The Ministry of Defence is considering placing surface-to-air missiles on residential flats during the Olympics.Lunacy on stilts. (Oh, and let me add, the residents don't get any choice over having missiles billeted on top of their homes.)
An east London estate, where 700 people live, has received leaflets saying a "Higher Velocity Missile system" could be placed on a water tower.
But estate resident Brian Whelan said firing the missiles "would shower debris across the east end of London".
"It [the leaflet] says there will be 10 officers plus police present 24/7."
If one of those things is ever fired, either in anger or by accident, it'll shower white-hot supersonic shrapnel across the extremely crowded residential heart of a city.
Hmm. It's a good thing I'm a novelist who dabbles in technothrillers, not a terrorist. If I was a terrorist I'd be licking my lips, trying to work out how to trigger a missile launch. Using a motor-powered model aircraft, free flight design (no radio controls to jam) aimed vaguely towards the Olympic stadium, with a nice radio beacon or some sort of infra-red source (a flare, perhaps) on its tail to make it easy to track? These missiles will be the close-in option, because we know the RAF will already be flying combat air patrols over London; they won't have much time to evaluate threats or respond intelligently. So launch from the back of a panel van, like the IRA mortar attacks on places like Heathrow or 10 Downing Street. The twist in the scheme would be to aim past the missile launchers along a vector that would attract a hail of hypervelocity missile launches in the direction of, say, a DLR station at rush hour.
Olympic security is out of control and irrational; the best solution would be to designate a permanent Olympic venue somewhere isolated — Diego Garcia would be a prime candidate — and hold the games there permanently so that they don't endanger life, limb and civil liberties. Alas, that would reduce the
corruption corporate sponsorship opportunities, and the games are entirely about milking the host nation for money these days.
Fuck the Olympics in 2012.
(Oh, and incidentally it would be illegal for me to say this if I happened to live in London or my blog was hosted in England—the enabling laws for the Olympics override our basic civil rights, including free speech. Luckily I'm north of the border in a country that remains semi-free. But if a future independent Scotland even thinks about bidding to host the Olympics, you bet I'll be organizing street marches in opposition ...)