Friday, 11 February 2011

Private Enterprise Petit-Police at Union Square - UPDATE

Back in December, we posted about a bad experience at the hands of security staff at Aberdeen's controversial Union Square shopping centre. The post went viral, and to this day still generates a very high level of hits for this blog.

Yesterday, we received a comment on the original thread, which we thought warranted a blog-post all to itself, so here it is:
Interesting encounter this afternoon.
Had been for a meal in Yo Sushi with my sister and her two daughters (aged about six and seven I think). Afterwards one of them wanted to go on that trampoline / bungee rope thing in the main court. The child was happily springing up and down when one of the security guards approached us, pointed at a Japanese tourist taking photos, and asked if he was with us. 
We had never seen him before, so said no - at which they went over to him and demanded that he stopped taking photographs and leave.
My sister wasn't pleased with this and told the security guard that she was perfectly happy for him to take photographs if her children were fully closed and going about their normal activities, and felt the fact there was a problem with this was indicative of a sickness in society where everybody is under constant suspicion of being a paedophile.
Next up, the other Union Square person in charge of the trampolines got launched into a rather heated and patronizing flow - saying 'yes, they're fully clothed ... but what if he uses Photoshop to take your child's face and superimpose it onto a naked child's body" then he finished with "do you know how computers work?" - this was funny considering my sister did a post grad in computer programming and was a vice president at Deutsche Bank, working with computer security.
The first security guard went on to ask how she'd feel if she switched on her computer and was confronted by such a photograph - to which she replied that she wouldn't be seeing that on her computer because she wouldn't be looking for that sort of thing, and had filters to block it anyway. He then went on to say they had the same dangers when it came to people photographing the Union Square security cameras ... the photographer could be planning to blow up Union Square - or be a suicide bomber. My sister asked if they thought the tourist taking photos of her daughter was a suicide bomber? They said that you could never tell, he was ex-military, and these people are experts at covering their identity and could be wearing suits or anything.
By this point my sister was fairly openly laughing at them, and the security guards were pretty much shouting at her, while her daughter bounced away on her £5 trampoline session. At the end she just told them their policies were sick, and said that they had better be wary of her daughter when she put her mask and cloak back on (she was dressed as Batman) in case she was a plotting to blow up Union Square herself.
I didn't get involved in this argument myself, but must say it was quite amazing that my sister had to endure being shouted at and patronized by two knuckleheads while paying for her daughter to have five minutes of trampoline fun.
If anybody bothered reading this far, do you think the security guards were in the right?


Thanks to this anonymous commenter for posting the story.

Clearly, these ex-military security guards believe themselves to be in the right. Union Square is their domain, and they protect those who come there.

Even a small risk is still a risk, so it's better safe than sorry. Everyone knows that them sick pediatricians always go about their sick perversion in public, and always prey on children who're accompanied by family members. Similarly everyone knows that those suicide bombers are somehow associated with Japan, where the cult of the kamakazi was invented after all - coincidence? I don't think so!

Anyhow, these pedos and suicide bombers aren't a match for the guys on our side, thank god! Those who wish to harm us in Union Square are so stupid they always telegraph their intentions by ostentatiously making obsessively extensive and slightly arty photographic surveys of their targets. The fools - they keep giving the game away! No wonder none of them have yet succeeded in their aim of bringing down the West by destroying Union Square! For, make no mistake, that is what they intend - nothing short of the destruction of our civilisation by striking at Aberdeen's newest generic shopping centre, which is the lynchpin of all Western commercial activity.

But with this incident we see the rise of a new and highly insidious threat to our comfortable western consumerist way of life - yes, the paedophile suicide bomber! The filthy b@stards!

It all adds up -
children + Japanese people + camera...
= Pedo suicide bomber
DEFCON 1. !!!

So we should congratulate these security operatives on their absolutism; stamping down on any aberrant behaviour keeps us all safe from these murderous suicidal foreign perverts. And it's better safe than sorry! We should be heartened that our operatives (our boys!) have a military background; perhaps they were posted to conflict hot-spots where Taliban and Al Qaeda IED's sharpened their hair-trigger reflexes.

