Monday, March 05, 2007

Terrorist spotting: a hobby for the whole community

I'm sure you have had enough of me banging on about the continual terror scares precipitated by the Blair administration and its security apparatus but if they can continue to piss me off by coming out with ever more ridiculous stories then I feel compelled to whinge about it even more. Take for example the latest story about the police training supermarkets staff to spot mad muslim terrorists. The supermarket I occasionally pop in to (and I am ashamed to admit that I go there) has 50% muslim staff and half of them have beards (and I will NOT say that's just the women, because I am above such puerile jokes). It must get pretty confusing for them spotting the potential staff. Bing Bong "Security Alert Code 167, we have a bearded wallah behaving strangely with a bottle of vodka in Aisle 15 - doh, scrub that, it's just the local wino". Bing Bong: "Security Alert, Code 177, we have a veil alert in Aisle 27- doh scrub that, it's some lady trying on our new £17.99 brides dress".

Lo and behold today we have the Mancunian local rag joining in the fun with the headlines:

'Help us spot to spot the terrorists, urge police'.
  • They may be living or working alongside you, says top boss,
  • Public told what to look for and urged to call tip-off hotline
In a new anti-terror drive, a tip-off hotline is being relaunched and an advertising campaign will urge people to report any suspicious behaviour. It asks:

* Do you know anyone who travels but is vague on where they're going?
Yes, most of the commuters who travel on trains.

* Do you know someone with documents in different names for no obvious reason?
Yes, my mum because the authorities just cannot seem to agree on the correct spelling of her first name.

* Do you know someone buying large or unusual quantities of chemicals for no obvious reason?
Yes, I often buy lots of white spirit for the purpose of washing paint brushes but it just sits on the shelf in the cellar as I never get around to doing the actual painting. Sometimes I even buy bleach for cleaning with the best of intentions...

* Handling chemicals is dangerous, maybe you've seen goggles or masks dumped somewhere?
Yes, I have seen a whole bunch of goggles dumped in the corner of a school laboratory except when occasionally used as fashionable headgear by one or two kids.

* If you work in commercial vehicle hire or sales, has a sale or rental made you suspicious?
I don't.

* Have you seen someone with large quantities of mobiles?
I've seen a few blokes in the market with stalls full of 'em. They looked like prime terrorist materials. They even hooked them up to the Internet allegedly to unlock them, but it looked bloody suspicious to me.

* Have you seen anyone taking pictures of security arrangements?

There was a bloke wearing dark glasses with a camera at the airport, when I went to drop my brother off....

* Do you know someone who visits terrorist-related websites?

Errr.... Everybody on medialens, apparently /allegedly /supposedly.

* Have you seen any suspicious cheque or credit card transactions?

My money keeps disappearing every time I go shopping. I suspect Al-Qaeda have hacked into my account. Could you trace and return it please?

* Is someone is asking for a short-term let on a house or flat on a cash basis for no apparent reason?

I wish.

The motto of the campaign is: “You don’t have to be sure. If you suspect it, report it.”

Surely, that should be " You dont have to be a Muslim to be a suspect, but it helps."

The e-mail to complain to about this piece of crap excuse for journalism, is the author

The comments are good though:

What does it take before we start calling things for what they are? How many innocent civilians are going to have to be put through the system before we realize we are living in a police state? As it seems the UK is a litmus test for what happens next in the USA, I am frightened by the fascist direction the government there has been going. What I am more frightened by, however, is the seeming willingness and complicity of the average British citizen to submit to an authoritarian government. Whatever happened to the "Oi oi" UK punk spirit?
5/03/2007 at 18:19

In the film Brazil, there are posters that read, "Don't suspect a friend. Report him." I see that you Brits are a few years behind schedule, but 1984 is not that far off.

With role models like you, no wonder we and the Australians are so hopeless.
chydenius, Miami, FL, USA
5/03/2007 at 17:58


Anonymous Stu said...

For the blog editor. The same garbage story appeared in the Oldham Evening Chronicle newspaper (

There is a digital edition available after a free registration showing the actual article as a PDF.

Letters can be emailed to


11:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home