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Olympics end but security stays the same

The Olympic Park remains a high security paranoia zone. It is still surrounded by the perimeter fence, although hopefully the electricity has been turned off. Anyone wishing to join an LLDC tour is sent a long list of IDs which visitors have to present before they can get on a bus. Bizarrely the A list includes a Freedom Pass alongside passports (with visas if needed!) and a variety of warrant cards. The B list includes birth, adoption and marriage certificates which are considered to be of equal value to a utility bill. Why it should be necessary to produce this kind of ID to be allowed on a bus (you’re not allowed to get off the bus) to go around the Park is unclear. But then these things have just become ‘normal’ now!

Despite the fact the athletes, the IOC and all those foreign dignitaries are long gone the ODA is also still using the same hair-raising language when describing all the things that visitors to the Olympic Park are not allowed to bring with them. Among the excluded items are harpoon guns, shotguns, crossbows, swords, sabres, grenades, plastic explosives, dynamite, mines, blowtorches, billy jacks, nightsticks, baseball bats. Do people normally wander around with these sorts of things when they visit places?

The fact that they have to list these real or imagined weapons reveals the continuing paranoid mindset of the Olympic organisers. It is hard, but admittedly not impossible, to conceal large weapons like crossbows, swords, shotguns and baseball bats. But the idea that listing them in this way makes some kind of sense is what is really disturbing. Maybe the Science Museum or the National Gallery would be happy for members of the public to bring in the odd grenade or two as they don’t choose to list all these forbidden items. Yes, sad though it is, I did actually check and their responses to my online requests were ‘0’ and ‘no’ results and, in the case of the National Gallery, a puzzled ‘make sure all words are spelled correctly’. But then where the Olympic Park is concerned perhaps a committed killer would feel obliged to argue at the entrance that as machine guns were not listed he (or she) should be allowed to bring one on to the Park!

Why the Olympic Park in its present state should require such controls is hard to understand. It is now just a building site which will, hopefully, in due course be open to the public. Or will local people be required to produce a passport to go swimming at the Aquatic Centre?

ID for Olympic trips.pdf51.1 KB
SearchScreening_Nov 12 copy.pdf109.41 KB

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