back to article Muso turfed off train for 'suspicious' set list

A 25-year-old musician was turfed off a South West Trains service after security operatives objected to his "suspicious" set list, The Portsmouth News reports. Bassist Tom Shaw was putting together the list for his band The Magic Mushrooms, and ill-advisedly included the word "killers" as shorthand for These Things That I've …


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  1. frank 3

    I predict a riot

    getting it already.

  2. Mad Dave

    Rail community officer?

    Are they even real police?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      not. They're employed by SWT, not the police. They go on a training course *endorsed* by the Police and are given "certain powers" by the British Transport Police. These "powers" don't include arrest or detain which I'm guessing, certainly in my mind, falls short of being classed as "real police", thank goodness.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I was wondering the same...

      ... Plastic Transport Coppers then, yes?

      Useless lot.

    3. hplasm

      Care in the Community Officers

      Or Fucking Idiots with Hats of Power, if you prefer.

      1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects 1

        British though, through and through

        If they'd been USAns they have rolled him omn the floor face down and shot him with a clot 45 stung un.

  3. Cazzo Enorme

    Uh oh.

    I've noticed that people quite often peer at the track listing on other peoples MP3 players on the London Underground. When I notice someone ogling my track listing I make a point of switching to something unsettling titled. "Suck My Dick" by Carnivore or "All I Want To Do Is Kill Her" by The Cure for instance. I'll have to be careful I don't get my collar felt by a plastic plod in future ...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ": "We employ highly-professional rail community officers who work closely with the British Transport Police in protecting the security of passengers on the rail network." AKA fascist idiots


    note to self, don't do any writing in public. K no photos, no speaking that my be disliked, be careful with my mp3 player, only carry one laptop and phone and, don't take photos.

    Fuck me I'm glad we're so safe! Seriously the cowardly dicks that make up our fear addicted populace and power base should go live in a mildly dangerous country for a while, then come back, and be "well shit, I ain't scared of nout in this country."

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Need to be vigilant?

    The debate here I believe is whether stupidity or insanity best describes this so-called vigilance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is to be expected..

      ..when our government deliberately raises paranoia and urges people to spy on each other via adverts on TV and Radio etc,

  6. Lottie

    He's lucky

    If he'd been covering any Anal Cunt tunes they'd have shot him before asking questions!

    The excuse they gave is laughable, but I'm sure it's better than "we're drunk on oursense of power and paranoia".

  7. Adrian Jooste

    Be afraid!

    "The team clarified the nature of the individual's business, were satisfied with his explanation and the man went on his way."

    So what if they weren't satisfied? Back to a police station for intensive background checks and probing into another inocent persons life just because of the "current environment".

    I can only imagine how different this story would have been if the guy had a perma-tan and a big black beard...

  8. Richard Porter

    Stagecoach Gestapo

    "We employ highly-professional rail community officers who work closely with the British Transport Police ..."

    So they weren't even proper coppers. Arseholes! Highly professional my foot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Gestapo without a cause

      The thing is, they're employed to do exactly this, stop terrorists blowing up trains. And they will never see a terrorist, because terrorists are so rare and look like anyone else, so their BE-AFRAID amplifiers are turned up to 11.

      And their amps have feedback, the more people they take off trains, the more they think it's good to take people off trains.

      And then they see terrorists EVERYWHERE, that dark faced person over there, the person looking at his watch again and again, the person eyeing his laptop bag.

  9. furby_singh

    current environment

    I'm not normally one for Daily Mail vitriol but the phrase "current environment" made me want to send 'em back.

    That phrase and the people who use it as justification will be reviled.

  10. Seanmon

    FAO South West Trains:

    "We employ highly-professional rail community officers..."

    No. You. Fucking. Don't.

    Really, Britain's done. It's over. Let's just go, there's nothing to stay for.

    1. Mr Grumblefish

      highly-professional morons more like

      Which co-incidentally would be a great name for a band. Well maybe not, but it would make a great song title.

