Well said the Chairman of BA and Mr Gorbachev

It was good to hear this morning a plea to simplify and reduce the  bureacratic checks at airports. They are over the top and do not make us safer. There were also wise words on Afghanistan from a man who rightly withdrew Russian forces after a protracted and costly conflict.

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14 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Agreed absolutely terrorist can always attack countless other,
    totally unprotected, targets like trains sports events etc. anyway at any time.

    The war simply has no true aim other than perhaps incubating terrorism. The government cannot even decide what these aims actually are.

    It continues simply due to sort of pointless political inertia and pointless deaths and injury continue every day.

    Governments always like threats like terrorism, BSE, Avian Flu, Global warming even the millennium software bug.

    It gives them a cause, an excuse to boss people around and spend their money. Even better if it was never really a true threat as then they can always claim victory due to their efforts later.

  2. English Pensioner
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    The airport security checks were fine before the days of the suicide bomber, and were based on the assumption that no terrorist would wish to kill themselves. Hence hold baggage wasn’t searched provided that its owner travelled on the same flight. Surely such an assumption no longer applies, and wasting time searching hand baggage seems pointless when the suicide bomber could have put a bomb in his suitcase in the hold.

  3. THE ESSEX GIRLS
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Gorby hasn’t yet received the credit he deserves so we trust that history will be kinder.

    What a shame that nobody thought to consult him sometime ago.

  4. Acorn
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    How about the threat of a global currency? We know that planet Earth, will not have a global government, “Earth United”, until 2150. At which time, Starship Enterprise will be struggling to make warp five, downhill with a solar wind behind it. If our host allows, have a read of this link. Under the scenario envisaged, will there be any need for CDOs; CDSs or for multinational casino banks / corporations etc, to hold their Group Treasury Accounts in tax havens?
    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article23789.html

  5. DennisA
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    What a pity that we have this report today:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/exclusive-afghanistan-russia-steps-in-to-help-nato-2117468.html

    “Russia has agreed to return to the war in Afghanistan at the request of the Western states which helped the mujahedin to drive its forces out of the country 21 years ago.

    The Independent has learnt that Moscow is engaged in training the Afghan army and counter-narcotics troops and has agreed in principle to supply Nato with several dozen helicopters for use in Afghanistan.”

  6. Stephen Almond
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Gorby bailed out and left the Afghan people to the taliban.
    We will do the same.

  7. Stuart Fairney
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    And if Gorby couldn’t get it done with 100,000 Russians and no rules of engagement worth a damn in ten years, might this suggest anything to us?

  8. electro-kevin
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    The worst of it is that the checks are indiscrimate where the suicide bomber can be narrowed to a small group of suspects.

    ***Correction*** the checks are wholly DISCRIMINATE in that unlikely targets are deliberately picked out for reasons of political correctness.

  9. Iain Gill
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    i love this blog, as ever the voice of common sense

    personally i wish eurostar ran everywhere, including to the USA, its much preferable to flying, if only they could build a tunnel that long and make the trains go that fast eh? now that would be an infrastructure project to watch 🙂

  10. forthurst
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    lifelogic, please note that the ‘millenium bug’ certainly existed. I myself was contracted to a major life office to resolve potential problems with their life and pensions administration systems. Hypothetically, there would have been chaos for weeks had the issues not been resolved.

    In this case the ‘urban myth’ is that it did not exist. Anyone who claims that the fact that there were no problems proves that none had existed, does not understand boolean logic and would have no future in computer software.

  11. forthurst
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    One can’t help noticing that Afghanistan, as Iraq, is adjacent to Iran and that our troops were stationed specifically at an adjacent location for land-based hostilities with Iran.

    As far as Russia is concerned, I suspect they are rather more concerned to curtail the narcotics trade which is causing them many drug related deaths and which has been very much worse since ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ was mounted.

  12. Acorn
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations on your CSR (Comprehensive Site Review). Much fat has been chopped out of the web-site, superfluous buttons and photo removed. Links to obsolete bloggers removed. Site loads much quicker and the temptation to press the “reply” button at every opportunity, removed.

    Please tell me this was deliberate and not a cock-up that required the back-up loaded.

    Reply: I do not handle the technical side so I cannot answer you. I asked the site provider to resolve the attack on the site.

  13. alan jutson
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    No problem with making some modifications to security if it is still going to work. We certainly need to try alternatives.

    We must not forget that the reason why aircraft security is tougher than any other mode of transport, is because it is a total loss situation, a small bomb can down a plane with 400 people guaranteed to die. Any other mode of transport and the fatalities are considerably less.

    Few people die from the blast in a plane, all die from the resulting crash.

    In a boat it takes time to sink after an explosion and you have time to get a lifejacket, in a train it stops on land and you can climb out.

    Sad fact of life is that these people do not value life as most do, they value Death.

    But you can never have 100% security no matter how much you try, the trick is to reach the right balance.

  14. Andrew Duffin
    Posted October 29, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Gorbachev was right.

    The British empire at the height of its powers could not subdue Afghanistan, neither could the Soviet empire at the height of its powers. We modern afraid-of-our-own-shadows, Human-Rights-obsessed, casualty-reluctant fearties stand no chance at all.

    “There will be no peace in that uhappy country until the military steamroller has passed over it from end to end” was not said about Afghanistan but it applies just the same, and we are not about to unleash that steamroller. We should leave before any more pointless deaths occur.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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