Scilly rules or silly rules?

 

             I want to return today to freedoms lost. Many of us feel we now live in a surveillance society. Some would add that now it feels as if we are in the EU prison camp, made to dance to the tunes of Brussels regulators in so many areas of our lives.

             I have recently enjoyed a few days holiday in the Scilly Islands. I returned there partly because the worst features of our bossy boots society have not yet spread to this English haven. I like to spend my holiday pounds at home.

              For me the holiday begins the moment I step onto the small Twin Otter plane at Southamptom for the flight to St Mary’s.  This year I was struck very forcefully by the contrast between the Scilly way and the Southampton way, and was so grateful the clumsy surveillance and security society has not yet caught up with St Mary’s airport.

               At Southampton now, so much money has been spent on “security” that the passenger experience is no longer easy or enjoyable, in a way it could be at a small airport. You are no longer able to drop your bags or passengers off from the car outside the airport door. Someone has decided that a 20 seat plane flying English people within their own country is some kind of terrorist target.  Why? When was there ever any intelligence to suggest that the 10.30 am from Southampton to St Mary’s was a number one target? Now we have to go through the business of taking off belts, putting everything through scanners, throwing away any bottles or tubes with more than 100ml of fluids, as if we were  wanting to go on a jumbo to a  high risk destination.  There is no sense of proportion, no exploration of the risks.

               It is made to look silly by the return flight. At St Mary’s there are no security scans, no lectures on water bottles. You can keep your jacket and your belt on. I doubt anyone suspicious or anything worrying would escape the experienced eyes of the people handling the tickets and baggage. It is refreshing to deal with people who want you to enjoy a good holiday and who send you back home with happy memories rather than with a security lecture ringing in your ears. They make commonsesne judgements of risk. There has been no terrorist attack on a flight from the Scillies.

                      My fear is that the new Southampton is the future, not St Mary’s. If they need more money to improve St Mary’s airport doubtless the security people will crawl all over them,making the project dearer and the experience less enjoyable for holiday makers. There is already evidence of the bossy mainland society imposing its will on the islands. Two improved quays have appeared. They had to have ugly metal fences to segregate motor vehicles from pedestrians, on small islands with practically no cars. They have painted signs to tell you exactly how you have to walk down to the quay and get onto the boat, on a quay where the boat will nonetheless tie up at different points depending on the state of the tide. If you follow the painted signs you can end up unable to get on the boat! I wonder who thought that nonsense up and made us pay good money for it.

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139 Comments

  1. Ian Hills
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Signage can always be removed, or made more amusing by repainting some of the lettering.

  2. Single Acts
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Yep, security theatre has little to do with any actual threat. It’s all about cowing people and getting them to accept pointless gun-toting authority in the name of ill-defined ‘security’

    I don’t fly from major hubs anymore, simply because I am not prepared to have my three year-old patted down by some drooling security clown. There are still one or two very small airports where they have the dumb rules but the small numbers of people working there are more or less sensible. And I can’t quite see how I am safer standing in a long queue before any security check has taken place. Target of opportunity much? This is more about protecting outbound planes than actual people.

    And of course as you say, unless there are identical symetrical arrangements at the destination airport, the whole thing is futile. Plus, I am not going to say how, but with half a brain you could bypass the whole thing in about five minutes were you so minded.

    Why not privatise the security?

    • Andy
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      “Why not privatise the security?”

      If the security is in in the public sector and someone bypasses it, little happens in the way of media reaction and people being held to account.

      If the security is in the private sector and someone bypasses it, there would be media uproar, calls to fire many staff, to prosecute the executives of the company and to remove the contract from the private firm.

      I don’t believe any private firm would be able to take the risk.

      • zorro
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        They do the security now and have done for years?

        zorro

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      As you say “Yep, security theatre has little to do with any actual threat. It’s all about cowing people and getting them to accept pointless gun-toting authority in the name of ill-defined ‘security’”

      Not only that but the checks actually done do not really achieve very much in the way of security anyway it is a pantomime. Was it not Harold Wilson who used to take his holidays and is buried in the Scilly Isles? He at least did give the UK a sort of referendum albeit dishonest, I was too young to vote, but even then I would have voted against, being impressed by the anti side and very unimpressed by Heath and the pro side.

