Showing posts with label police state. Show all posts
Showing posts with label police state. Show all posts

Friday, December 02, 2011

Another IPCC whitewash

Typical, isn't it?

They set up a so-called "investigation" and having failed to even interview the relevant people, find "no evidence of a criminal offence". Well, there's a surprise for you. In tomorrow's news, maybe we will hear that turkeys did not vote in support of the celebration of Christmas (shh, but don't tell the ducks, cos I already ordered one of those).

Oh, and the report is being kept secret for now, under the IPCC's longstanding "openness" policy (to be fair, they do say they will publish it in 2012).

Yet more evidence (if any were needed after this) that a thorough reform is needed.

Further details here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More from the department of Something Must be Done

Not to be outdone by the UK's ban on toner cartridges, Japan Post has upped the ante with a ban on sending all parcels weighing over a pound. Unfortunately, this only applies to parcels being sent airmail to the USA, so we can't use it as an excuse for not being able to send any Christmas presents back to the UK. A few thousand USA expats must be heaving a sigh of relief though :-)

The Japanese seem to blame the USA for imposing onerous restrictions (press release), but I don't think any other country has simply given up sending parcels as a response.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

War on toner cartridges

Once again proving that life is far stranger than fiction...

Unbelievable as it may sound, following the recent bomb attempt, there really is a ban on carrying toner cartridges in hand baggage.

It's like a crazy mix of Simon Says meets 1984 meets Viz:

Bin Laden says...
And now...
I mean really, WTF? Is the British public so gobsmackingly stupid, the press so craven and cowardly, and the politicians so...despicably political, that this is going to go through on the nod? Just so we can all agree that Something has been Done?

I do pity the poor person who until this day has religiously carried a spare printer toner cartridge in his carry-on baggage for every trip, just in case he ran out while on holiday. Whoever he is, he'll be gutted that the terrorists didn't use...I dunno, a camera? An airconditioner? A box? Anything other than a toner cartridge!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


(RSS users might like to note that my previous post has now been properly published, though it didn't come through on the feed. I would delete and repost but it already has a couple of comments...)

I was about to offer a lukewarm welcome for what appeared to be a minor and belated outbreak of sanity with regards to airport security, but no sooner had the "threat" of passengers not being made to perform a tedious and worthless security pantomime (doesn't merit being called theatre) every time they got on a plane, than a "bomb plot" has been conveniently uncovered. Not that I'm going all conspiracy theory on it, I'm sure the yanks hadn't even noticed the recent grumbling from the airlines over here. I doubt it will even do the Democrats any good in the elections, as most voters will probably just think "muslim terrorist president" even more strongly.

So this time it was a printer cartridge. Presumably the proportionate response will be that every page of printed matter carried onto a plane will have to be opened and photographed from now on. Anyone who carries a syringe for medical reasons will tell you that it's rarely even spotted, but the point is not to actually achieve anything, rather it's to be seen doing something. Like the 101,248 stop-and-searches under terrorism legislation that resulted in ZERO terrorism-related arrests. Bah humbug.

Incidentally, on the subject of airports, I saw someone describe Theifrow as "second tier" recently. I didn't notice any such improvement when we passed though it recently. "Shabby dive" would be nearer the mark.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Health and safety of the buildings"

I'd read about things like this on the intertubes, but never expected it would actually happen to us. We were wandering around the town centre of XXX at the weekend, and walked into a shopping centre/mall. Jules had her camera and decided to take a picture (she's keen on that, you may have noticed). Shortly after completing the snap, a security guard came up and told us we weren't allowed to do that. Why not, Jules asked (not being in Japan any more). "Health and safety of the buildings" he replied. We laughed and told him that was obviously rubbish, and then he said it was because of security. After all, any self-respecting thief will take pictures from the outside of the shop with a big fat DSLR in full view of the CCTV systems, rather than surreptitiously take snaps with a phone or concealed camera...

I assumed at the time that as shopping centres are generally private land, the owners do actually have the right to forbid photography (technically, they do this by withdrawing the implied permission of access, making the photographer a trespasser). So I didn't argue any further. However, I have now seen that although it's not actually a public right of way, there used to be one there before the mall was built, and there is some sort of bylaw guaranteeing public access during daytime, with provisions for public order and obstruction but nothing relating to photography being banned. So now I'm disappointed I didn't stand up for my rights.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Taking the piss

Rumours have been flying for a little while, but Debito actually got on the case and phoned up the police to confirm it - they are actually rounding up foreigners leaving bars and dragging them off to police stations and demanding urine tests. It seems they have some new toys that they want to test.

Of course, they have absolutely no right to do things like this without a warrant, but that has never stopped them abusing foreigners in the past. A common example is the random ID check. By law, they have no right to demand an ID check on a foreigner unless they have grounds for suspicion. However, there is nothing stopping them from asking for ID, and if the foreigners refuses, well that is suspicious behaviour! (Having said that, I've never encountered such an ID check in my 8 years here, but some Tokyo dwellers report over a hundred of them, often the same policeman in the same place as a regular event.)

No doubt the usuals will say Debito's only doing it for the publicity. I for one am grateful for his efforts.