only way to protect our own societies. The alternatives all require us to become uncivilised ourselves.

    But I agree that it would help if free marketeers and libertarians made more of an effort to explain the real reasons why it’s a bad idea, than leaving most of the running to the socialists – whose idea seems to be to invite them in but then deliberately not socialise them because you’ve got to “respect their culture” and “preserve traditional ways” and “Islam is a religion of Peace” and all that crud.

    You need competition in cultures too, just as you do in the provision of goods and services. Given a free choice, the best, most attractive culture wins. You need to have faith in the strength and superiority of Western culture, and not try to shield it from competition.

    If you put birds on an island with no predators and leave them for a million years, they forget how to fly, and you get Dodos. It’s fighting off the predators that made Western culture as strong and effective as it is, and that keeps it that way. Putting the modern technological West up against a medieval theocracy of bearded loons is a distinctly one-sided fight, to say the least.

    That’s why they’re all fighting to come here and join our society, and we’re not fighting to go over there and join theirs. We think our society is better, and so do they.

  23. ‘But I agree that it would help if free marketeers and libertarians made more of an effort to explain the real reasons why it’s a bad idea, than leaving most of the running to the socialists – whose idea seems to be to invite them in but then deliberately not socialise them because you’ve got to “respect their culture” and “preserve traditional ways” and “Islam is a religion of Peace” and all that crud.’

    1. We’re already a fairly crowded island.
    2. I like my own culture, what’s left of it, I like its difference from others (Swedish as well as Somali), and I don’t want it to become a blend of different bits and pieces.
    3. Not that we would. We’d just get more and bigger ghettoes. There are some people who assimilate and others who resolutely do not, and many of the current crop are deliberately not doing.
    4. These socialists who are deliberately not socialising – how would you go about deliberately socialising people?
    5. Terrorism is a thing.
    6. The cost of the welfare state is a thing.
    7. School, hospital and housing queues are a thing.
    8. The law is a thing. if they get to ignore it, can I?
    I can do more, this took me about a minute.

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