Times are definitely a changing as, for the first time, he acknowledge to me that, yes, the UK possibly was headed towards a period of severe economic hardship for the massses. He was, however, confident that the UK government 'has got clever people working behind the scenes who can see what's coming and the government probably has already started spending money on starting up some industries that will help pay us out of the mess the country's in'
My response was that there is absolutely no sign of that whatsoever and that whatever industry we could think of getting into, the Asian economies can think of getting into with a much lower cost base.
Even if they consented to enduring the same standard of living as the Chinese or Indians, the wages of British workers cannot be slashed to be competitive with Chinese or Indian labour because UK property costs are so much higher. Property costs that the British have to meet directly in rent or mortgages and indirectly through the rentier element concealed within the price of essential goods and services
However, as I explained to my chum, I have seen copious evidence that the British, and other Western, establishments are preparing for the possiblity of some kind of economic collapse. They haven't invested much in the way of productive manufacturing industry but they have spent shed loads on tooling-up their police forces
But that, my chum argued, was necessary because of the threat of terrorism...
Evidently, he's still in need of a little more conspirasizing
I've been pulled up a couple of times in this blog for suggesting that British police have become more like para-militaries in recent years. The people who've pulled me up have have referred to the pitched battles, complete with cavalry, during the miners strike and the treatment meted out to people like Blair Peach and Stephen Waldorf as being evidence that the police have always been a bit 'tasty' when it comes to dealing with people who get in their way
And, yes, these commentators have a point but, with all respect, have you taken a look at the British police recently...
Even former senior coppers and yes, though I still can't quite believe it, Max 'Have you read my book about how great the SS were' Hastings have recently written articles suggesting that having machine-gun toting police who can execute people with impunity is probably not the way for supposedly civilised societies to go...
The gun fashionably displayed by the group of licenced potential killers in this photo is a variant of the iconic Heckler & Koch MP5...
The MP5 can chuck out bullets at rates of up to 500-600 rounds a minute. It's black, it's scary looking and it can kill a lot of people very quickly. It's the kind of high-quality weapon that gives serious gun nuts a roaring chubby just thinking about it.
MP5s, and a smattering of the higher velocity H&K G36, are now a common sight in London in the hands of Metropolitan police officers. If you're ever at one of London's airports take a look up sometime and you'll see police officers at the mezzanine levels strutting around with their MP5s, presumably ready to cut loose from elevated positions of fire at the drop of a hat.
If you think about it for a moment that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Even if the quality of domestic terrorist was to take a quantum leap up from the kind of sad losers who make bombs out of flour and set fire to their underpants to the kind of terrorists who actually have access to guns, are the police really going to open fire with machine guns in crowded airport terminals? And, even if so, why do those armed police have to be there right in front of our fucking faces all the time?
The answer, I fear, is the same reason why the government sent light tanks to Heathrow before the invasion of Iraq. That weaponry is not there to scare potential (and, remember, allegedly suicidal) terrorists. It's there to scare us
The reason why I mention all of this now is because of this recent snippet from the State Broadcasting Company...
Police in training for 'Mumbai-style' gun attack in UK
...suspects were planning to copy the 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai*, where 10 gunmen went on a three-day rampage, killing 166 people and injuring more than 300, the sources said.
In response police armed response units are being given more powerful weapons.
Our correspondent said the UK authorities had been planning for such an attack ever since Mumbai* happened.
"David Cameron has taken a personal interest in the problem ever since his first threat assessment given to him when he took office in May.
"Now police armed response units are getting their firepower and their stocks of ammunition increased to deal with multiple terrorists armed with automatic weapons," he said.
More powerful than MP5s and G36s?!
What the fuck are they planning to start dishing out?
A few days ago I posted this clip as being a possible model for the introductory titles to any new TV series about the Metropolitan Police...
It was an attempt at weak humour
And it's weaker by the day
* = You remember the Mumbai attack, that's the one that included operatives with connections with US intelligence that the Indians are getting pissy about. A back-story that has been lavishly covered by the British State Broadcasting Company. Or, there again, maybe not.
And don't forget to read the hard-hitting, insightful and totally objective analysis from the SBC's totally unspooky Frank Gardner to the right of the article about UK police being armed with gatling guns or whatever the fuck it is they're getting. Frank's analyses are worth the State Propaganda Tax on their own