So, where to fire those Olympic missiles?

Plenty to talk about this week (cough) not much time to do it in, unfortunately.

But the most eye-catching, head-scratching story of the year so far has been the possibility of surface-to-air missiles appearing on Blackheath and in Oxleas Woods. Nope, it’s not to shore up an under-threat council leader’s position, but it’s part of London’s Olympics fortifications. Not exactly a triumph for government PR, that, but credit to Eltham MP Clive Efford for raising the issue and Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander for explaining more about the Blackheath issue.

Some kind of military presence on Blackheath would make some kind of sense, mind, with Hollyhedge House a long-established Territorial Army base. Next to the cafe at Oxleas Meadow is an odder choice (they’d better stock up on ice creams) although I was once told Shooters Hill was earmarked to play a strategic role should the Germans have ever invaded in World War II.

These days, though a small installation of military hardware would certainly come as a shock to some of the nearby car park’s more adventurous nocturnal visitors. So I’m told. But there’ll be one small local group pleased to see the threat of terrorism taken seriously, anyway.

But if we must play host to some surface-to-air missiles, can’t we put them to good use and get a real Olympic legacy out of them?

How about aiming them at the crappy new buildings on Greenwich Pier? The Olympics are a divisive issue, but blitzing those would be something we can all get behind. What do you reckon?


  1. Those buildings look just as awful from the north side of the river, there’s nothing pleasant about them at all.

  2. Well that’s agreed then.

    The trouble is, the Rapier is a such a crappy missile it’s more likely to hit poor Bernard in Island Gardens than hideous buildings…..

    As I’ve said on other sites, the daft thing is, if you have to fire the buggers, you’ve lost.

    Great pic…..

  3. One thing about these Olympic Missile Bases on Blackheath and Oxleas Meadow: It’s all very well being able to shoot down terrorist planes before they get to the Olympic venues but where is the wreckage going to land? On our bloody houses, that’s where! But it doesn’t matter because we’re only Plumstead/Woolwich/Eltham/Kidbrooke/Charlton scum, aren’t we? Everyone who’s worth anything will be sitting on their nicely protected rich arses in their corporate seats, won’t they?

  4. Nope, can’t let so much melodramatic nonsense go unchecked.

    Let’s go through this scenario step-by-step, shall we?

    A terrorist group has completely evaded the entire ongoing international intelligence and security surveillance operation (4,000+ people currently under surveillance in the UK alone, many thousands more worldwide), bypassed all airport security measures to get on board an airliner with weapons, then neutralised on-board undercover armed security, before breaking into the cockpit through those security doors, taken control of the plane and then somehow avoided the RAF air patrols over London….in a frickin’ airliner.
    In this slightly unlikely worst case scenario, they will then have to evade yet another line of defence; a highly agile and supersonic missile (proven highly effective against modern fighter jets which were deploying missile-jamming defence systems while carrying out evasive manoeuvres) while flying this lumbering airliner carrying zero defences.

    And it seems some people are panicking over this scenario…..Yowza!

    Now let’s tackle the morality of shooting a plane down over houses instead of a packed stadium:

    When a 747 cargo plane crashed into an Amsterdam apartment block (more people per sq ft that a street of terraced houses) in the evening (when everyone was at home), 48 people on the ground were killed.

    When Pan Am 103 crashed into a medium-density neighbourhood in Lockerbie, again in the evening, 11 people on the ground were killed.

    If either of the above had happened during the day (when most of the Olympic events will be taking place), because most people would have been at work and children in school, casualties would have been far fewer, estimated at 50%-75% fewer.

    However, we appear to have some posters who would prefer that a hijacked plane should be allowed to crash on the 80,000 spectators in the stadium instead.

    (To pre-empt the inevitable silly retort: *Obviously* having no planes hijacked at all is preferable which is why all those pre-emptive security measures are already in place.)

  5. I heard news of someone camping on Blackheath near where they were going to put these missiles but can’t find anything about it now. Supposed to be an Iranian camping there for 4 years – anyone else know about it?

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