Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Nineteen Eighty-Four at 70

1984 has come and gone with little in the way of Big Brother (although I suppose that depends on whom you ask), but George Orwell’s novel is still a key component of education and culture.

A point made by this stencilled sign I spotted stapled to a wooden pole not very long ago.

1984

1984

I’m not sure how those I’ll refer to as normal/ordinary people view the novel, but I can’t ignore it as it was one of ‘set texts’ I had to read and study in detail during the years of my secondary education, so it’s inevitably engraved in my memory.

One aspect I remember wondering about was if I would live long enough to see 1984 (which was a bit silly in some respects, as it wasn’t that far in my future, but kids don’t have much perception of time).

Another was my growing knowledge of electronics around the same time, when I concluded (rightly at the time, wrongly in the future) that the level of surveillance was, if not impossible, at least not practical. While I suppose a wholly dystopian state could have ordered and implemented it, the technology of the time would have seen the world immersed in a sea of connection wires (for all the cameras and microphones).

If you’re unfamiliar with communication wiring of the past (something almost invisible today), just look at this telephone wiring (and this is only 5,000 lines):

5000 telephone lines in Stockholm

5000 telephone lines in Stockholm

See more examples like this in the source: Photos from the Days When Thousands of Cables Crowded the Skies

They’re still there today, but in a different form since they are more likely to be carrying many (digital) signals: Bucharest: Cables

There would have been another problem – the power needed to run all that hardware, which would have been huge using the technology of the time (mostly valve based, transistors were still to become widely used). There would have been so many power station, and all coal powered, that we’d have been immersed in constant smog – and climate change would have arrived with a vengeance.

In fact, there would probably have been such a great demand for manufacturing the hardware, building power stations, installing the wiring, and mining the coal, that the wars described in the novel couldn’t have happened as everyone would have been too busy installing the surveillance system.

Of course, the arrival of the transistor, the death of the valve, and birth of the Internet around 1970 (but spawned just after the novel was published) meant that the technology to permit billions of point-to-point connections could be made was available, and just needed some software, and hardware, to be developed.

This seems to be the first British edition cover I found online.

nineteen eighty-four First British Edition Secker and Warburg 1949

nineteen eighty-four First British Edition Secker and Warburg 1949

It’s a bit of a long read, but this article saves me from rambling on further, as its consideration of the novel as a warning, rather than the more usual prophecy, makes a lot more sense.

Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House in January 2017 created, among other things, a golden opportunity for enterprising protesters. One designer created a version of the Trump campaign’s red baseball cap, replacing his slogan “Make America Great Again” with “Make Orwell Fiction Again”.

It’s a good, dark joke but it raises the question of whether Nineteen Eighty-Four, which turns 70 this weekend, was really fiction in the first place.

George Orwell first outlined his idea for a novel about the future, originally called “The Last Man in Europe”, around the end of 1943, and it would be another five years before he typed the final words. In the intervening period, he road-tested many of the book’s most important ideas, images and phrases in hundreds of articles for magazines and newspapers.

In fact, virtually everything he wrote as a journalist during that time had some relevance to his novel. By 1948, he was so determined to finish the book that he refused to retreat to a sanatorium to seek sorely needed treatment for his tuberculosis, a decision which probably doomed his chances of recovery.

Nineteen Eighty-Four was published on 8 June 1949, to instant acclaim and alarm. Its author died less than eight months later at the age of 46. For Orwell, the book was nothing less than an obsession.

Orwell would not have gone to such punishing lengths to finish Nineteen Eighty-Four if it had been merely fiction. From the very start, it was his way of making sense of the totalitarian regimes that were tormenting Europe: Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia.

How did these tyrannies take root and could something similar – or even worse – emerge elsewhere, in countries that assumed their institutions and liberties were safe?

It was the first dystopian novel written with the full knowledge that dystopia was real. The phrases that Orwell invented were brilliantly, unforgettably new – Big Brother, doublethink, Newspeak, the Thought Police – but they were all satirical exaggerations of existing totalitarianism.

Readers behind the Iron Curtain – where the book was banned and possession of a smuggled copy could lead to a prison sentence – certainly didn’t categorise it as fiction. They found that Orwell’s concepts were all too relevant to their own restricted lives.

Nineteen Eighty-Four at 70: Orwell’s novel wasn’t a prophecy, it was a warning and a reminder

Interestingly, in 1984…

Apple advertised what they didn’t want to become, but they did.

