It is being reported that the car that was used as a murder weapon yesterday was a hire car from Birmingham.
Let’s suppose a country has elected a President, who is against opposition, women, the gay community, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and dogs.
Inevitably, a large demonstration will happen in Trafalgar Square.
So the President sends a hitman to hire a suitable vehicle to cause as much death and destruction as he can!
The hitman presents a valid passport and driving licence at Heavy Metal Rent-a-Weapon at Heathrow Airport and he is on his way.
But how many times has the average person hired a car at an airport and driven into the nearest large city?
How do you sort the terrorist from the tourist?
After the murder of Airey Neave in the Palace of Westminster by a bomb, many people felt that the car park was a security risk.
The attacker yesterday, who murdered PC Keith Palmer, would have been unable to enter the grounds of the Palace of Westminster if that road entrance and the car park had been closed.
The attacker might have caused more carnage to members of the public and others, but I suspect he would have met the same fate fairly quickly, as there are always armed officers around that area, outside of the Palace.
Nearly two years ago, I wrote What Are We Going To Do With The Palace Of Westminster?
What I said then was probably the rantings of a madman, but after the events of yesterday, we need to act in a very radical manner to preserve our fragile democracy.
Hong Kongers nickname their tramway the Pollution Solution. ut to be fair to one of my favourite cities, the city also has an extensive public transport network of metro lines and buses. Although, I’ve ever used any of the latter.
London and other cities in the UK have a serous air pollution problem and we should solve it for the health of us all, as pollution probably causes more premature deaths than terrorism. Or for that matter street crime like muggings and robberies!
Suppose in London we did the following to cut pollution.
- Ban polluting vehicles from a wide area of the centre.
- Impose a high Congestion Charge over a wide area.
- All shop deliveries must be at night!
- Cut the number of private hire vehicles.
- All buses, including tourist buses and coaches, private hire vehicles and black cabs must be electric.
- Rigorously impose a twenty mile per hour city-wide speed limit.
- When Crossrail is finished, build the Bakerloo Line Extension and Crossrail 2.
- Pedestrianise large parts of the City Centre.
- Improve the cycle network and make sure cyclists use it and not the pavement.
Other cities could also do similar things to suit their circumstances.
A few of our cities like Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Liverpool have pedestrianised substantial parts of their city centres. They haven’t done enough, but it’s a start.
I don’t think trams will be a pollution solution in Central London except perhaps on a specific route to overcome congestion on the Underground.
We are going to have to act very strongly to deal with pollution, but will it have collateral effects?
Some years ago, I did some work with the Police on analysing crime and I remember an analyst, who was also a Police Officer, explaining how he saw links between traffic and crime.
I remember him saying that no self-respecting criminal would go burgling on a bus.
One thing that came out of this work, was that if Police checked a car and found that one of car tax, insurance or MOT was not in order, there was a high chance of a non-motoring offence being committed. As he said, if a criminal is dealing in thousands of pounds-worth of drugs, will he bother to renew his tax and insurance?
I’ve wondered for some time, if this car checking in Central London, which must be done by the Congestion Charge cameras has led to the increase in crime in London committed by criminals on motor-bikes, scooters and bikes. London’s congestion could also drive crime this way.
So if we solved the pollution, would this cut the congestion? And how would this effect crime?
I don’t know, but I suspect, we’ll find out in a few years, as the draconian measures we will introduce to cut pollution, will have fundamental effects on the way we live in London.
In the next two or three years, some cross-city and city centre rail lines will will improve drammatically.
- Crossrail will open fully in December 2019 on an East-West axis in London
- The Thameslink Programme will deliver a massive increase in capacity by December 2018 on a North South axis in London
- Waterloo International station will be reopened for suburban services and will give a 30% capacity upgrade by 2019.
- The Northern Line Extension to Battersea could be open by 2020.
- The Ordsall Chord will open in Manchester this year.
- The Manchester Metrolink Line to Trafford Park should be running by 2020.
- The Midland Metro will have been extended in Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
- The Central Belt of Scotland will be receiving a lot of new electric trains.
However, some cities with bad pollution problems will not being seeing any public transport improvements.
It will be interesting to see the effects on pollution, congestion and crime. And terrorism!
I know the area of the despicable, cowardly and ultimately tragic attack well, as over the last thirty years or so, I’ve been to Nice several times and stayed just off that road and even walked down the road, which runs parallel to the beach. There are even pictures of the area in Wandering Around Nice.
Years ago, when we had the house in Antibes, I seem to remember one Bastille Day going to see the fireworks. It was chaotic, as they still allow traffic to go through the area. Which I think they did last night!
Protecting against this sort of attack, must be every policeman’s nightmare.
About twenty years ago, I heard a story, how an engineer at Cambridge University, programmed a computer to recognise the Duke of Edinburgh’s voice.
I have also read about smart mortars, that look for something big, metallic and making a lot of noise and if it appears to be a tank, they hit it.
Last night, I was woken by the distinctive noise of President Obama’s helicopter as it flew over East London from Stansted. The noise is just so distinctive.
How long will it be before someone parks a missile on a roof with a smart guidance system, looking for a distinctive noise signature in the sky?
This morning, this report on the BBC, is talking of another suicide bombing in Afghanistan.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t think of any suicide bombing, where the perpetrator wasn’t Muslim.
So why is this deadly practice an exclusively Muslim phenomena?
This story on the BBC is untitled Arrest after Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah dies in attack.
In my view, this marks a new low for Islam in the UK, in that a thoroughly decent Muslim shopkeeper was murdered by another Muslim man, because he was being thoroughly decent and friendly to his Christian friends and customers.
That in my book is terrorism and the evil bastard who did this should be treated with the full force of the law.
This article on the BBC web site is entitled Jeremy Corbyn ‘not happy’ with shoot-to-kill policy.
What would this mean for armed police officers, who came across a group of Islamic State terrorists murdering people in a theatre?
- They could offer themselves up as human shields.
- They could wait until the attackers ran out of bullets and arrest them.
- They could call Corbyn and ask him to negotiate.
Jeremy Corbyn’s thought processes are useless against the nutters of Islamic State.
I first read about ISIS-Chan in The Times and I’m surprised that this Japanese character hasn’t spread into more of the media.
I did find this article about the anime in this article on CNN-Money.
The idea is to so fill Google and the other search engines with the harmless stories, that the real hardcore ISIS filth becomes impossible to find.
Let’s hope that the UK and other governments are creating masses of similar material in their fight against the evil madmen of ISIS and other terrorist groups.
Those that choose to spread their perverted material by the Internet should be strangled by the Internet.