The city, locked down

Posted on Friday, 24 September 2004

I work immediately off the seafront in Brighton, pretty much round the corner from the famous Grand Hotel, and the not so famous Brighton Centre. We are one of the three party political conference cities, so each year we have one of the three main political parties roll into town. Since I've worked in the same place for a little over 4 years now I've seen a complete rotation and it is quite fascinating how they vary.
This year we are "blessed" with Labour, the ruling party. What this means is that security is tighter than for the other two. The Tories have minimal security and the Police send a community liason officer for the Lib Dems ;-)
Since we live in a changed world, where anyone can be a walking timebomb, fear is the order of the day, because those timebombs can strike anywhere. I am not sure where this stops being a reasonable argument and becomes self perpetuating madness, but there is a line somewhere.
Anyway, since Labour's conference starts next week, the Police have been gearing up a major security operation for the last few weeks. I'm sure they would appreciate people not documenting their efforts online, sufficed to say there are large concrete barriers everywhere there should be if you want to stop truck bombs, there is sufficient perimiter security to keep protestors and threats out of the building and a wide ranging reconnaisance has been conducted (remember that the IRA bomb in the Grand Hotel in the 80s was planted weeks in advance). So Tony and his pals can rest safely, knowing that they are disrupting locals quite a lot and costing even more.
Today I was asked for ID to be let near the place to go into the carpark adjacent and I expect that from tomorrow that road will be closed entirely. What doesn't help is that there are roadworks going on on other major roads in Brighton, so traffic will be standing still for most of next week ;-)
Lucky I can park a mile away much cheaper and get a walk along the seafront first thing :-)


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