Since the above didn’t actually include the full Apple commercial…

NOTE: the Apple 1984 piece starts at 0:09 – we wanted to show it in context of Super Bowl XVIII. This video was recorded on our CEO’s parents’ VCR on January 22, 1984, the 30th anniversary of Apple’s iconic MacIntosh 1984 ad, directed by Ridley Scott, and aired during Super Bowl XVIII. Midway through the 3rd quarter, the broadcast cut to a commercial, the screen momentarily went dark, and what aired next became part of marketing and tech history.

Update

More articles appeared later, and I liked this short review of how the novel has different relevancies at different times.

Why 1984 still matters

I’ll include the embedded video link from the BBC, but WordPress is now unreliable as regards playing embeds. Some days it like them, some days it doesn’t.

If there’s no embedded video below, then you can assume it was there when I wrote and reviewed this update, but then disappeared when I hit the ‘Publish’ button – in which case, Thanks a Lot, WordPress!

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06/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Cold War, photography, Surveillance, World War II | , , | Leave a comment

Guess I’m not going to get into the US

While I’m not likely to try to go there, or have ever even been there, it looks as if I’d better not even think about visiting the US.

Now that it’s become ever more like ‘Orange Moron Land’, it seems as if he of the single brain cell (or less) has come up with a new idea to make himself popular, with some.

Nearly all applicants for US visas will have to submit their social media details under newly adopted rules.

The State Department regulations say people will have to submit social media names and five years’ worth of email addresses and phone numbers.

When proposed last year, authorities estimated the proposal would affect 14.7 million people annually.

Certain diplomatic and official visa applicants will be exempt from the stringent new measures.

However, people travelling to the US to work or to study will have to hand over their information.

US demands social media details from visa applicants

I’m actually impressed by the idea that people will be able to provide the five years’ worth of detailed being demanded, given most seem to be unable to manage to remember decent passwords, or even change them.

I wonder how many will provide genuine addresses and numbers, and how many will just be made up to fill in the forms.

Could be fun if the State Department actually checks them – lots of people could be refused visas, or end up in US jails if their stuff doesn’t check out.

After visa check

After visa check

02/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Surveillance, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The atomic secret of Nanda Devi

Nanda Devi is unfortunately being featuring in the news at the moment…

Nanda Devi: Hopes fading for eight missing climbers

But there was a time when the location was relatively unknown, yet was the subject of a story that would have probably have made even more headlines back around 1965 than it is making today.

NEW DELHI: Even as the world celebrated the golden jubilee of the human conquest of Mount Everest, a legendary Indian mountaineer and a CIA expert have come out with an authoritative chronology of how nuclear devices were planted atop high Himalayan peaks to monitor Chinese nuclear tests in the 1960s.

In an explosive book ”Spies in the Himalayas”, the mountaineer, Capt Mohan Singh Kohli, who had led these expeditions to Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot and other summits between 1965 and 1968, and CIA expert Kenneth Conboy chronicle the planting of nuclear-powered monitoring devices by the CIA with the help of intrepid climbers from India and the US.

That was the time when there were no satellites to monitor such developments from the sky.

One of the devices, which could not be planted atop Nanda Devi summit due to bad weather and was left cached on the mountain for the next expedition, went missing.

This caused serious concern about possible radioactive contamination of the environment and, in particular, the River Ganges.

Repeated searches could not retrieve the device which still remains missing, the book, published by Harper Collins, and said, adding that tests done subsequently at different spots indicated there was no cause for alarm.

The highly sophisticated and top-secret mission was kept under wraps for 38 long years, barring a “partial and inaccurate leak” made to a US magazine in 1978, which rocked the Indian Parliament at that time.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, then Foreign Minister, declared in London on April 30, 1978, India would recover the nuclear device. To pacify agitated MPs, Vajpayee also made statements in Parliament.

A high-powered committee of scientists, including Dr Atma Ram, H N Sethna, M G K Menon, Raja Ramanna and Dr Saha, was set up to study and assess the risk of the missing device on Nanda Devi, the book said.

While CIA refused to comment on the news, US Congressmen asked then President Jimmy Carter to conduct an investigation.

Kohli also participated in the famous sailing expedition ”Ocean to Sky” in 1977 on the Ganga against the currents. The expedition, led by Sir

Edmund Hillary, was among other things reportedly intended to monitor radioactive contamination on the river as a fallout of the missing nuclear device atop Nanda Devi.

