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Old 2nd May 2012, 08:21   #81 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Glasgow
Posts: 96
Quote:
If my work permitted, I would be out of the country for the whole period and find the tiniest possible island to sit on.
Why not come to Glasgow and hide out? We're 400 miles away, the beer's great and the people are nice

...Oh - hang on!! The Commonwealth Games are being held here in in Glasgow in 2014. We've sold everything in the city to pay for them, we've forcibly ejected people from their houses to build an athletes' village and we will shortly change some of our laws to facilitate the elite's progress through the city.

Er, any ideas for that small island for the year after next?
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Old 2nd May 2012, 09:26   #82 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: The bar of the Frog and Peach
Posts: 69
I think the only ones in favour of the London olympics are the Parisians.

Back to the main topic. This problem has been brewing for years. Many's the time I've returned from work into LGW or LHR and legged it to immigration only to see the staff closing desks. Funny how they always decided it's time for a tea break just ahead of 2 or 3 or 737's load of pax arriving at once.

Those passport reading machines seem to be even slower than the IRIS ones. Most frustrating to see fellow pax in longer queues going through the desks faster than you can via the automated gates.

Out of interest, what would happen if a large group of UK passport holders held up their passports and marched through en masse, politely but firmly declining to be stopped? What authority do the BF have? I'm guessing the plod would arrest as many as possible followed by a few exemplary prosecutions and sentences.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 10:09   #83 (permalink)
Paxing All Over The World
 
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COL That is sedition and the thought police will track you down and punish you for even having asked the question.

Thanks for the warning, farci - GLA is off my list for a while.

As far as I can tell, the British govts have relied on people 'doing the right thing' for a very long time. They have presumed people will ask and then follow the rules. The turnaround will happen one day.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 10:14   #84 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: UK
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Evidenced by the number of people applying for tickets, and the massive oversubscription, and the continuing moans about not being able to get tickets on just about any sports website ............ the overwhelming majority of people interested in any sport in the UK are looking forward to the Olympics.

These people however don't inhabit moaning Forum threads like this one - they have their tickets and are happy and looking forward to the events.

A small vocal minority really need to get a life and accept that the world does not revolve around them and their views.

Peace
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Old 2nd May 2012, 10:45   #85 (permalink)
Paxing All Over The World
 
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No problem with that point of view GrahamO. I just hope that all those folks can look back in ten years time with satisfaction at what was done and the value for money. By that time the legacy will be clear, although the financial debt may not be paid off.

I wasn't born cynical, it's just that I've lived in the UK for most of my life ...
Shalom.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 11:56   #86 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2001
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I would be happy with that Graham IF..

Those that want it PAY for it, those that don't, don't.

Those that don't want don't get inconvenienced by it.

It's not a case of 'getting a life', it's case of immense selfishness and inconsideration for those that don't want it.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 18:08   #87 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 226
/me inserts tongue in cheek firmly

Quote:
I would be happy with that Graham IF..

Those that want it PAY for it, those that don't, don't.
Thats okay, but we live in a democracy where such decisions are not down to individuals opting out of everything they don't want. For example, your pension and healthcare is almost certainly funded by others that would rather not fund you and let you die early and in pain. You cannot have it both ways. If it was people only paying for things they want, I doubt much of the airline industry would even exist and most posters would be out of a job.

Quote:
Those that don't want don't get inconvenienced by it.
Nowhere in the world works like that. Every person on the road behind you is being inconvenienced by your presence on the road, and I doubt you consider the inconvenience you present to everyone else around. If only you stayed at home, everyone else would be much better off ? Hoe self-important can one person come across when they expect everybody else to not 'inconvenience' them but will of course expect all the social norms to apply to everyone else.

Quote:
It's not a case of 'getting a life', it's case of immense selfishness and inconsideration for those that don't want it.
Not at all - its an overweening self entitlement attitude of folks who like to pay and put up with the things they like and want and feel offended if anyone else wants the same, should it not suit them.

Really, it is a case of getting a sense of perspective of your own importance to the world and moderate your expectations.

