When does a hobby become a sport? News that trainspotters are now being banned from stations as they are a "security threat" is yet another example of the ludicrous extremes that this government will go to remove anything remotely quirky or out of the ordinary from our everyday lives.
I have never "spotted" in my life but do defend the right for any nerd in an anorak to do so to the death. Trainspotting is sport for the un-sporty, for the people who were always last to be picked for the team. As far as I can see it has rules, goals, champions, it takes perseverance in all weathers... It is just as valid a sport as bog snorkelling, orienteering, darts... hang on, darts... that's a proper security threat isn't it?
You have got huge drunken Cockneys wandering around throwing deadly pointed weapons... Somebody call Jacqui Smith and get her to lock these lunatics up in prison until they rot. If they ever got together then they would constitute an armed militia... what, there are darts competitions? Will the same somebody who called Smith also call the armed response unit: this must stop.
I was wondering what other sports could represent a "security threat." Obviously there has been a huge crackdown on shooting events except for posh people who can wander about with shotguns, that's OK but God forbid you want to shoot targets with a pistol; for that you have to go to France – you can do what you want in France.
I am surprised that nobody has had a look at fencing. Here you have people in tights (dodgy enough already) who are essentially trying to stab each other. This doesn't look very good when we're trying to crack down on knife crime does it? Presumably they have to transport these épées and sabres about the place. As far as we know we could be close to a potential musketeer rampage at any time now.
I would suggest that once again we use the French as a solution. Replace weapons of mass destruction with baguettes and we don't have any problems. New Labour, new solutions...
Lawn bowls is also something of a ticking timebomb. Possibly, some of the trainspotters now unable to roam the nation's stations might be tempted by the seemingly cosy surroundings of the local bowls club? Once on the premises they would be easy prey for propaganda propagated by the battalions of grumbling colonels and blue rinses. In a matter of weeks they would be as embittered with the state of modern Britain as the lawn bowlers.
Imbued with this new grumpy radicalism and armed with solid bowling balls and an intimate knowledge of the UK's most depressing train platforms... who knows what damage they could do?
You might think that I'm joking with all this but I'm not– where does it end? Maybe we should ban people from picnicking by rivers? They are gaining valuable knowledge of our inland waterway systems? Someone punting down the Cam on a lazy sunny afternoon could in fact be giving away valuable river flow information to these gingham spies.
Enough is enough. If we are to really clamp down on this creeping terror menace then it is time for action. If the government wants to protect us then they should do the following – outlaw the doddery, squeaky-clean tennis fans who camp outside Wimbledon every year. These people are clearly security risks and seem to be intent on building up some kind of training camp in the heart of Wimbledon village.
Force the Barmy Army to disarm. How can we allow a rogue military outfit to wander about this country's cricket venues chanting incendiary and unintelligible fighting songs? Either this or send them off to Afghanistan and see what they're really made of. I'm pretty sure that the Taliban will surrender fairly sharpish when they hear the rousing tune of "I can't read, I can't write, I must be Australian...." All this however, is fantasy. For the moment it is just the trainspotters left to wander the streets aimlessly. They will inevitably need a new hobby/sport to fill their empty lives. Sadly, I imagine that it's golf that will take up the slack. It's a game that caters for the older player, loves ridiculous, unfashionable clothing and has a myriad of unfathomable rules and practices. This could be a boon for cash-strapped, credit-crunched golf clubs so maybe the government has got it right? Good work, Gordon....
Murray grins and wins the percentage game
Andy Murray claims that if he wins 86 per cent of his first serves he can be No 1 in the world. What is the percentage chance that he might crack a smile if it happens?