Woman Arrested as Terrorist Walking in a Cycle Lane

Listening to the news on the way home, I heard an item that left me absolutely speechless – a woman in Dundee, Scotland arrested under terrorist legislation for walking in a cycle lane! The Times ran the story this morning under the headline Two Wheels: Good, Two Legs: Terrorist Suspect highlighting one of the most farcical aspects of the whole case, that if the woman had driven her car, or ridden her bike along the same stretch of road, she wouldn’t have been doing anything wrong. (So a good tip for terrorists there, if you want to blow up Dundee Harbour, go on your bike…)

Frankly I thought that an 82 year old was arrested under terrorist legislation for shouting ‘Nonsense’ during a speech by the Home Secretary was a bit crazy, but this is just stunning. Whilst I can well see that there are security concerns over a sea port such as Dundee, why are the rules only applied to someone who is walking, rather than cars? Surely a car or van loaded with explosives could do much more damage, so in view of the risk, why aren’t cars restricted rather than just pedestrians?

However the negative publicity of such crazy, ill thought out rules as this only go to add to concerns that terrorism and security is being used as an excuse to deal with problems that aren’t really about security, whether that is someone walking along a cycle lane, or an embarassing pensioner at a party conference. The more these kind of crazy stories come out, the less seriously people will take the extra measures that we have to deal with. Really, there needs to be a limited set of properly thought out restrictions to protect real targets, rather than this ever increasing number of crazy rules, and bizarre uses of legislation under the excuse of security.

2 thoughts on “Woman Arrested as Terrorist Walking in a Cycle Lane”

  1. Interestingly in Japan it is perfectly normal ride your bike on the pavement (sidewalk) or road, or even alternate between the two. Also standard operating procedure is to ride on the “wrong” side of the road without lights at night wearing dark clothing. Other behaviours designed to keep us drivers on our toes is to completely disregard traffic lights (they don’t apply to us cyclists), fly out of alleys without looking and wobble in front of a dump truck with a tiny kid front and back. Riding your bike up the train track is presumably verboten, but looks as if pushing is still OK. Another trick is to have the personal music system on full blast, thus eliminating any aural early warning danger signals. And never forget text messaging while riding one’s bike. Saw one kid that had fallen off, lying in the gutter continuing to input his clearly urgent message. There do seem to be a significant number of crippled people with obvious brain damage. One finds oneself wondered about the precise cause and effect sequence. But at least no one gets arrested for doing something really, really stupid. Just as well or most of the population would be in the slammer. “Forget it Joe, it’s Chinatown”. Or make that downtown Tokyo. Seriously guys, as Britain becomes increasingly police state, neutral, Buddhist Asia becomes increasingly attractive.

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