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Guest twsimfan

To any and all Brits...

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I'm sure all of us not in the UK want to express our sympathies to all of you at this time.I lived in London in '74, '75, & '76 and I assure you I know you are no strangers to terrorism. I heard a couple of the IRA bombs go off with my own ears and personally saw the aftermath of several more.You guys have gone through enough... I have no doubt that you will get past this.

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Thanks for the kind words, Tom. To be honest, it could have been a lot worse (although it is obviously bad enough). The number of people killed on that bus has been quoted as 2, which I think is totally astonishing. I would have expected many more, considering that the entire upper section and rear of the bus was blown apart.I heard on the news this morning that Euston Station has been evacuated, but I suspect that this is simply a case of people being more vigilant with respect to unattended baggage etc.Chris Low.

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The majority of the time I was in London the underground was not attacked and to that point hadn't been. But there were many times it would cross my mind when in a crowded train how horrible it might be if an attack happened there. It was just in the last couple of months I was there that such attacks began. And horrible they were. The security in the stations increased... always a cop to be seen... but... they never seemed to notice anything. I remember once in particular entering Bond Street Station with a huge shopping bag... when I didn't get a notice I went up to the cop and said "What is the matter... arn't I suspicious enough?"... Oh no sir... we don't suspect Americans. :-roll Not like I was wearing a flag or anything.Of course I had a similar situation at SFO back in the early '70s when the hijackings were just getting bad. For a time there they had metal detectors on all the jetways. I had a carry bag crammed full of camera gear and passed through the metal detector and the guy just let me keep walking. I went back and said "Hey... no way you can tell me all this junk didn't set off your alarms.". Yeah... but... you look honest to me. :-eekThe point is I want them to be suspicious of me... I want them to be suspicious of everybody!Well now I got my wish. Even have to take my shoes off... everybody does. But I still say it makes you feel safer when they at least look interested.

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Tom,I for one am glad that people are taking security seriously - although sometimes I wonder...I was travelling on a regional flight a while ago. I arrived at the gate with my 2 pieces of carry-on luggage - a toolkit and a CRO. I wasn't surprised when they asked me what they were but I was VERY surprised when they took issue with the CRO and held-up the flight for 10 minutes until they could get the pilot out of the plane and back to the gate for HIS decision! He winked and said "yeah, that's alright". After arriving at Wagga, I asked the S340 pilot why all the hassle about the CRO when I had a toolkit full of large, sharp and heavy metallic objects. He was horrified! I showed him the toolkit and he walked off, muttering something about 'token security'...These days, I try to be as obvious and up-front as possible, because I want to encourage them to ask questions and check everyone. Well, last time I left the country, I was about to go through the detectors when some tourist set the alarms off. This caused so much confusion, about 10 of us were waved right PAST the gate to clear the logjam!Also, being an engineer, it's quite common for me to carry various tools, including a Leatherman knife. Funny, the ONLY thing I've ever been hassled about taking on-board (apart from the CRO...) was a pair of wire crimpers :-lolPS All this makes one jittery. This morning I was at Sydney Central Station to send Clare off to her mum's and I found myself looking around for odd bags or peoples of middle-eastern descent sweating feverishly. Too much paranoia for me - and I'm in Australia! I hope those of you in the UK are OK and haven't been affected by what's happening. We have friends there and spent 3 days trying to contact them before we found all were OK. The first question they asked was "got any room there?"

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Jon,Are you saying that you frequently take this knife and various tools on board as HAND baggage ? :-eekChris Low.

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Chris,Yep, that's right. And why not? My occupation is listed on my travel documents, my customs/immigration travel purpose details are always 'work' and my only luggage is a suitcase full of clothes and a briefcase/toolkit. Sometimes I take a laptop but that only adds to the hassle (they want you to take out the battery but they don't check removable drives). Also, if they ask me turn it on I have to ask them to look away whilst I use my RSA ID key and they get real weird - 'wot's that thing?' If I travel regionally (and aren't staying overnight), I just take the tools.Funny enough, I was hauled-up years ago for a bottle opener/keyring. I laughed so hard I gave it to the customs guy as a present! He seemed to have no trouble with the rest of the tools and when I quizzed him about this he said that people take bottles of grog on board but nobody had ever been attacked by one so they didn't care. He also pointed out the futility of banning knives when they hand them out to you with meals on the aircraft! Then there are pens, keys and steel rulers (I always carry one and it COULD be sharped to nice stainless blade if I so wished). I HAVE been asked to put batteries and a gas-powered solder iron in my check-in luggage though. All this said, no tourist could justify taking these things on board!

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To the gutless twerp that spammed me about this (and didn't have the face to say it here),I'm not a brazen moron!I was simply pointing out the futility of knee-jerk 'security' measures. I mean, why remove laptop batteries if you don't check removable drives? Why ban 'knives', when other sharp objects are allowed (like sewing kits, knitting needles etc etc)?What I am saying is that the 'security' measures invoked (as a knee-jerk after 9/11) worldwide don't really make flying safer, they are just there to appease the politicians and beaurocrats who want to be seen to be doing 'something'. It's all rubbish really. No more terrorists have been caught 'in the act' yet we all still suffer. An international pilot I know told me it's their pilot's association's rule to eyeball boarding passengers, even though the airline doesn't want them to do it. They get away with it by saying that they're assisting the cabin crew etc. If their employer or the authorities were really serious about security, they'd mandate it!Maybe the authorities think that terrorists are stupid (they aren't) and will be put off by the token efforts made against them? I say it makes no difference - no 'normal' security measures could have prevented what happened recently in London - unless you call hunting down every person in the entire country with a chip on their shoulder appropriate :-roll

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Jon ; I totally agree with you that they pick out certain things To list as possible weapons .WE do need security nowdays but in reality ,you would have to have everyone take off all cloths and put on hospital scrubs and ban all carry on baggage to be reasonably secure.We are taking calculated risks when ever and where ever we travel .IT's a sad state of affairs this world is in!!We must all stay alert .CaptRolo

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