  11. SuperTim

    I'm gonna get me an orange jacket....

    so i can be a complete tool!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet another nail in the coffin

    >We employ highly-professional rail community officers

    In other words, would be PCSOs who failed the interview.

    I've just returned from a three week stretch (no other way to describe it) in the UK and the sense of oppresion is overwhelming. Cameras everywhere and on top of that an abundance of jumped up little hitlers on power highs. I'd read horror stories but I'd always taken them with a pinch of salt, however having seen it with my own eyes I really do despair for the future freedom of the English.

    1. Eddie Edwards
      Big Brother

      Seig heil

      Yeah give someone a uniform and they often turn into a little hitler. But that's just human nature; I don't think it's UK-specific. You should see the cops in the US ordering people around from inside their cars using megaphones. At least in the UK if you disobey a little hitler you know you're not going to be shot.

      Mind you, there'd probably be fewer ASBOs if you didn't know that.

      1. Mr Larrington


        Eddie Edwards wrote: "At least in the UK if you disobey a little hitler you know you're not going to be shot."

        Unless you're a Brazilian electrician, obv. Were this to happen to me, I should be inclined to cite Arkell vs. Pressdram.

  13. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    Lies & Damned Lies

    "We employ highly-professional rail community officers"

    No. No, it seems that such is not, in fact, the case, and that the employed rail community officers are, in fact. closer to being the sort of person who was turned down for the army, the police, traffic-warden, city-centre ambassador, and toilet attendant first - due to lack of moral fibre and judgemental ability.

  14. Robert Ramsay
    Thumb Down

    I expect...

    ...that incidents like these are the only way these "rail community officers" can get a chubby.

    1. Niall 5


      When I read 'Muso' I thought El Reg had adopted the Australian shorthand for a Muslim.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      @Robert Ramsay - That was the funniest thing I've read all day. Thanks for cheering me up. :-)

      Wonder what these guys would have done if it was the last train home on a Friday night from Waterloo.....

  15. PirateSlayer


    This is my station.


    The next train would have been half an hour. Southern have somehow managed to find YET ANOHTER method of wasting their paying customer's time. Why did they need him off the train? Was the floor of the carriage not sufficiently hard to smack someones face onto and kneal on their back should the need to "detain" this violent lunatic arose?

    I'll pack my reflective jacket next time so I can pretend to be a copper and arrest these two twats for harassment, threatening behavoir and kidnapping!

    Mine's the reflective jacket.

    1. I didn't do IT.


      Makes you wonder what they would do if everyone on a car went the whole hog on "Health and Safety" by all wearing different neon orange, yellow, and green web vests - in the interests of not being lost in the case of an emergency...

      Resistance is standing up for YOURSELF _every_ day.

  16. SlabMan

    Let's play fantasy set list

    White Riot

    Beat on the Brat

    Psychotic Reaction

    Anarchy in the UK

    Theme from the Muppet Show

    1. John 62
      Thumb Up

      Theme from the Muppet Show

      That's gold, Jerry, gold!

  17. Valerion

    When confronted by people like this

    Ask exactly what authority they have to make you get off a train, or to detain you on the platform, or, in fact, to ask you to do anything at all.

    When they reveal that they actually have no powers enshrined upon them by law you can happily go back to ignoring them.

  18. Tom_


    "During a routine high-visibility patrol, they spoke with a passenger on the platform at Fareham station."

    Way to gloss over the fact he was on a train and they made him get off at Fareham so they could talk to him. I imagine he must have been sitting in a Quiet Carriage, so it was impossible for them to have a conversation with him on the train.

  19. gerryg


    It was highly suspicious, the story alleges the PCSOs could actually read.

  20. Stone Fox

    Hanlon's razor

    that is all.

  21. Christoph

    Tell them what you think

    They decided it was their job to peer over everyone's shoulder and read their private notes just in case they could pick out something to give them an 'excuse' to get their rocks off harassing someone?

