Remixing the London police's insane, paranoid terrorism scare posters

Apropos of yesterday's blog post about the insane, paranoia-inducing "anti-terrorism" posters the London cops have put up, Peter Mahoney offers this remix of the "A bomb won't go off because weeks before, a shopper reported someone for studying the CCTV cameras. Don't rely on others: if you suspect it, report it." poster.

His reads "A bomb won't go off here because people tend to be quite nice, really. Fear everything. Then, tell us about it."

Got your own remix? Post a link in the comments!

sheet_road_cctv (Thanks, Peter!)


  1. I’d suggest:

    The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation.

    or just

    War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.

  2. If they want it give it to them.

    I think a straight solution to this is to flood them with reports. Report everything. My neighbor put out two bags of trash. There’s an unfamiliar cat around. This store didn’t open on time. I saw a white guy talking to two Muslim dudes. I saw a mime pretend to fire a gun…

    Everyone should make I’d their duty to report at least 10 things a day.

  3. “Looking directly at a CCTV camera is like staring a chimp in the eye: say goodbye to your face and genitals.

    “You’re not the alpha primate here. Get used to it.”

  4. “These chemicals won’t be used in a bomb because not everything with an unpronounceable name is explosive. Actually, they were used to make your breakfast cereal more tasty.”

  5. The “Fear Everything” bit reminds me of a Mitchell & Webb sketch where they read a Daily Mail headline on a day when there was no news and everything was fine – “Everything Fine! Fear It, Fear It!!”

  6. I wonder if you could make a case against the metro police for them causing terrorism.

    “Your honor, the police, having put up these signs, made me afraid of my neighbours, afraid to walk on the street, i literally spend every hour alone in my house terrified of those around me, always wondering how they plan to hurt me, i live in constant fear of anything new or different.”

  7. #8: My thought exactly. The lesson governments have learned from terrorism is that it works so well that they want to use it too… against their own populace.

    As I said immediately after 9/11: If we let the terrorists make us terrified, THEY WIN.

    A serious case can be made for indicting Shrub as an Al Quaeda collaborator.

  8. Forgive an anonymous post, I’m a bit too embarrassed to make it under a regular username.

    These remixes are useful because it helps some of those with anxiety disorders laugh at the heightened state of paranoia they seem to be being forced into. Or at least that is my own experience.

    Keep up the good work.

  9. Has the photographer who took the photo in this ad been arrested for photographing the CCTV camera featured prominently in the center of this image?

    No? Then the very existence of this ad suggests that someone might plausibly photograph a CCTV camera for a reason other than exploding bomb attacks.

    Or are we expected to report anyone looking for too long directly at the center of this ad?

  10. I’ve started phoning them up to report myself every time I catch myself looking at a CCTV camera. Partly because, hey, I might be a terrorist! And partly so they can have a record of me looking at said CCTV camera and therefore put anyone else at ease who might have seen me looking at a camera and become nervous.

    …Oh all right, I haven’t really. But I’ve been thinking about it.

    I imagine it would waste a huge ammount of police time dealing with such things, but then they have asked for us to be vigilent. Maybe if enough of us become concerned they’ll see the folly of their ways…?

  11. It defies logic. I mean… just think about it for a moment… why would you advertise to terrorists what they’re NOT supposed to do?! I had a rant at work about these posters this morning – and I was surprised at the antipathy of everyone. The general attitude was that there’s nothing sinister about them – rather, it’s just a friendly ‘neighbourhood watch’ message. Are people in this city (London) completely stupid?! Stalin… Mao… the Third Reich… the UK Government has been taking lessons from the best in how to divide and conquer through fear, panic and paranoia. F*cked up the economy? Dont worry – distract everyone with a bit of fear; they’ll fall into line like dumb, docile sheep.

  12. It makes you wonder…

    Is Orwell’s vision really coming true now, or are the US and UK using it as their manual for Government?

  13. Free to a good home with Photoshop:

    “A bomb won’t go off here, so we’ll have to give you something else to be terrified about.

    Suspect everyone EXCEPT US. Or we’ll make you really, really sorry.”

  14. #2 posted by PUCKMAN

    Awesome! I’m glad someone read the comment. Also good choice on “Joey” (babies would sell us out if they could).

  15. How about simple stickers that change the hotline number to the public line at 10 Downing St.?
    Affixed to the posters very surreptitiously, of course.

  16. #1, there needs to be a good hashtag to keep track of all these great mashups. #londonparanoia? Cory, perhaps you could update the post with such a hashtag.

