Forget the snow – new threat to London transit hubs

The Daily Telegraph reports that London’s transit hubs‘ are being considered as targets for terrorists’ – which isn’t exactly new…. We’re talking mainly about the airports here, as they’re the bulk movers of international passengers; plus the direct rail links from central London – from Paddington out to Heathrow, and from Victoria out to Gatwick.

London Transport Police have canceled leave and called in extra officers, as activity from one of a “handful” of extremist cells causes them concern.

So when the weather men say that “snow is being considered as a possibility this Christmas” – as they did, why didn’t Heathrow (particularly) take equivalent anti-snow measures? It’s very easy to justify messing people around if you can quote an increased terror alert, but as we saw in the snow, it’s what airport authorities do routinely whenever something happens for which they’ve no contingency plan. Snow is NOT an unlikely event in the UK….

It seems to me that the only “Weathermen” likely to be taken seriously by our under-investing airport authorities and owners, are the WUO – the Weather Underground Organisation, the radical left American terror group of the late sixties and early seventies, which bombed banks and public buildings.

This (to me) indicates that the airport authorities are more concerned with safeguarding their industry from the massive fear and lack of confidence created by every air-related terror incident, than they are ensuring actual passenger comfort and satisfaction.

Passenger safety cannot of course be guaranteed by anybody (except God were he or she so inclined). The game with regard to terrorist threats is not to be blamable if something does happen.  With increased “threats’, it’s easy to justify messing passengers around, so apart from ensuring that large numbers of people don’t actually riot in the terminals, the views of the “walk-on cargo” are irrelevant. This lessens actual security greatly, as it shifts the ‘blame’ for the messing around from airport administrators, onto security staff – who are required to carry out exactly the measures decided jointly by airport administrators and security chiefs.  ‘Compromise to avoid blame at the highest levels’,  is the name of this game,

The ‘few thousands’ of passengers who ‘appear to have been inconvenienced’ over the Christmas period, will soon forget about it and re-book, simply because there’s no alternative if you want to see your family in Canada, do business in the USA, or escape to somewhere warm. No competition and the need to maximise profits leads to under-investment – and airport chaos.

So I’d love to see passenger ships come back into vogue – at least as an alternative to some air links .

Fitted with internet, video links and business suites, executives could forget the New York red-eye and arrive in the Big Apple after a couple of days’ relaxation and preparation at sea, raring to do business. I agree that visiting the rellys in Australia requires the best part of two months at sea – but in my experience, as a child traveling back from Oz in the mid-sixties, that voyage was the best part of the whole thing.

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