    I would suggest that every rail passenger carry a piece of paper saying clearly "BRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE ARE NOSY LITTLE SHITS"

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Standard Stationary

      There should be packets of stationary for sale with these messages, perhaps randomized for variety!









  22. Peter Galbavy

    targets again

    I wonder how many "incidents" they have to report a week to get their gold star on the next performance review / bonus round ? There is no other sane reason for this kind of behaviour...

  23. Anonymous Coward

    They made me???

    "He continued: "They made me get out at Fareham and when I asked what was wrong they told me to show them the piece of paper I'd been writing on. "

    Anyone want to comment on the correct (legal, polite but basically says sod off) response to a non-plod asking me to leave a train for a conversation?

    AC because they have lists of 'problem passengers'

    1. Trevor 7

      How they make you

      Having been given permission by the train owner, if they ask you to leave and you don't, then wouldn't you be trespassing?

  24. Anonymous Coward


    Thank god we're safe from the spate of train/paper based terrorism we've had in the UK recently.

    1. Moonwolf


      those dangerous paper cuts.

      Mine's the one I can fold into a paper airplane.

  25. Eugene Goodrich
    Paris Hilton

    current environment

    "need to be vigilant in the current environment"

    Well, glad to hear it's only temporary.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    too bad that he wasn't covering venetian snares

    Mmm.. lots of phrases like:

    Fuck Canada // Fuck America

    Die Winnipeg Die Die Die Fuckers Die

    Eleven Million Dollars Worth Of Stolen Bearer Bonds

    Pay Me For Sex

    Bashing His Head

    Chainsaw Fellatio

    A Giant Alien Force More Violent & Sick Than Anything You Can Imagine

    Point Blank

    Boiled Angel

    Intense Demonic Attacks

    Fire Is The Devil

    All The Children Are Dead

    ..or there'd likely be an armed response team waiting at the other end.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    I'd be LIVID..!

    "current environment"

    WTF does that mean? That we're currently surrounded by lying, scare mongering, power mad wankers with completely inappropriate and unnecessary authority?

    We're no more likely to be the victim of a 'terrorist' attack today than we were at any point in the 70's 80's 90's or 00's (considerably LESS likely for the most part) but we're certainly more at risk of being waylaid by some dick head on a power trip, or having or liberties shat upon by this disgraceful fucking excuse for a 'free state' we live in!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Now Citizen...

      You know you are not allowed to be livid. Such talk violates the Extreme Emotional Outburst law under the "Safe Toddlers from Oppresive Pedophiles" (STOP) Act, 2010.

      Now come along, don't make a fuss - that's another charge!

      Icon: Ripping out the spine of personal responsibility and disconnecting individual thought.

  28. Red Bren

    The man went on his way? My arse!!!

    Did these "Rail Community Officers" hold the train at the platform so he could get back on when he had satified their curiosity?

    Did they provide him with an alternative method of completing his journey or the finances to do so?

    I suspect they will have left him to fend for himself. And with SWT's reputation for "service" that probably means waiting an eternity for the next train.

    Did the man who killed his wife use a bass guitar? He's lucky he wasn't going to play "Cop Killer" by Bodycount...

  29. Anonymous Coward

    highly-professional rail community officers

    Sue them for harassment. See how professional they are in front of a judge.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Thumb Up


      Exactly what I was thinking!

      They decided to peer at a personal note, private to that individual. As nothing more than security guards on private property, they had no right to look at his private notes! I would certainly conisder a private prosecution on the grounds of harrassment.

      Good luck if he does!

  30. Steve Evans
    Black Helicopters

    And once again...

    Another group of wanna be Mussolinis (what on earth is the plural of Mussolini?) fail to grasp the simple fact that the number of terror attacks which have been discovered by random stops is a big round zero.

    The sooner someone reminds them that intelligence is required (and then explains what intelligence is in this context) the sooner innocent musicians and photographers can go about their daily business. Even if said business involves them sitting on a train or going near a fish and chip shop.

    Thank God that chip shops are local enough that a train journey is not required or we'd never get any Friday dinner.

