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Travelling musicians…

August 15th, 2006 | No Comments | Categories: Musing on Music |

The current clamp-down on carry-on rules for planes is already bollocksing things up for lots of musicians such as these orchestral musicians, destined for the Edinburgh Festival and the Proms.

What a load of balls – are these laws making us safer, or just there to let us know how serious the threat is and make us oh-so-grateful to our loser government for protecting us from a possible attack.

Andrew Collins, whose blog is one of my current faves, highlights the vagueness of the current ‘news’ in this brilliant blog post. Have a read. Let’s see if anyone ends up in court.

And this post by Bruce Schneier highlights the utter uselessness of basing security measures on what the ‘terrorists’ have already planned. Here’s a couple of choice quotes –

None of the airplane security measures implemented because of 9/11 — no-fly lists, secondary screening, prohibitions against pocket knives and corkscrews — had anything to do with last week’s arrests. And they wouldn’t have prevented the planned attacks, had the terrorists not been arrested. A national ID card wouldn’t have made a difference, either.

and

Banning box cutters since 9/11, or taking off our shoes since Richard Reid, has not made us any safer. And a long-term prohibition against liquid carry-ons won’t make us safer, either. It’s not just that there are ways around the rules, it’s that focusing on tactics is a losing proposition.

It’s easy to defend against what the terrorists planned last time, but it’s shortsighted. If we spend billions fielding liquid-analysis machines in airports and the terrorists use solid explosives, we’ve wasted our money. If they target shopping malls, we’ve wasted our money. Focusing on tactics simply forces the terrorists to make a minor modification in their plans. There are too many targets — stadiums, schools, theaters, churches, the long line of densely packed people before airport security — and too many ways to kill people.

Security measures that require us to guess correctly don’t work, because invariably we will guess wrong. It’s not security, it’s security theater: measures designed to make us feel safer but not actually safer.

And meanwhile, thousands of travellers the world over are having their livelihoods screwed up by the legislation. I’m all for getting people to stop taking short-haul flights, but not just by fucking up their travel plans. That’s hardly an integrated transport policy!

But, it looks likely that I’ll be getting the train to Italy in October – with this inter-rail ticket it looks like I’ll be able to get a 22 day ticket for £295, which’ll get me all over France, Italy, Belgium and Holland, so I’ll need to get a ticket from London to Paris, and a ticket from Holland to Viersen just over the border in Germany (if I end up playing at the European Bass Day in Germany). Which will work out OK, financially, be better for the enviroment, give me plenty of time for reading books, transcribing tunes and relaxing, and will mean I can take two basses with me, without the fear that some loser at an airport is going to try to see if my basses bounce…

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