The book also mentions several interesting developments in that period, relating to these expeditions and the plans to install the nuclear monitoring devices.

These included unauthorised climbing of Nanda Devi twice, capture of an Indian Special Frontier Force commando by the Chinese in Tibet, the appearance of an American spy plane U-2 in India on a secret mission, use of the world famous Huskie aircraft for high altitude search up to 22,500 feet and Kohli”s seven close brushes with death.

The legendary Indian mountaineer, along with co-author Conboy, also recalls the involvement of leading intelligence officials, nuclear scientists and dare devil pilots of US and India and the CIA experts who participated in this unusual expedition.

CIA nuclear device atop Himalayas

Another article from the same source…

NEW DELHI: Soon after China detonated its first atom bomb in 1964, CIA tried to plant a nuclear-powered surveillance device atop Nanda Devi to spy on the communist nation.

Though the secret mission failed and the device was lost there, it created ripples in the Indian establishment 12 years later.

The espionage mission remained top secret till April 1978 when a news report published in a US magazine “Outside” claimed that the US intelligence agency had sent a team to set up a remote sensing device atop 25,645-foot mountain in the Himalayas in 1965.

But bad weather halted them 2,000-feet short of the summit and forced them to abandon the 125-pound device containing plutonium 238 that can remain radioactive for about 500 years. When the team returned to the site a year later, the device could not be located.

After a short-term “feckless effort”, the US government gave up its search for the device. Instead, the CIA covertly placed a second snap generator on another mountain, Nanda Kot, in 1967. After serving the agency’s purposes, it was also abandoned a year later, the report had claimed.

The revelations sparked a huge uproar in the country and even forced then foreign minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to say the episode might damage the “recently improving” ties between the two countries, according to recently declassified external affairs ministry documents.

The documents, available with National Archives, show how the Indian embassies abroad, especially in the US, had become active and kept on sending notes explaining how the issue was being played up by the media there.

At the time of this discloser, foreign ministry officials here were apparently unaware of the fact that the Nanda Devi mission was actually a joint collaboration between India and the US, according to the declassified documents.

CIA tried to plant surveillance device atop Nanda Devi

I’ve gone with somewhat longer than usual quotes from the source since I note that nearly all the other accounts I have bookmarked since coming across this story about 10 or so years ago have largely evaporated from the net.

Nanda Devi uncredited image

Nanda Devi uncredited image

The image came this info:

In addition to being the 23rd highest independent peak in the world, Nanda Devi is also notable for its large, steep rise above local terrain. It rises over 3,300 metres (10,800 ft) above its immediate southwestern base on the Dakkhni Nanda Devi Glacier in about 4.2 kilometres (2.6 mi), and its rise above the glaciers to the north is similar. This makes it among the steepest peaks in the world at this scale, closely comparable, for example, to the local profile of K2. Nanda Devi is also impressive when considering terrain that is a bit further away, as it is surrounded by relatively deep valleys. For example, it rises over 6,500 metres (21,300 ft) above the valley of the Ghoriganga in only 50 km (30 mi).

No wonder they thought of installing a surveillance device powered by similar technology to a space probe there!

The only surprising aspect I note is placing something in that environment, and expecting it to stay there.

I’ve also seen other stories claiming contamination (but none with real evidence), which seems rather unlikely given the construction of such devices. But then again, this was ‘new’ technology in those days, so it’s reasonable to assume the hardware may not have been built in the robust manner seen today.

It may even have just been cobbled together.

I wonder if it might have been copied from a Soviet design?

The Russians were always less squeamish about using nuclear power for remote applications, and used nuclear generators to power remote lighthouses, and have nuclear-powered ice breakers sailing in freezing waters to this day.

02/06/2019 Posted by | Cold War, Lost, Surveillance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh dear – even the BBC sometimes just repeats myths

I wondered if the recent tale of a ‘spy’ in the form of a ‘beluga whale’, kitted out with a GoPro and reportedly trained to approach vessels for food, would be picked up by any media sources, and it seems our very own BBC was the one lured in by this ‘honey trap’.

First rule of spying – don’t look like a spy.

The beluga whale – if that’s really its name – found in Norway’s waters can certainly tick that box.

But it appears to have committed an absolutely basic rookie sleuthing error.

