Friday, October 5
Nice balloon picture (Jupitus 1, Hoon 0)
Spent a few hours in Bournemouth the other day on the last day of the Labour party conference.
According to the Dorset Echo, "£5.3 million Operation Pegasus ... involved more than 400 officers, 140 police staff and more than 150 civilian security staff."
I don't know if the Labour Party head honchos had got Bournemouth mixed up with Brighton in the summer, but that's a *lot* of security for a smallish seaside town in Autumn. As I wandered around the seafront, the police seemed to outnumber members of the public two to one. A dozen police loitered around the entrance of the near-deserted pier, desperately looking for something to do.
Walking around with a largish camera I felt liable to stopped and questioned at any moment. Possibly my paranoia had been fuelled by reading this report in the Bournemouth local paper
where two disabled men drinking outside a pub overlooking a hotel where delegates were staying were apparently searched, questioned and had their homes searched for variously "looking at a police officer" and "opening an electricity bill" in a public place.
In the end, rather than risking any people photography – which, let's face it, is a lot more of your typical evildoer activity than opening an electricity bill – I took a few photos of a balloon on the pier.
On a related note, on the way to the town centre from the train station I pass a curry house that has a display of photos of the famous(-ish) people that have eaten there. It always makes me smile that they can put a name to comedic DJ Phil Jupitus but they can't conjure up Geoff Hoon's name. The best they can do is "House of Common (sic) MP". Clearly, slippery Geoff didn't make a big impression.