    1. Rattus Rattus

      Re: what on earth is the plural of Mussolini?


  31. Chris Harrison

    Be careful what you read ....

    I often write pages for my website on the train and always get people sat next to me reading my laptop screen. Luckily the website is about hypnosis so if I get it right, they're clucking like chickens by the time I reach my stop.

  32. Ben Rosenthal

    words fail me

    does your brain fall right out of your arse when you put on a high vis jacket?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    is it a police state yet?

    lol all these plastic coppers running around looking for terrorists and peados.

    And you can always count on the boss of the train company to chip in with some spin and bullshit about how Tom was happy for his time to be wasted like that. Yeah there's nothing people like more than having to get off their train and justify their taste in music to some jumped up prick in a silly coat. It makes me so happy I spunk out jet fuel.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    chocolate teapot

    "osama stop, the men in flouro jackets may see our evil master plan"

    FFS these numptys arent going to stop a terror attack unless they kick everyone with a bag off a train.

    Paris - looks good on the outside, less so on the inside!

  35. Wilm

    Guide to rights

    Is there some handy portable guide that can help an ordinary citizen deal with such inflated day-glo jackets when engaging in potentially subversive activities like, say, taking a train, walking down the street, using a camera, googling a topic, breathing, eating ...

  36. Robin Szemeti
    Thumb Down

    Protecting his privacy?

    Interesting that they were so concerned to ask him to step off the train to "protect his privacy" ...

    If they were so concerend about his privacy they should not have been reading over his shoulder in the first place. Makes me seriously worried about travelling on trains at all .. what if im on my way to a meeting and the green-jacketed plastic plod decide they want to see whats on my laptop and I decline? Will I be thrown off? can they even ask to examine my laptop? what abut PACE etc?

    Sounds like its time to buy a boat and get out of here ...

  37. Graham Marsden
    Big Brother

    Once again...

    ... it's not Presumed Innocent Until Proven Guilty, but "presumed guilty unless you can prove your innocence"...

    Vote Fascist...

  38. Dennis

    Paper !

    Remember paper is a really dangerous and vicious weapon. Just think how many paper-cuts you can inflict with a carelessly wielded piece of paper. And we all know that paper beats stone in a contest.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Having seen this sort of thing before

    ... what they would've done, if he'd refused to get off, is phone the British Transport Police who would arrive at the next station and remove him on some dubious allegation of a public order offence. It's the same mechanism powerless security guards get their rocks off with photographers. Me, I'd have refused and let them call the BTP, then gone to the toilet just before getting to the next station. Hold the train up for a bit but with a valid excuse (shitting myself).

  40. Anonymous Coward

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits

    Utterly bereft of common sense.

    That is all

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Comedy writers couldn't make this stuff up...

    Once upon a time, this kind of jobsworth was mainly found around car parks and council premises, assuring everyone that - whatever we were doing - we couldn't do it 'ere mate! They could never quote the appropriate rule, but by god they were sure there was one - stood to reason.

    Now the same social rejects have petty power that's actually real. Protecting us - their warped minds imagine - from terrorists, paedos and agitators in general. In fact increasingly they seem to be in charge of just about everything. Makes you feel all warm and secure doesn't it?

    They were probably made nervous by the sight of someone who could write...

  42. LaeMing

    Sounds Horrid over there!

    As a regular train user in Australia, I have had much better experiences with our lot:

    On the way home from a job refreshing a bunch of PCs in a school lab (why do people think schools appreciate having half-broken 6yo kit 'donated' to them?) and was quietly dis-assembling some old ball-mice and a few other bits for waste-separation+recycling purposes (and the purpose of killing time on a 1-hour train trip). Suddenly this tosser in a cheap suit gets up from his seat, swaggers over to me and suggests "Why can't you read a book or listen to an iPod like a normal person." Naturally I told him to sod off (I think the words I used were "Go away little man.") So he goes away, and shortly returns with a rail official, who looks at what I am doing, then sits down with the tosser and gives him a ten-minute lecture on not harassing other passengers.