It can't have been easy for these heroes, but we're benefitting from their sacrifice as we go about our innocent lives of consequence-free consumption. Is not consumer choice in free markets the one true freedom? Isn't that what we're still fighting for in Afganistan? Isn't that what we've achived in Iraq? Now, with the return of these heroes to their native soil, the front line has come home with them as they take up these jobs in our shopping centres which are the 'bastions' of our civilisation.

Some might say that these heros could use a course of counseling to re-integrate them into normal civilian life where threats to life and limb do not lurk around every corner. Some might say that the brutalisation these heroes have suffered ill serves them for public-facing jobs. Some might say that some of these guys are haunted by demons, that the things they have seen and the thoughts which they cannot dispel predispose them to paranoia and overreaction.

But we say: No! Bleeding-heart liberal politically-correct hand-wringingly cringeworthy attempts at 'understanding' these proud veterans only belittles them; emasculates them. These guys are men's men. They don't need namby-pambying mollycoddling. They can handle themselves just fine. The proof of this is that no paedo suicide pervert has yet succeeded in destroying Union Square.

It. Makes. Us. Proud.


David Clark said...

oOooo how I wish for a flashmob some afternoon - just to see the guards explode...
..... did you ever request the security videos from your fracas..???

Anonymous said...

Normally I wouldn't reply to this but....

I'd like to understand something
Firstly/the security guard was doing his job he is looking out for a minor and his place of work - what is wrong with that? Also remember he is doing what he has been told to by his bosses who obviously are looking to keep everyone within Union Square conformable and safe

Secondly/What is so controversial with Union Square? Before we had it we had a large area of dead ground, a rundown bus and rundown train stations, and an area filled with Foxes and rats. Now we have a hotel, huge car park, helpful staff, tons of restaurants and shops and a place that is open more than half of the day.

Thirdly/as a driver within Aberdeen I want to commend the centre and staff. Three weeks ago my car broke down inside Union Square's multi-story car park. I contacted the Centre staff and I heard on their hand-held radio's someone say "don't do anything that will get yourself hurt but help the customer safeguard their car." Three of their security staff came into the car park and helped push my car across half their car park as I jump started the vehicle.

My friend had a similar experience inside another car park and staff refused to help incase they were hurt. They called a breakdown company and it cost them over £60

These Union Square guys who all had been working all day came and helped me save money and a lot of stress. I cannot do anything but praise these gentlemen who helped me and commend their bosses for training them to help anyone who calls.

You criticize this team, I think Aberdeen would be a darker place without them.


Other Aberdeen said...

"... to keep everyone within Union Square conformable and safe ..."
(our emphasis)

We wouldn't usually pick someone up on a typo. But that one's a doozy!

Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Seems as though LM probably subscribes to the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" mantra.

Personally, I think the paranoia being exhibited by security types up & down the country is totally over the top. By acting as if the tiniest thing is "abnormal" or "suspicious", the culture of fear is propagated, and then everyone ends up being unable to trust anyone, looking over their shoulder, and seeing danger and enemies around every corner, and in every shadow.

Mind you, if the UK government stopped blowing up foreign people in their own countries, then perhaps there'd be less incentive for people to be paranoid & fearful...and after all, one of the objectives of terrorism is to beget fear & terror, and disrupt "normal" life...looks like Terrorists 1, The West 0 to me, sadly. :-/

Anonymous said...

"While we all must make at least some money to consume goods and services in order to stay alive, we are not primarily 'consumer/producers'; rather, we are simply human beings. There's more to life than work and there's more to leisure than consumption."

I agree wholeheartedly with this - for what it is worth, I have recently embarked on a mission to clear out & reduce the amount of "stuff" I have, as I have far more than I am ever likely to need, and some things that have not seen the light of day in years. Consumerism is not the be-all and end-all of life & recreation; I think one's life would be pretty poor if it were.

A said...

Good on you, kynon. You might want to read Oliver James' book "Affluenza" which will give you succour.

Being, not buying.
Doing, not having.
Living, not owning.
Aspiration is a trap.
Affluence is not wealth.
Value is not measured by currency.

A long time ago on a discussion board far away, I tried and tried to convince someone that it was possible to enrich oneself in non-monetary ways. The person I was chatting to simply could not integrate this into their world view - firstly, they had a 'out of context problem', which prevented them from seeing that the word 'enrich' could exist outwith the context of money. Once I had convinced them that it could, they refused to believe that it was possible to 'enrich oneself' without spending money!