The reason it’s causing suspicion among Norwegian fishermen and scientists is that it was wearing a harness and a label saying it was from St Petersburg in Russia.

Russia has denied any wrongdoing – and so far the beluga is refusing to talk.

Can’t or won’t?

Regardless of the truth, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time undercover animals have been used to spy.

It goes on to recount the tale of the now fairly well-known CIA’s ‘Acoustic Kitty’.

If there’s one thing we know about cats, it’s that they do whatever they want, whenever they want.

Admittedly, they’re inscrutable and impossible to second guess, so that’s possibly why the CIA thought they’d make excellent field operatives.

In the 1960s, it’s estimated $14m (£10.7m) was spent on a project to fit listening devices inside cats. The idea was for them to prowl around picking up vital Russian intelligence.

But it ended in failure on day one – when the cat was run over by a car outside the Soviet embassy in Washington.

Spying whales and other undercover animals

Sad to say, while that account is probably not wholly inaccurate, it’s probably also a bit of a myth.

There’s no disputing the creation and existence of Acoustic Kitty, and the chances are you can search online and find most of the story, and maybe even X-Rays of the cat showing the wiring and microphone.

And it’s probably also true to say it was a complete and utter failure, since the chances of convincing a free-roaming cat to follow instruction are at best, slim to nil.

However, I’m going to call ‘FAKE’ on the usual conclusion to the story, as given in the BBC article quoted above.

A few years ago a CIA officer published his memoirs, and these were quoted at length online, by the sort of web site that likes that sort of thing.

Acoustic Kitty came up in story.

The officer noted the project’s failure, but gave a completely different (and for its worth, far more believable account than that of the cat just happening to be “run over by a car outside the Soviet embassy in Washington.” Seriously, try working out the odds of that happening.

The officer’s account of the conclusion to Acoustic Kitty’s career was that, after the handlers found it impossible to control the cat once it was released (it went for a wander where it wanted to), they ‘recovered’ their asset, removed the radio/wiring/microphone (apparently fitted into the cat’s ear canal), and then retired it, after which it went on to live out its life somewhere more comfortable than a city.

I really wish I noted the web address of every article I read, which would make it easy to go find such items years later, but I do keep watching for this one, and if I do come across it, I WILL make a note.

Incidentally, to give you an idea of the credibility of the tale of  the cat being run over the first time it was released, I might add that the stories about this project report a cost to the CIA ranging from less than $10 million to over $120 million before it was cancelled.

Some say…

The Soviets were preparing countermeasures.

Serious Cat

30/04/2019 Posted by | Cold War, Lost, Surveillance | , , | Leave a comment

Chapel webcam back at last

After more than a week of absence, this one has come back to life.

Glasgow University Memorial Chapel webcam

Glasgow University Memorial Chapel Interior

Memorial Chapel Interior

30/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Surveillance | , | Leave a comment

Correction/update to earlier Kelvingrove Park bin post, quieter Glasgow Green, and a barbecue

Having made a post about the ‘Big bins’ arriving in Kelvingrove Park this year than last year, and noted that there were no mobile CCTV camera units with them…

Of course, I had to be proved wrong!

When I went back a few hours later, not only had a mobile CCTV camera unit arrived – it had brought a friend to keep it company.

Click for bigger.

Kelvingrove Park CCTV twins at big bin

Kelvingrove Park CCTV twins at big bin

A little closer.

Kelvingrove Park CCTV

Kelvingrove Park CCTV

It’s sad to say that these are actually necessary, and not for the litter/rubbish, as was the case last year.

The police are already in the park enforcing Glasgow’s ban on alcohol consumption in a public place such as this (there are pics of them pouring away bottle taken from ‘teens’ – an option avoiding prosecution), but sad to say, this doesn’t prevent mindless violence which seems to have erupted with the sudden jump in temperature (I’m not going to start listing this stuff again, but there were TWO – actually more if I look just off roads I walk – violent crimes near me in the past day), as these new items relating to this park yesterday show…

Attempted murder probe launched after teenager chased through Glasgow park and attacked

Kelvingrove Park appeal: teenager scarred for life after fight

Boy ‘permanently scarred’ in Kelvingrove Park attack in Glasgow

There’s a big police presence around Glasgow

Although I didn’t note it, Glasgow Green (is it the East end’s equivalent of the West end’s Kelvingrove Park) is busy now, and I passed a number of motorcycle police stationed on the exits last week, partnered by SUVs inside the Green.