    On his way off, the official apologised to me. I already had a response prepared, and made sure all the nearby passengers could enjoy it - and the tosser not: "I'm a primary teacher, putting up with petty bullies running to authority figures when their victims don't cooperate is part of the job." The rail guy couldn't laugh, but he looked like he wanted to.

  43. Richard Boyce

    Taking the piss

    So does Mr. Stewart seriously think it's the customer's fault for cooperating with his staff and being delayed, instead of telling them what to do with their unexplained request?

    If the staff were so concerned with protecting their victim's privacy, they'd have minded their own business to start with.

    Mr. Stewart should remember the adage, "When you're in a hole, stop digging".

  44. Tom 35

    He was politely asked to step off the train...

    Or else what? There is always at least an implied "OR".

    Did they really "ask" him? I expect it was more along the lines of "Told".

    Were they a couple of cop wanabe rejects? I expect so.

  45. LinkOfHyrule


    I wrote a song a few years with the word 'killer' in it's title and I use South West Trains. OMFG! I better fear the reflective jackets! I'm obviously a dangerous individual! *rolls eyes*

    They think someone holding a piece of paper with the word "killers" is suspicious, just 'cus some bloke "killed" his wife nearby? No offence but lots of people get killed every month in this country and newspapers often contain the word "killer" in headlines, in big bold type. DUUHWAAUHHH! Thickos!

  46. Liebour Hunter
    Big Brother

    Turned into Fascist state

    What a right couple of "winkers" they must be!! What would the "highly visible" patrol done if he had refused to leave the train; probably turf him off and call the local coppers to give him a real going over for disturbing their tea-break!

    As for a that dick-head Steven Stewart, Director of Corporate Communications of the Stagecoach Group. The story as Stagecoach would like us to believe - not the passengers recollection if your article bears any resemblance to his version of the truth.

    For Steve Evans - Mussolini was the leader of the Italian Fascist party so I think that would make them Fascists - just like most cops and government or council officials in the UK today.

    Seems like Mr Bliar and Broon & NuLiebor have turned the UK into the sort of state that the generation who fought and died fighting Fascism against in 1939 - 45 fought against. A sorry state of affairs.

  47. Anonymous John

    "this was intended to protect Mr Shaw's privacy "

    And reading what he was writing in his notebook isn't invading his privacy?

  48. Mark York 3 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "amended to reflect the true position"

    " I am writing in connection with the above story, which makes an inaccurate reference to an individual being "turfed off" a train. Please note that his is completely untrue. He was politely asked to step off the train by our rail community officers, which he was happy to do. The train was extremely busy and this was intended to protect Mr Shaw's privacy whilst we asked him a few questions.

    I would appreciate if your story was amended to reflect the true position."

    OK then Mr Stewart - Did the train infact wait for him while this little chat over the criminal act of putting pen to paper continued on the platform, or did it go on it's way without him?

    It's also a shame your "rail community officers" didn't show the same care to protect his privacy by not reading what he was writing, unless he was writing it on the walls of the lavatory or the train at the time.

    Do we have any corroboration of your "rail community officers" statement because there had been a 'number of arrests' nearby including one man who had killed his wife" & were they all related to the same incident. It's extremely likely that at any given moment there must be a number of arrests going on including one who may have allegedly killed his wife worldwide, but I don't see mass intrusion of peoples privacy on trains as a result, well except for those unfortunate passengers on South West Trains.

    Perhaps your "rail community officers" should try leaving it to the police to detain & arrest suspected criminals as perhaps your spokeswoman on the need to be vigilant should try leaving it to the passengers to decide whats suspicious behaviour like the time I was on a train out of Paddington once & some fool decided he was going to get on the empty train leave his expensive coat & briefcase, while he went off to the buffet to have drinks with his chums from first class, just after 7/11.

    Not surprisingly people got a little concerned at this & flagged it to the train manager, train halted at the next station & surrounded by cops, while the train manager advised passengers of the terror alert & would the owner of case & coat if he was still on the train make himself known.

