Smoking Hot's blog details the continued harassment by the UK Border Agency of people carrying perfectly legal products fromonecountry to another. In that case, it's tobacco. Somewhere there must surely be another blog detailing the harrassment of those carrying legal booze.
Soon there's certain to be one in Scotland detailing the new border booze controls at the border with England.
UKBA make up the law as they go among. now they are confiscating anything they want, with no apparent interest in whether that thing is legal or not.
When I was about thirteen, my parents took me to Spain. I came back with a couple of fencing foils which are still at my parents' house. They didn't fit in suitcases so we had them in the overhead lockers, taped together and the ends covered. Nobody minded. Air crew and customs didn't bat an eyelid. Try getting on a plane with a nail file now.
Flick knives have been illegal for as long as I can remember. Butterfly knives and sword canes only became illegal in recent years. I used to have a sword cane, bought in a high street shop in Cardiff, but broke it years ago while using it for weed-whacking. Cheap steel just wasn't up to the job. It's not possible to get another one now.
In about 1976, a friend and I got off the train in Cardiff after a week of camping and went to the shops. We still had sheath knives on our belts. Coupled with ruicksacks and the obvious appearnace of teenagers who had slept in their clothes for a week, nobody so much as raised an eyebrow.
Most of the things pictured with the stern-looking idiot in the article are not illegal. Sure, carrying them around the street would likely get you arrested for having an offensive weapon because a machete doesn't really have a 'tool' application in the average urban setting. It is not illegal to have one in your suitcase but you might be on dodgy ground if it was strapped to your belt.
The knuckleduster might or might not be illegal, I don't know, but it looks highly impractical. The inner edge will snap your fingers if you hit anyone with force. Police batons illegal? But... but... every policeman is in possession of one. Arrest them all at once!
Stun guns are not legal in the UK. Unless you are a State employee. Just as farmers, but not cows, are allowed to have cattle prods.
So what is legal in the UK? Well, have you seen 'The Chronicles of Riddick'? If so, remember those foot-long curved blades he used? Can you buiy them in the UK? Scroll down this page and order to your heart's content. They are legal.
Swords? Knives? Blades-UK is well versed in the legal side of weaponry, what you can and cannot buy, what you can and cannot import, so take a few moments to enjoy seven pages of recently-added items. These range from the ornamental (don't swing it around or the handle might come off) to the fully functional, meaning you can hack your way through a joist with it.
Machetes? Ha ha ha. Mere fruit peelers compared with some of the blades you can have delivered to your home. Perfectly legally.
Yet UKBA will Righteously deprive you of anything sharper than a banana and tell you it's illegal and there will be no appeal.
Of course, don't go outside carrying one. Any day now, I expect to have the police called by a neighbour because I cut back the bamboo with a grass hook (a form of sickle) rather than clipping it stem by stem with piddly little secateurs.
Then they'll come for the secateurs...