Wednesday 15 September 2004


The Batman affair has provided the nation with a lot of laughs although I'm afraid that folk abroad will see it as an example of British incompetence. The Telegraph's Janet Daley asks some pertinent questions:
How on earth could this ridiculous thing be allowed to go on for such an interminable length of time? What in the name of God was that little clutch of hopeless "security officials" doing, chatting to this exhibitionist on the balcony for hours on end?
And this:
Instead of spending hours chatting to him, offering him glasses of water and talking into their mobile phones (to whom, one wonders), the police might have issued an immediate ultimatum: he was to agree to be brought down within five minutes or officers would come up and carefully but forcibly remove him
Some are asking how Batman was able to gain access to the Palace so easily and others think that he should have been shot immediately. I agree with the first point and have some sympathy with the second. But Janet Daley is absolutely right to ask why the intruder was allowed to remain on his perch for so long. I also think that David Blunkett should have publicly fired the head of the Metropolitan Police on the spot - and I say that as someone who loathes Mr Blunkett. The most ludicrous aspect of the whole affair was that Batman was made to wear a safety helmet when being brought down from the parapet. Presumably London terrorists will be left free to ply their trade so long as they give the appearance of complying with the Health and Safety regulations. Truly, you couldn't make it up.

It's no wonder that Prince Charles thinks that royal security should be taken over by the army, but Tony Blair is precluding that option by abolishing the army altogether.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comment made on previous template:

I disagree. Batman & even the hunt saboteursaboteurs are not a security threat (apart from anything else part of the point of Batman is that his costume can't conceal weaponry). Even al Quaeda have not, post 9/11, done as much damage as the security measures have. 
The greater danger is that various people are using this hysteria to justify restriction on our freedom (& in Scotland's case £70mill of Parliament costs), or restrictions already on their agenda (claims that nuclear power stations shouldn't be built because al Quaeda might attack them when there is virtually no building less susceptable than a containment building designed to be proof against explosion). Example of unexpected damage - Highlands & Islands airport charges are prohibitive because, while we subsidise them by 2/3rds security rules which are the same for Tiree as for Heathrow make up over 1/4 of these charges. If airport charges were near zero low cost airlines would be able to fly there for less than cab fare to our airports. If that happened our islands would be prospering & then some. Fear of terrorism, not terrorism itself, is stunting our lives. 
Compare & contrast this with the genuine security risk revealed when the IRA killed Airey Neave within Parliament & people did not start behaving like headless chickens.

17 September 2004, 22:31:06 GMT+01:00