    Upper class person returns, "Yes its my hat & coat..... Whats all the fuss about....I only left it while I joined my chums from 1st Class in the buffet.....Really whats all the bother about."

    The looks he got ensured he retreated back to the buffet, which was probably his intent anyway &, left his stuff behind again. As the train reached each station I half expected someone to walk off with it or throw it out the window. I know I was extremely tempted to do so.

    Goodbye land of hope & glory.

  49. Damien Thorn

    plastics acting illegally.

    Four words - illegal interception of communication.

    Unless you write it on the walls or seats hahaha

    1. DavyBoy79

      Have the plastics ever heard of RIPA?

      I doubt it, but they could find themselves in hot water!

  50. James 63

    Why, oh why?

    Dear terrorists,

    you can pack your (exploding) bags and go home, you've won. When crap like this is is going on there's nothing more you can achieve.

    Do you think our kids will believe us when we tell them we used to have freedom?

  51. Anonymous Coward

    Cabbage is more intelligent than these

    I quote the Director of Corporate Constipation: "He was politely asked to step off the train by our rail community officers - " which just means they called him "Sir" -

    - "which he was happy to do." So bloody happy, in fact, that he went to the papers about it? Yeah, right.

    Just exactly what are these pseudo-plods on their "High Visibility Patrols" supposed to achieve? I can think of just three possibilities:

    1. They're supposed to scare away terrorists. I doubt if anybody believes this, not even the garden gnomes themselves.

    2. It's Security Theatre, supposed to impress the public with what a great job "we" are doing to protect their safety. I can see from the previous 40 posts just how impressed you lot are.

    3. It's arse-covering by the management - in the event that anything nasty does happen and the usual search for scapegoats begins, they can say "Well we spent [wasted] xxxx quid on Security this year, so it's not our fault". (This explains most management decisions, btw).

    Just as well they can't read thoughts, yet, or we'd all be in the slammer.

  52. JohnG Silver badge


    Under what powers were they reading his private writings?

  53. Eden

    I'm in trouble!

    My lord!! I better delete "Kill The Christian - Decide" - "Gun" - "Smooth Criminal - MJ" -"Janie's Got A Gun" - "Aeroplane - Chilli Peppers " - "Prayer - Disturbed" - "Poison - Alice Copper" "Bodies - Drowning Pool" fact I better just format my music before I take a train then!

    Retards, they problaby just had "targets" to meet but also had to have an excuse so were fishing for any little thing they could find, it's the way things seem to go these days.

  54. mmiied


    what if ti had been documents on my work laptop I had been working on would they have asked to see them and what if I had told them no it was nto allowed by my companys rules?

  55. John 62


    I think Lewis Page has written via this organ that terrorists can often be spotted because they do act suspiciously - because they have put themselves into an highly stressful situation. Like the nappy bomber. the problem is now, how do you tell the suspiciously stressed-looking terrorist from the normal passenger who is stressed because travelling has become so fraught with delays and everyone is threatened with being accused of being a crim just for looking a bit shifty? I think nice, clean trains and stations, friendly staff and clear information and punctual service would improve everyone's lot. If the terrorists are more visible because they're the only ones looking stressed, then so much the better.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "We would like to thank him for his co-operation and understanding of the need to be vigilant in the current environment"

    Paranoid, knee-jerk, waffling, nannying, PR-speak, nosey prat. Does your mother know what you do for a living?

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They'd love some of the song titles we have...

    ...I play in a Death Metal band. Some of the song titles are about corpse-raping and others are about eating people, then shitting them out and feeding the post-processed remains to their loved ones.

    It'd be a massive ballache to explain to these dimwits what "Necrophagic" meant...

  58. Steve Brooks


    So he had a choice, he could leave the train politely, or object and be "physically" turfed off, probably very painfully and with some damage from sliding along the platform after being physically turfed. Could you aks the spokesman where, in the definition of turfed, does it mention that it requries physical force, turfed is merely the act of removal against ones will, the methods of that turfing are immaterial. He's an idiot, and there's no doubt on the defintiion of that one I might add!

