The security precautions being taken for the Olympics are not only gigantic in their extent, but seem to be increasing every day. It’s the inflationary tendency within security advice that should concern us, not its temporary extent. When something shows signs of growing bigger and bigger, with no tendency to deflate, it’s up to us to question the power these things are acquiring over our lives. The madness of the Olympics is one thing. We should worry about this madness becoming normal, and the security industry taking over our everyday lives.
I enjoyed Lord Coe’s most recent statement about the security to be deployed. I thought it had real comic potential. He said, in case you missed it, that “there has to be proportionality here. You don’t want people coming to London thinking they’ve walked into siege city, being filmed every 20 paces they take and being bundled off pavements. It’s certainly not what you’re going to get legacy tourism from. There is no appetite for risk.”