So.......so far, President Bush has demanded the following from the people of London and Her Majesty the Queen:
- That Buckingham Palace be practically rebuilt to withstand a possible terrorist attack. The Queen has said "no".
- That a Black Hawk helicopter be continually airborne over said palace, again to guard against attack. The Queen has said "no, it'll be too noisy." Good for her.
- That large sections of London be closed to the general public, including the City of London (which Bush isn't going to visit!). Vetoed.
- That the airspace above central London be closed during Bush's visit (think of the impact on Heathrow). Again, vetoed.
- That the Tube (underground railway) be suspended in areas where Bush is visiting. Again, vetoed.
- That the United States Secret Service (USSS
) agents be immune from prosecution if they kill protestors. This has been vetoed by our Home Secretary. Good for him.
- That the USSS
be allowed to deploy a "mini-gun" to protect Bush. Vetoed.
- That the USSS
have operational control over the 5000 Metropolitan Police officers, including the world's most highly trained marksmen, SO19, as apparently we're too incompetent to look after ourselves. This again has been vetoed by the Home Secretary.
If the Americans seem to think that we all hate him so much, why is he bothering to come? Is it the fact that a photo of him with the Queen at a State Dinner is too irrisistable to Republican Election strategists? It would be grimly ironic if he paid for a photo-op with his life.
Oh and the best bit: He's going to have to pay the congestion charge on his bomb, bullet and bio-proof Cadillac Deville!