  59. Head
    Thumb Up


    Well, if they ask for you to get off at the next station, tell them to get stuffed.

    Problem solved.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Highly professional????

    Clearly, STagecoach has a new definition of highly professional which includes "are incapable of independent thought"

    Like he had a choice.

    And "politely asked to step off the train by our rail community officers, which he was happy to do." ??? So some knuckle-draggers who can barely read (obviously only managing specific words) grunting that you're off at the next station?

    Obviously Stagecoach don't mind causing potentially major inconvenience to individual customers - thanks for the warning!

  61. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Big Brother


    These are the sort of people who would believe someone at a protest march carrying an "I'm a terrorist" placard really are advertising that they are one.

    He's lucky he was only writing a play list. Completing a "Reflections on al-Qaeda bred terrorism and the role of suicide bombings as a means of political change" thesis may have caused more than being turfed off the train.

    Guilty until proven innocent. Then flagged as suspected guilty for the rest of his life.

  62. Cortland Richmond
    Black Helicopters

    Slithy Toves?

    Some years ago, an online acquaintance posted that he'd a candidate text for bumper stickers:

    "I'll worry about terrorists when I can stop worrying about motorists."

  63. Winkypop Silver badge

    Move along citizen...

    "We would like to thank him for his co-operation and understanding of the need to be vigilant in the current environment."

    Mein Gott

  64. Neil Hoskins

    Mr Stewart,

    You are a prize tit. If you don't understand why I'm not going to explain it to you.

  65. Simon B

    highly-professional rail community officers = fking DUMB!

    "We employ highly-professional rail community officers..."

    I'd call them dumb fucks personally. Look at the list FFS, bby when you're gone, slide, love me like you ... add killers in to that mix and it's rather clear this isnlt anything evil.

    Where DO they hire these idiots?!!!

  66. xjy
    Paris Hilton


    Here in Sweden I almost got myself duffed up by two beefy young securipaths on a local train. They were harassing some poor old bloke (stoned most likely) who was sleeping all by himself in a group of four unoccupied seats. Only occupying one of the seats mind. Not allowed to sleep on the train. You'll have to get off at the next stop etc. It was very cold outside and he was obviously miles away from his cardboard box, so they didn't have to hit him to hurt.

    So I objected, and asked what the point was. He wasn't bothering anyone and no one had complained. So then they turned on me for "hindering them in the course of their duties". I had lots of time so I argued with them all the way down the platform to the station house. And in the station house. If looks could kill. This being Sweden they had a rule-book to drag out. Intoxicated and sleeping, off you get. So I asked why they didn't empty the night trains every Saturday. Etc etc.

    My words were civil enough even if the subtext wasn't - I work with words. One helpless old dosser, and one shrivelled old fart (me) against two burly young thugs?? Proportionality?

    Anyway, I finally sloped off before the quiet one went from menacing looks full of hatred to doing me over.

    The EU makes all this international now, and they're all outdoing each other in totalitarian invasions of privacy and integrity - and taking the chance to let little Hitlers loose on the rest of us.

    Isn't it nice that the Soviet Union and East Germany aren't there any more so our lot don't have to try and pretend any more that they defend freedom of thought, expression, assembly and movement.

    Go to Heath Row any terminal and count the bullet-proof vests and automatic carbines.

    Try asking any cop what they think they're doing picking on you or some other non-uniformed slob. (Suit and tie counts as uniform, of course.)

    While we're on about this kind of intrusive spying and assault... I think they should institute a social award (free lunches for a year on the state?) for all certified paedophobes. Affirmative action.

    That would keep teachers fed for a while at least. And some grumpy old pensioners.

    (Paris cos she's so young and innocent... Hollywood's Princess Die...)

  67. Denis F.

    Stagecoach sensitivities

    I was amused by Stagecoach's sudden hair-splitting concern with the truth, because the passenger would clearly have been "turfed off" if he hadn't alighted voluntarily.

