Given that even Alistair Darling recognises the futility of "airport style" body scanners, metal detectors and "see through your clothes" scanners being deployed at Railway or London Underground Tube stations, one has to wonder why he is still going ahead and funding, with our money, a trial of such technology on the Heathrow Express line at Paddington station, and perhaps elsewhere.
We have already commented on the stupidity of this announcement which came out on November 2nd. Today's international "transport security" conference gave Alistair "surveillance" Darling a chance to appear on all the TV news channels.
We will await with interest to see if it really is the controversial Backscatter X-Ray technology which is to be deployed - there are no long term health studies to back up the manufacturers claims that it is "safe" . Safe for all pregnant women and unborn children ? Safe for all cancer radiotherapy patients ? Safe for daily commuters to and from work. day after day, rather than the a couple of annuall airport holiday or business trips ?
Supposing , however, that the Backscatter X-Ray or the alternative Passive Millimetre Wave scanners are used, but not in "airport style" portals or booths, where the passengers are aware of what is happening, but sneakily and secretly, imaging "beneath the clothes" of people just walking past, without their knowledge or permisssion.
This would be far more useful as an alleged anti-terrorist technique, but much, much, more controversial.
We will be interested to see exactly what is imposed on the public "lab rats" who will be subjected to this "technology trial" next year.
How about some hiring some more Railway or Tube staff, to man every platform, day and night ?