Quite a lot has already been written about the British government’s demented suggestion that security of public transport will be improved by installing airport-style security checks at 250 “strategic” railway stations (places, presumably, such as Paddington, St Pancras, Victoria and Liverpool Street in London). Bloody marvellous. A hint of the chaos this will cause, the enormous economic damage and ruination of the railway industry that will ensue, struck me this morning as I took a Tube ride from Covent Garden to Victoria on my way to work from an early meeting in the City. Victoria’s Tube station was closed due to “overcrowding on the platform”, according to a public announcement. The crush of crowds was terrible. Now, just work it out, gentle reader. Imagine in say, two or three years hence, if Gordon Brown’s daft idea takes root: massive queues at London railway stations in the evening rush-hour as people struggle to get home, huge groups of people milling around stations waiting to be passed through security. A perfect target for a terrorist, you might might think.
You might indeed think that. I bet a few of the more intelligent police and security service folk realise that. But not Gordon Brown. I am no longer convinced that Brown is particularly bright, in fact. We have long been assailed with this image of a brooding, obsessive Scot with his books and his clever ideas. Cleverness? I think his intellect should be regarded like one of those flakier tech stocks in the late 1990s – greatly over-priced and due for a rapid fall. I already sense that this process is under way. Let the selling continue.