Briefly, I stumbled across more evidence of the growth of our Police state this week, with two stories. The first from a friend of mine from Westgate, who visited the Natural History Museum in London and who like me, owns a Gerber multitool. In his case, rather like a Swiss Army knife, it was in his bag but the security lady at the museum concluded from the look of him, that he must be a dodgy character or potential terrorist, because she stopped him and asked him to turn out his bag.
Spotting the Gerber multi-tool, she said she would have to confiscate it as a weapon but he stood his ground and told her she had no right to do so. She insisted that she did and the Police were called. Ironically, when the Police arrived, expecting perhaps to find Osama Bin Laden, they took one look at the Gerber and told the security guard not to be silly as the penknife was within limits and that it was not being used or displayed as an offensive weapon. She then started arguing with the Police but in the end, my friend got his multi-tool back and was allowed to enter the museum. So this time around, the Police showed some common-sense, which is refreshing but it is a little worrying that Museum security guards appear to be losing theirs, in this example anyway.
The second example surrounds the 2012 Olympics. I've already had several enquiries about flying advertising banners around the Games from the United States but enquiring of the CAA and the 2012 Organising Committee, I was sent a rather large document to read and digest.
This explains that our Government will shortly be enacting secondary legislation to "protect" the commercial interests of the 2012 Games sponsors. In a nutshell, you need to think back to the Beijing Games and the heavy-handed approach of the Chinese authorities. This legislation will be 'catch-all' to prevent, 'Ambush Marketing' within broad geographically defined areas and the airspace surrounding them.
So, let's say you try and wear a Pepsi-branded T-shirt within that defined area of London or perhaps Weymouth or Manchester or any other sporting venue. You could, in principle be arrested. Try flying a banner or displaying a flag or a travelling road-sign with the same and you certainly will be and if it's a 'Free Tibet' flag then I suspect that will be caught under the legislation as well.
Coca Cola and Nike are of course OK!