Posted by: John | March 20, 2009

Terrorists or Trainspotters?

I know this may have been covered before yet it’s recently raised its ugly head.

This is the case of the trainspotter at Macclesfield Station being told that he couldn’t video an incoming train as it could be a `security risk`. I don’t agree with Norman Baker that it’s a questionable activity (blogging can be seen as that!) though he was right to raise the topic.

There is a developing problem in inconsistent rules. Systems that are there are not enforced properly – ie comprehensively. There’s usually a `safety in numbers` scenario ie the more difficult or numerous the people transgressing the rules are the more they get away with it.

For instance, you have at Macclesfield Station classic dysfunctional heavy-handedness whereas once the filming had finished it would have been better for the member of staff to have said `Are you a trainspotter sir? ` and carried on a conversation like that – one minutes conversation would have been enough to ascertain as much and the lady could have been on her way.

What a difference it was coming back from Buxton to Stockport one Sunday night. It was full of football people who were completely tanked up and singing very offensive songs that verged on the violent. Yet of course there wasn’t a law enforcement person to be seen regardless of the fact that the people singing seemed oblivious to the annoyance and fear they were instilling in other passengers.

The difference is clear – due to power, whether of the crowd or certain individuals, transgressions are allowed either due to custom or power. It’s so much easier taking to task a trainspotter than a real crowd of hooligans. Yet again of course there are perhaps not the numbers of law enforcement officers to deal with these matters.

It’s simple – if you know the system and, in a state of chutzpah, confidently show that you know it you can get away with more than the `little person` who wouldn’t even dream of throwing a boiled sweet wrapper on the ground.

Just look at the examples that we have presented to us: A PM who doesn’t know how to say `sorry` and tries to brush off dangerously incompetent mistakes by blaming other people or phenomena; captains of finance who think the state is there to serve them with an opulent regal lifestyle and devil take the hindmost while victimless crimes or those that make honest mistakes are hauled over the coals.

It’s time for our Party to stand up again for the little man and woman `John and Jo Soap` and put a bit of balance into the equation.



  1. Spot on

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