    #2, these need to be printed and posted all over London! I’d take part if I could, but sadly, I’m on the other side of the Atlantic.

  17. I don’t understand why you gave this one its own top-level BoingBoing post and not the ones from Anthony Bennison (@29). His are way more awesome and were posted in the comments thread of the previous post about the posters. You should cherish your local talent.

  18. You should cherish your local talent.

    I’m trying to come up with a better way to do this than everybody just linking to URLs in comments. An embedded gallery that links to a Flickr set or something along those lines. Any suggestions?

  19. Upload the lot to a flickr set, then embed the provided flash gallery at the end of the post.

    If we’re feeling dangerous, you can have flickr provide gallery embed code for a flickr tag, which means people could add new ones to the gallery themselves by adding the relevant tag.

  20. Antinous —

    Perhaps you could start a Flickr group for people to join and add their remixes to? You could put the URL in the post. Dunno if a group is too much of a commitment.

    Or! You could start a Boing Boing group (apologies if this already exists) and make these remixes a set?

  21. A follow-up idea for #4’s post. Every phone conversation you have, insert at random phrases like “rape the Senator”,”kill Obama”,”blow up Parliament”,”shoot the prime minister”, etc. This will overload the illegal (illegal in America, at least) monitoring of domestic communications.

  22. These aren’t just in London. There’s one on the high street of the town I live in, in Devon.

  23. A bomb won’t go off here.

    When I get back to the UK maybe I should source a nasty brownish-maroon coloured felt pen.

  24. I was thinking about the proper approach to these and thought something like the ‘people are quite nice really’ was about the best, and also seemed quite british.

    For example, it’s difficult to parody the police approach here. One would normally exaggerate the paranoia-fostering to drive the point home, but the original already went so far over the edge…

    I thought,

    “Look, this has gone far enough.

    You don’t have to spy on your neighbours.”

    I’m capable of doing my own, but how about someone makes an automated web generator-thingy so everyone can have a go?

    And do we have an authoratative match for the font?

  25. #56 “And do we have an authoratative match for the font?”

    I’m pretty sure it’s Arial. That matched it in Photoshop.

  26. Not Arial (look at the b’s and the apostrophes). The closest is Helvetica Neue 55 Roman and 65 Medium that I have…

    OK a bit late but decided to have a go too:

    We planted it:

    A real policeman’s thoughts:

    Meth lab:

    Fun! ;-) And yes like the last lot, silly bunkum to try and make us all have The Eternal Fear…

  27. One thing I’m happy about – they wouldn’t need to be posting posters practically *begging* people to call, if there were many calls to it.

    My bet: the number is as popular as the traffic cone one was, and they’re desperate for calls to meet their targets so they keep their funding. So, calling them with nonsense (which seems to be what they are deliberately inciting us to do with these posters) might just keep the retards in business longer than if we ignore them.

    On the other hand, if ever there were posters that begged to be defaced humorously, to relieve the terror, it’s these. As pointed out by an anonymous above, people genuinely are stressed by these posters. That makes them a genuine health risk, as well as an utterly abhorrent waste of our money as taxpayers. Never before has defacing a poster been such a public service. I’m almost sad we have none around my neck of the woods.

    Other than vandalism, though: to whom can we complain? Surely there’s a police oversight org we can complain to about their tactics, or a government website that we can make a petition on, or *something*?

    Is there any UK equivalent to the US’ freedom of information thingy, that we can get information on the number and type of calls received, cost of the service, etc?

    Tackling these posters is, I feel, a bit like environmentalists tackling plastic bags: it’s a tiny, tiny fraction of the problem of waste, but it’s a clearly visible one, that a good number of people understand is bad. And educating people about this badness will result in them thinking about other, related badnesses.

  28. A question: Are any of the British users here, who are making these parodies, also printing and posting them up outdoors?

  29. Has anyone in London seen one of these ads yet? I’m assuming they’re on some Underground trains, in which case they’re easy to modify, but if they’ve only been put up on station platforms as big posters it’s a lot more difficult (or impossible, if they’re on the other side of the track).

    I’ll take a look myself at the weekend, since I don’t often use the Underground during the week.

    Dewi: Yes, it’s called the Freedom of Information Act. Try (try searching for CCTV, you might be surprised).

  30. 64 XAXA

    There’s one on the corner of New Scotland Yard – IIRC it went up last week (or maybe early this week) replacing a “join the voluteer police” poster that had been up for awhile.

Comments are closed.