As far as I know, apart from the People’s Palace reopening, there wasn’t anything special happening. If there was, I didn’t see any evidence, but it was still off-putting to be wandering through so many police.

This weekend seems to see the return of outdoor events on Glasgow Green, and there were more foot patrols in evidence, plus cars, but no motorbikes.

I don’t know what this weekend’s event was, but I’ll class it as ‘Disgusting’.

I hate rap at the best of times, but whoever was ‘performing’ on the Green was below pathetic, and just shouting obscenities and swearing. At least that was all I heard when the noise he was making unfortunately drifted in my direction.

Maybe that’s why the Green was looking quiet, even thought there was something happening.

This was the middle of the afternoon – when I passed on my way home in the evening (around 19:30) the place was deserted.

Click for bigger.

Glasgow Green Disgusting Music Event

Glasgow Green Disgusting Music Event

It’s OK to have a barbecue in Glasgow

WHY you might want to is another matter.

Apart from the food usually being some sort of health hazard (I usually take one look at the near raw interior, under the burnt black exterior, and discreetly ‘lose’ it), I don’t see the fin in being blinded and having runny eyes for about half an hour as these thing smoulder away.

But, if you like being blinded and poisoned, it seems you’re free to indulge yourself in Glasgow’s parks.

Can you legally have a barbecue in one of Glasgow’s public parks?

No mention in there about the legality of dog meat.

Cat Dog Barbecue

Cat Dog Barbecue

21/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Surveillance | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow University Memorial Chapel DOES host weddings AND has more than one webcam

When I mentioned the webcam I came across after visiting Glasgow University Memorial Chapel, I didn’t go into detail.

However, after almost dropping in there this afternoon, a plan aborted as the weather was so nice, I later discovered I wouldn’t have been able to get in anyway.

The chapel does host weddings, provided the participating parting have some connection with the university, and there was one there this afternoon – actually coming to an end as I type this post and watch the proceedings.

Chapel webcam

What was interesting to note was the evidence of more than one webcam (which I’d already noted when I was there), and that there is one looking directly onto the altar and surrounding area, complete sound, AND under live control of an operator, who was clearly using it shoot a ‘Wedding Video’.

I’ve only seen one view online, so far, and wonder if they change the view around?

Glasgow University Memorial Chapel Interior

Memorial Chapel Interior

 

20/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Surveillance | , | 2 Comments

Geez… I know people are stupid, but this is frightening

I still find it hard to believe that many people accept stuff posted online by other people as accurate, factual, and honest.

Things like online reviews, recommendations, and advice may be of some value if they are subject to audit and review, but most of it is not (as far as I can see), and the ‘Recommendations’ that are given when using thing like Amazon or Twitter are laughable at best.

I happened to be looking for electronic service aids on Amazon the other day, and their dopey algorithms started offering me women’s clothes!

I normally have this blocked, but I let the farcical Twitter ‘Glasgow Trends’ panel appear, and all I can say is that whoever wrote the code took money under false pretences if they were paid for their efforts. Just look at this nonsense (and I’d say this is a GOOD result compared to what I usually see if this panel appears for some reason)…

Twitter Gasgow Trends

Twitter Glasgow Trends

Why do I mention this?

Mainly because I was shocked to see a couple of articles which suggest that ‘authorities’ are using the same algorithms to make decisions which affect people’s lives, and those people may be vulnerable.

They deserve the attention of a qualified person to make potentially life-changing decision about them.

Not some useless algorithm that thinks I would want to by a woman’s dress on the basis that it spotted me looking for electrical contact cleaner spray!

Have a look here to see how bad this is…

From self-harm to terrorism, online recommendations cast a deadly shadow

Stop making free with our sensitive personal data

It’s hard to believe…

It’s the software that Amazon uses to tell you to buy a book you know you’ll never read. And Twitter to persuade you to follow some douchebag. And your local council to tell social workers how to act.

A report by Sky News’s Rowland Manthorpe, based on research by Cardiff University’s Data Justice Lab, revealed that at least 53 local authorities and almost a third of UK police forces are using “predictive algorithms” to determine how to intervene in everything from traffic management to benefits sanctions.

Personally, if I ran anything where I found someone doing this for such important work, their feet wouldn’t touch the ground as they left the building!

And as their boss, I’d be held responsible, which would be a really good reason for ditching them.

