Some events in the trade and on the news lead me to share these thoughts. Many years ago, when it was a marvellous new idea, I worked for Eurostar the cross channel rail company. Working for this company led me to realise, perhaps I already knew, that governments should not be trusted with big decisions. I worked on rolling stock, the design for which was developed by a trio of governments.
Don’t misunderstand me the train was incredibly complex. This in part was to mitigate the new scary risk of cross channel travel. It could be argued that we had all travelled underground before but I will let that go for now. Amongst the more astounding pieces of kit were a security forces secure communications system and a remote communication port. The purpose of these systems? To allow the security forces to communicate with and through the train in the event of hostage taking.
This is what happens when you leave governments to make decisions. Where was the precedent for hostage taking on a train? apart from the movies that is. What would be the purpose or potential escape route for hostage takers? Bear in mind this was pre 2011. Most importantly why was this new train a target? it was and still is the fastest train in the UK so less time for terrorists to board surely? Airline style boarding surely made it more secure rather than less? It would seem that, given an enormous budget, the best the governments can do is watch Hollywood movies and then spend the lot. And then some more!
It’s true, my son could have done a better job of documenting conceivable threats. Withstand a mortar round fired at the windscreen? Oh yeah you see a lot of them on the platform at Ebsfleet don’t you? They are buying some new stock now, from a competitor, and I wonder what the loons have requested this time. In the light of the insanity of 9/11 what madness will they make up? Protection against armed mice? Radiation proof paint? Alien attack defense systems?
We let these people make important decisions, that’s like asking a monkey to file your tax return.