The anti-olympics lot are a small, irrelevant minority, and as such their inconvenience is of no relevance in a civilised, democratic society. And if Heathrow cannot cope, its because folks don't want to pay a reasonable price to fund the throughput they want. Of course they pay a reasonable price but I suspect ,ost of the money goes on final salary pensions rather than funding direct front line staff salaries.

(thats my grumpy minority viewpoint to which I am resigned to accepting will not be changed)
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Old 2nd May 2012, 18:25   #88 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Cape Town / UK / Europe
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I'm not sure that "The anti-olympics lot are a small, irrelevant minority, and as such their inconvenience is of no relevance in a civilised, democratic society" is true or even fair.

Whilst I would concede that we tend to mix with people whose views and politics coincide with our own (the major exception in my life and probably most other peoples' being the person I live with but that's another story!), most of the people whose views on this I have heard think it's a massive and utter nuisance at best, and a waste of money and a security risk at worst. Even my sports-mad brother-in-law takes that view and is sickened at the toguht of how much it will cost him.

I haven't seen any polls, but I would suspect that the anti-Olympic brigade are far from being a small minority, but I have no facts with which to back that up.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 19:06   #89 (permalink)

You Think, Therefore I Am
 
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Weirdly GrahamO I kind of agree with and understand your points made: This is one of the penalties of a democracy for the dissenter and to believe otherwise would be childish. I get it, I really do...

For me, the problem is that I strongly suspect that a lot of the enthusiasm is manufactured: I'm not convinced that the minority against is that small. The cultural and social pressure is certainly "on" to approve. That said, you're absolutely correct that this was a decision reached democratically and we have to accept it.

My rant was more about the general state of affairs in Britain today - of which the Olympics are merely a part. I'm aware that I sound like 'Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" and hate myself for doing so - which of course only fuels the cross-ness,

I hope that you, and others, enjoy the Olympics: I won't, but that's my issue. I still hope that the revolution begins with foreigners queueing at Immigration because I despair of Britain ever healing itself. We should not be imposing our sad little management incompetencies on others - It's discourteous, unwise and foolish, since we apparently expect them to simultaneously be queuing up to invest on these shores.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 19:09   #90 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Quote:
you're absolutely correct that this was a decision reached democratically and we have to accept it.
Was it? By what democratic process was the decision reached? I may have missed something by not having been in the UK but I do have access to the media.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 19:45   #91 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2001
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If you had the choice, would you take the money and

Spend it on making sure that the elderly needing care in their homes get more than 15 minutes for a visit?

Not get rid of hundreds of uniformed policemen when crime is not under control?

Not see nurses made redundant and wards closed?

Spend more money on getting unemployed youngsters into work?

Get homeless families out of bed and breakfast and into council housing rather than expensive private housing?

Not have Air Ambulances funded by voluntary contributions because the ambulance trusts can't afford it?

Not have workers in the defence industry made redundant and become a drain on the State while depriving the Armed Forces of needed equipment?

Not have even violent criminals let out of jail because there isn't the funding to provide enough places for them?

And many, many more examples.

OR - Fund the Olympics.


Note, too the hidden costs to businesses - and even the Government. Ofcom must have spent a small fortune so far on provisions yet LOCOG said they didn't want to have to pay for radio licences.


And, as Tableview said, were we asked? We weren't, so you cannot say it was democratic decision.

Admittedly, we don't really live in a democracy - we only like to think we do.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 22:45   #92 (permalink)
Paxing All Over The World
 
Join Date: May 2001
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With great reluctance, I return to topic but I would much prefer to discuss this fascinating topic and ALL of the points of view.

Quote:
Immigration staff are to stage a one-day strike in the bitter dispute over public sector pensions, threatening huge disruption at airports including Heathrow, which is already being hit by massive delays.The Immigration Services Union (ISU), which represents 4,500 Border Agency staff, said its members will walk out next Thursday, May 10, at ports and airports across the UK and abroad.
from: Heathrow immigration staff to strike on 10 May over pensions - Home News - UK - The Independent
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Old 3rd May 2012, 09:04   #93 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2001
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Posts: 1,224
The thing I don't understand is this. Is not the pension and all that is involved with it in terms of retirement age, employee payments etc part of the contract of employment? If so, how come the government can unilaterally break that contract without formally dismissing everybody and offering them re-employment on the new contract?