You're Fired

04/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Surveillance | | 1 Comment

That feeling, of being watched

Another of those days, walking along when THAT feeling hits.

Took a while, but the feeling of being watched as I walked around Glasgow Green turned out to be right.

Almost didn’t spot the reason.

Don’t worry, it’s not summer, and it is Scotland after all, so chances of this being a doggie in danger of overheating – slim to nil!

Dog in car

Dog in car

21/02/2019 Posted by | photography, Surveillance, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Scottish pilot’s secret Spitfire found in peat bog

A remarkable story regarding one of the ‘Pink Spitfires’ of the PRU (Photographic Reconnaissance Unit), and its Scottish pilot, appeared in the news.

The remains of a Spitfire shot down while on a mission to photograph the WW2 German battleship Tirpitz have been recovered from a Norwegian peat bog.

Auchterarder-born pilot, Flt Lt Alastair “Sandy” Gunn, had flown the aircraft out of RAF Wick in Caithness on 5 March 1942.

Gunn was captured, interrogated, imprisoned and later executed after the Stalag Luft III “Great Escape”.

His plane, Spitfire AA810, is to be restored and flown again.

Finding the aircraft, which crashed on a mountainside near the village of Surnadal, south west of Trondheim, has involved months of research and days of painstaking recovery work.

Mr Hoskins paid tribute to Flt Lt Gunn, who was 22 and had flown 32 operational missions when was shot down.

He said the Scot, along with other pilots of the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, faced huge odds on their missions from Scotland to Norway to find and photograph the Tirpitz.

The pilots chances of survival were extremely low, flying in aircraft stripped of guns and armour to make them lighter and also to carry additional fuel.

Mr Hoskins said: “The pilots’ only defence was evade and escape using the speed and agility of the aircraft.

Scot’s secret mission Spitfire found in Norwegian peat bog

I learned of the PRU many years ago, when looking for old aerial images at the National Museum of Scotland (before Google Earth!).

Quite a unit, as noted the aircraft were unarmed and lightened, and pics they came back with from sorties sometimes show them being chased by enemy aircraft, with following weapons fire splashing into the sea behind them.

Sadly, after being shot down and captured:

The pilot, who refused to give details of his missions, was later moved to Stalag Luft III in Poland and was a key figure in the prisoner of wars’ escape tunnel digging.

Flt Lt Gunn was among those to escape the camp, but he was captured after two days on the run and shot. He was 24.

The recovery of the aircraft will also feature in BBC Four’s Digging for Britain.

This image of a PRU aircraft shows the light colour (intended to aid concealment against the sky) and lack of weapons.

PRU Spitfire

PRU Spitfire

24/11/2018 Posted by | military, photography, Surveillance, Transport, World War II | , , | 1 Comment

Christmassy fun

A couple of oddities/observations as I wandered around last night.

First was in the St Enoch Christmas Market, where there seemed to be an odd, selective, power failure.

I thought one stall was just setting up as it was in darkness, but then noticed a lot of them were dark, with the stallholder just standing around. Not good for food stalls.

I’m guessing that the power distribution was allocated randomly, or perhaps just as stalls were completed as the market was being set up.

It all looked a little odd, as the stalls were dark, but the attached decorations were lit, as seen below.

It’s also a little odd seeing it all so quiet – but closer to Christmas, if it’s like last year, this scene will make a sardine tin look half empty as the punter pack into the space.

St Enoch Market Power Fail

St Enoch Market Power Fail

Then there was Hanover Street, which was closed at the George Square end while the square was being set up for the lights and fair.

This was the shot I wanted.

Hanover Street Closed

Hanover Street Closed

Could I get it, quickly and easily?

NOPE!

Despite signs and cones at the other end of the street informing drivers that it was closed at George Square, a steady stream of morons kept arriving at this barrier (which at least demonstrated their skill at performing 3-point turns – probably because they get plenty of practice!).

Serious thought – instead of picking on the elderly, people with glasses, or other easily identified and targeted groups to ban from driving for no good reason, why not use the CCTV cameras and ANPRS to identify ACTUAL PROVEN motoring morons such as the one seen below, and serve them automatic bans, or retests, before they are allowed back on the road?

Drivers like this, wandering around without a clue about what is going on around them, not paying attention, are a greater danger than any group which is simply picked out because of some visible feature. I seem to recall that method was used to fill… concentration camps!

Hanover Street Moron

Hanover Street Moron

20/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Surveillance, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

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