The Null Device

The war on trainspotting

A fine old British tradition is falling foul of post-9/11 paranoia: as Greater America turns itself into the Soviet Union in the name of defending liberty, trainspotters are increasingly being harrassed by the authorities. The rationale is that terrorists could be disguising themselves as trainspotters, photographing infrastructure and taking notes on train movements to plan devastating attacks.
Others have alleged various forms of unpleasant treatment, including being frogmarched from the platform and yelled at over the public address system. One 15-year-old was seen having the film taken out of his camera.
"A couple of readers have described how Britain is beginning to look like the eastern Europe of old when taking a camera out of a bag was a dangerous thing to do. It is very sad that it has come to this. It is a total over-reaction by the authorities."

Mind you, not all railway companies are cracking down on trainspotters; some station operators are urging spotters to register their names at stations (and presumably fill in a form which says "I am a terrorist [ ] Yes [ ] No" or something), so as to avoid misunderstandings. Perhaps we can see a National Trainspotter ID Card system out of this, or even a Patriotic Trainspotters' Union, sworn to keep an eye out for suspicious activities as they sit on the platform with notebook and thermos of tea?

There are 1 comments on "The war on trainspotting":

Posted by: Ben Fri May 30 02:16:38 2003

Maybe they are just having a crackdown on annoying geeks?

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