Booming Boris Everywhere

Bloody Boris banging on at the station
So far, I have heard Boris say “Hi folks” whilst waiting for trains at Blackheath.  I’ve heard him say “Hi folks” as I interchange at London Bridge.  I’ve heard him say “Hi folks” at Charing Cross whilst making my way to the underground.  I’ve heard “Hi folks” as I scurried through at least three tube stations.

And I could just about get by with the occasional grumble on Twitter to maintain my sanity.  But today, after hearing it three times at three different stations, I took a bus to Sainsbury’s.  The bus was full.  It was too hot. Everybody was standing.  And then, along came the aristocratic old Etonian who read Classics at Oxford calling me his “folk”.

I’m not his folk, and he isn’t mine.  I never will be.  It was only on the bus when I realised what a disaster the “Hi folks” recorded messages are.  They make you feel as though you are living in a police state.  I feel like I’m being told how to think, without any control over when I hear it.  It’s the same message everywhere, and it doesn’t change.  It’s relentless.  And it’s starting to terrify me.

I realise that we live in a democracy, and that we’re lucky to do so.  But playing the announcements everywhere with such ease demonstrates that most of the equipment is in place to remove our democracy at any time.  All the machinery necessary to tell you how to feel, and what to think is sitting there, and is ready to go.  And that scares the life out of me.

And it’s weird, because that Tannoy system has probably been set up for years, but I’d never noticed it until I heard it on the bus for the fourth time today.

Charing Cross photo by Flickr user Mike_fleming.  Booming Boris Johnson from Wikipedia.

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20 Comments

Filed under blackheath, Olympics, transport

20 responses to “Booming Boris Everywhere

  1. Maisie

    Wow. Maybe you’re getting paranoid. ;) I travel by bus every day, twice a day. I have never heard the message. Fortunately I’m rarely on train – otherwise I may have cracked up hearing him so often.

    Not terrifying, just annoying. Also I’d be surprisec if any of them would have the wit to launch some sinister attack on our freedom. Piss up in brewery springs to mind.

  2. Lazy_T

    It’s scaring you?!

    I do love and your excellent blog, but is there any need to be such a raving drama queen over this?!

    What else scares you, birds flying overhead? Crossing the road?! Ha!

    I’m only poking fun, of course. I have to say that I actually like that fact that he is realising (albeit far too late) that their travel arrangements are monumentally shambolic and it needs drumming home to a lot of people that this is going to be difficult.

    At least he’s making the effort, even if it is far too little, far too late.

  3. scared of chives

    I’ve heard him say ‘This is the big one!’ at London Bridge station. What, he’s voiding his colon or something?

  4. Adrian

    To “Scared of Chives” (great name by the way) – you owe me some screen wipes. I will remember not to drink coffee whilst reading your comments in future.

  5. Anonymous

    To state that these messages ‘make you feel as though you are living in a police state’ shows no respect for people who are living in police states and suffering real restrictions on their freedoms, and belittles those who truly are fighting for their human rights. As you acknowledge, public address systems have been in use in London for some time – without our liberties being infringed (even now).

  6. Scott

    I like to think it’s a form of psychologial punishment for all those delightful transport personnel holding the city to ransom over additional payments for actually doing their jobs over the Olympics.

  7. Henry

    I agreewith your comments about the voice of Boris getting on your nerves, but get a grip. Saying that if i was hearing Ken’s voice over and over again i would have cracked by now

  8. Anonymous

    Shame you have been annoyed by a few tannoy messages. Imagine living next to the Live screen or a pop concert on the Heath. You could whinge online and be roundly castigated as a grumpy millionaire crusty ;)

    • Henry

      i am neiher a millionaire or crusty but do live overlooking the heath and am absolutely loving the sene that is unfolding around the heath and very much looking forward to the happening on the heath in the coming weeks :)

      • Henry

        Scene not sene – laptop falling apart – my ‘c’ needs an extra hearty push sometimes to make it work :)

        Happenings not happening – nothing to do with the laptop – all my fault :)

  9. Silky Beastie

    Speaking of travel chaos and the Olympics and such. Is anyone going to the “Meet The Managers” thing tomorrow? http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/news/latest-news/meet-the-manager-26-july/
    I’m afraid I can’t but I’d love to know the exact reason they are closing platforms 1-6 at LB station on Monday 30th from 1800-2200. I can probably have a good guess but I find the fact that the posters informing us of the closure don’t feel like they need to offer up an explanation.

  10. Anonymous

    Henry- I don’t think Bugle is necessarily having a go at Boris. There isn’t a comparison, though Ken would never make it like that, would he? Anyone who read 1984 or Animal Farm can see Bugle’s point. By the way, we are almost living in a police state. Every 4 person in Britain, has a CCTV camera of their own. I wonder what is the equivalent for tannoys?

  11. Jim Benoit

    “Security personell tour this station 24 hours a day” – slightly more police state than “Hi folks”. At least it would be if it was true.

  12. Lindsay

    The bus messages came on this Wednesday didn’t they? A bit later than the Boris messages that welcome you at Euston station etc. As you say, if it didn’t all come across as the Boris show it might be more palatable. It is, however, completely unnecessary to repeat the message every few minutes. That repetition was driving us nuts on the 88! So much so, there was quite a lot of ‘tutting’ and ‘oh for heaven’s sake’.

  13. Hi everyone. I love reading all your comments etc., I was brought up in Blackheath but now live in Adelaide, Australia bu love to keep in touch if possible.

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