I think some councils have done that: if the employee rejects the offer of employment, can he then get redundancy?

It does suggest that any contract with the government for anything can be broken as when they wish. Ipso facto, then the government never negotiates in good faith......
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Old 3rd May 2012, 17:49   #94 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In the past, or EGJJ, or sometimes KIAD.
Age: 69
Posts: 1,159
Oh well, I'm LHR T5 will work perfectly for all International Arrivals tomorrow, whether they are UK, EU + Swiss, or Others.

Or not, of course.
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Old 5th May 2012, 12:24   #95 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Essex
Posts: 66
Heathrow is a mess and UK civil servants, particularly security staff, are mostly self-serving jobs-worths.

In what sense is this 'news'?
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Old 5th May 2012, 17:49   #96 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2001
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Airport security aren't civil service, but BAA employees. The civil servants who do the work are the ones who are being downsized and expected to deal with large volumes of traffic while their managers hit targets for reducing staff numbers - at the behest of politicians with no idea of reality.

One government agency 'reduced headcount' at the end of last year with payouts which were pretty generous. Even to a guy who was retiring in March this year.........They now have taken om the same number of new people in the same grades but without the experience and real knowledge, but they moved the budget numbers by not having people for 6 months so it looks good.....
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Old 6th May 2012, 13:25   #97 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 12
This mess seems to be a depressingly familiar story of poor decision making driven by incompatible requirements, misplaced faith in technology and a shrill, partisan politics over-influenced by opinion polls and the media. It has been a long time in the making.

The first requirement was the political decision to toughen border checks. A heady mix of terrorist threat and public unease over immigration and asylum whether exaggerated or real, created a political will for perceived tighter borders.

The second requirement was to reduce expenditure in the face of a large deficit, recession and expanding borrowing. To a greater or lesser degree this was the narrative of all parties.

In order to do more work (tighter checks) with less resource (budgets and headcount cuts) productivity must increase substantially. I imagine that this was anticipated as a result of technology investment in biometrics and automated borders. I also imagine that those productivity improvements were grossly over-estimated and under delivered (the error rate for E-passport gates is well documented.)

So something had to give. In the first place the border force took the very pragmatic approach of relaxing checks for low risk passengers at peak times. Alas, this was deemed politically unacceptable (after much press hysteria) and Brodie Clark was sacrificed to protect his political masters.

So now they have nowhere to go. The technology won’t improve things quickly. A pragmatic approach to checking has been ruled out as political suicide and there is a finite pool of trained staff (probably feeling overworked and under siege right now). Given capacity is limited and insufficient queues have increased.

As always the crisis will eventually be managed and the news agenda will move on. However I do find it vaguely depressing that our current climate of public discourse discourages sensible, nuanced, truthful debate and makes these sort of issues more rather than less likely.
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Old 6th May 2012, 15:50   #98 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2001
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Knowledgeable sources tell me that Brodie Clark was considered useless by many of the Border Agency staff, partially because he didn't know what he was doing. How true this is, I know not, but his popularity with the staff was pretty low.

rjc54n's analysis seems pretty accurate to me, however. The demonstrated incompetence is why I still like the idea of a public flogging of the Home Secretary every time the wait exceeds 10 minutes in the EU queue!
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Old 18th May 2012, 07:50   #99 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: -)
Posts: 301
Welcome to Cornwall

The smart people (like the Princess Royal) have found a clever way to bypass Heathrow's queues. Of course the Duchy belongs to her sister-in-law, but anything to avoid the queues in Heathrow.
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Old 19th May 2012, 22:35   #100 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: uk
Posts: 52
farci,

no laws will be changed to failitate the elete's progress through the city for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, as there won't be any Olympic style games lanes. The only law that will be introduced is around brand protection / ambush marketing, which is a bid comittment.
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