    After Stagecoach was awarded the current SWT franchise, SWT ran an on-line poll to see whether people thought they should have won. A figure of 61% in favour of Stagecoach was published in SWT's passenger magazine, at the very time that the poll was showing 34% - confirmed by Passenger Focus. So far as I know, no retraction was ever published.

    I assume the community rail officer didn't have enough to do. SWT's recent Webchat event drew a question about why these people are used on revenue protection duties.

    I think one has to be wary about anything Stagecoach says, because of Brian Souter's assertion that "Ethics are not irrelevant but some are incompatible with what we have to do because capitalism is based on greed". Truth is surely essential to ethics. It's time Government stopped awarding franchises to companies that don't demonstrate reasonable ethical standards. We expect it of our MPs. So why not from companies who have received huge sums of public money in return for what DfT still calls a public service.

    .Post your own message

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Love the official comments

    ``A South West Trains spokeswoman offered: "We employ highly-professional rail community officers who work closely with the British Transport Police in protecting the security of passengers on the rail network.''

    This counts as ``highly-professional'' then. Noted.

    ``"During a routine high-visibility patrol, [...]."''

    Where ``high-visibility'' means ``find reasons to harrass people so they notice us.'' Say, by reading over someone's shoulder. Very respectful, that.

    Love the officially amended comment even more:

    ``He was politely asked to step off the train by our rail community officers, which he was happy to do. The train was extremely busy and this was intended to protect Mr Shaw's privacy whilst we asked him a few questions.''

    Yes, being escorted off a train by glo-jacketed thugs ``protects one's privacy''. And because he complied, he was happy. This is the true position, for the chief of glo-jacketed thugs said so.

  69. Mark York 3 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    So Mr Stewart

    They wouldn't let him back on the train Ergo He was turfed off the train.

    Please get your facts right BEFORE you start asking for stories to be "corrected".

    PH because shes got more of a clue than you.

  70. Hairy
    Big Brother

    Surfeit of excuses...

    So the claim is that "We would like to thank him for his co-operation and understanding of the need to be vigilant in the current environment." are we dubiously linking his scribblings to terrorism here or are we talking about "a 'number of arrests' nearby including one man who had killed his wife"? They should at least try and stick to one excuse for hassling unsuspecting (and unsuspect) members of the public...

  71. Spot the Cat

    Oh no you don't.

    "We employ highly-professional rail community officers who work closely with the British Transport Police in protecting the security of passengers on the rail network." Nope, you employ minimum wage numpties in hi-viz jackets and idiots like Stwewart and you're not really protecting anybody from anything.

    Do your job- get the fucking trains working properly!

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They protected his privacy

    …by snooping over his shoulder to read what he was writing.

    Obviously a secret use of the word privacy that only jumped up little Hitlers are aware of.

  73. Sceptical Bastard

    I couldn't resist writing to Stagecoach...

    ... and here is the transcript of the email I sent to their PR chief.

    Dear Steven Stewart,

    I refer to a statement you allegedly issued to The Register online IT magazine.

    Speaking as a poacher-turned-gamekeeper - I'm a former broadsheet journo and now work in PR and IT - I am rather surprised that, having reached the dizzy heights of Director of Coms for a major public-facing business, you could act so ineptly. I was taught that half the skill of good PR is knowing when to keep shtuum. There are times when by far the most effective comment is "no comment". And to compound your failure in this case no comment had even been sought. Tie down that jerking knee, my dear fellow.

    To get a measure of your own goal I suggest you read the 90 or so comments which readers have appended to The Register's story. Needless to say, you - by which I mean Stagecoach - do not come out well.

    Instead of badgering The Register perhaps your time might be better spent trying to persuade your security staff that they, too, have a responsibility to protect and uphold your company's good public standing. Reputational management involves every single employee (and that includes outside service providers).

    Sorry, old boy - you get a big 'F' for fail.

    Toodle pip

  74. Anonymous Coward

    How many more times...

    ..It's SWT not SWaT

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