London 2012 Olympics - The Portland and Weymouth Military Base??
by Sail-World on 16 Jul 2012
This week one of the biggest stories in the UK has been the presence of surface to air missiles on London apartment blocks and the likely increase in the deployment of thousands of additional British soldiers to augment the Police and G4S security teams (the G4S seem to have issues of their own too).
Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Hold it... security! Guy Nowell © http://www.guynowell.com
Just what the Military presence will be in Weymouth is yet to be known.
Will there be surface to air missiles mounted in Nothe Fort?
During Beijing 2008 there was a heavy Police and military presence, with tanks everywhere and grim faced PLA troops armed with automatic rifles both at the venue and even at media hotels.
British yachting journalist Bob Fisher had to sit on the outside steps of the Olympic media centre in Qingdao to interview Ben Ainslie, as the Gold medallist was deemed too much of a security threat by the military to be allowed inside.
Today Bob writes … ‘A couple of days ago my boat partner, Barry Dunning, a two-time Olympian and Chief Marshall on the water at Weymouth, visited the site for a luncheon given by the RYA to all previous Olympians and when quizzed said that neither he nor his wife had seen any military presence at Portland or in Weymouth.
‘It used to be a naval base and for sure there will be a Royal Navy guard ship during the games, but the security vultures of G4S will fill the place with unnecessary personnel and if they are anything like those who were at the Test Event, God help us.
‘Fully accredited, I ventured forth from the media centre and proceeded through a gate towards the dinghy park, where I showed my accreditation to two G4S ‘soldiers’ at the gate.
‘I was then allowed into the perimeter track, separated from the dinghy park by a five-foot high wire fence. One Star sailor from Ireland - Peter O'Leary - was working on his boat, saw me and hailed: ‘Hi Bob’ and made his way towards the fence.
‘You would have thought World War 3 had broken out. Four G4S personnel approached from four different directions and took up station 12 feet away from us and remained there until Peter started to go back to his boat.
‘I then turned to these attentive security people and said: ‘I have known that young man since he was knee-high. I know his father and mother (Anthony and Sally - nee Aisher); his maternal grandfather (Robin Aisher); his paternal grandfather and grandmother (Archie and Violet); would I wish him harm? Besides, it was he who hailed me. Now, I suggest you &%@ …. off.’
‘Sheepishly they retired.’
‘Maybe we do need gunboat diplomacy at Portland, but I don't see it materialising yet, but I am prepared to give as good as I get.’
In anticipation of a Fisher reception like that, it might be the reason why there are high levels of reported absenteeism of the G4S forces at the Weymouth venue over the last two weeks.
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