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      But security at these airports IS in the private sector….BAA, G4S?

      Zorro

    • Rebecca Hanson
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      “Yep, security theatre has little to do with any actual threat. It’s all about cowing people and getting them to accept pointless gun-toting authority in the name of ill-defined ‘security’”

      On the other hand it could all be part of making a place less attractive to those from the London bubble who believe only in narrow and short term gain and can’t be faffed with bothering to understand why things are as they are.

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Well why are things as they are? Why do we have this pointless pantomime that does nothing, in reality, to reduce or prevent terrorism.

      • Single Acts
        Posted August 17, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

        Huh? I don’t quite see what you mean?

        • Rebecca Hanson
          Posted August 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          Single Acts
          I think there is an assumption in John’s post that the Scilly Islanders want lots more visitors of the kind who would easily be put off by small frustrations. This assumption may not be correct.

  3. ian wragg
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    I think the people who work in airport security have to have a vindictive streak when they are humiliating 90 year old pensioners yet let our Middle Eastern bretheren wander about full covered.
    Don’t they just love to boss us about. Security coupled with Gideons ever increasing APD means I avoid air travel whenever possible.
    Very soon, the plebs will be priced out of the market and travel can be the preserve of the rich end entitled once more.
    We can revert to our seaside charabanc trips and knotted hankies.

    • Single Acts
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      My opinion of the ‘people’ who ‘work’ in airport security wouldn’t make it past moderation on Guido’s site let alone this one.

      • zorro
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Have you tried TSA in USA for an up close and personal experience?

        zorro

        • Single Acts
          Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          The second reason I’m never going to the States.

          • lifelogic
            Posted August 17, 2012 at 5:16 am | Permalink

            The first was?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      You mean sisteren, apart from bretheren masquerading as sisteren.

  4. Robert K
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    As your post implies, it’s not just petty Eurocrat bureacracy that is the threat – the UK state is just as keen on pestering and bullying its citizens. I am all in favour of pulling out of the EU, but there wouldn’t be much point if the political and democratic settlement in this country continues along its current overweening trajectory.

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Airport security is less intrusive in Europe and polite and carried out by government employees for the most part (police or army like at the Olympics)…..

      zorro

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately British security can be the most officious jobsworths of all….

      zorro

  5. Mick Anderson
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the size of the Scilly Islands means that those who make the decisions are still integrated into society. Less of a “them and us” environment.

    If politicians in the mainland were forced to stick to the rules they dream up for the hoi poloi to follow, there would be far less Nanny State to suffer. Equally, if the MP with his name against this area had a wife and kids living here, perhaps he would work towards improvements in the constitiency.

    • Single Acts
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Yes indeed. i-Dave made a big deal about his holiday flight to some pleb destination on a commercial flight last year.

      Do you imagine his children or his wife were subject to intrusive groping? Of course not. Until they are and they feel the humiliation and outrage we feel, it won’t change.

      UNLESS that is, we say “no more” and stop flying from the stasi-land theme parks.

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Interesting…
    My wife loves all the security because it makes her feel safe. Me, I just feel humiliated. The worst part is the grim faces and the total lack, as you say, of proportion. You can get arrested for even the slightest faux pas too. It is all very Socialist.
    A smile wouldn’t come amiss.

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      It is all part of the conditioning……only security/government can protect you from terror…….

      zorro

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        Indeed.

    • alan jutson
      Posted August 17, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Mike

      I have to say I am with your Wife on this one, as are many of our friends.

      Of course we would all prefer not to have all of this intrusion into our lives, but we all know the rules before we go to the airport, allow enough time having chosen a decent flight time, and go with the flow.

      The problem has been the system, trying to search too many people with too few a rescources, which causes immense frustratuion for all.

      Gatwick is now getting it right, having travelled through there a couple of times recently, they have hugely expanded the x ray machines for hand baggage, so waiting has been drastically reduced.

      I have to say I have not had the misfortune to suffer agressive searches, I find a simple smile and greeting helps a lot .

      The fact is you are never ever going to win any argument with security, you will just miss your flight, so why bother.

      With regards to the argument that security does not work, we will never know will we !

  7. Vicky
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Likewise at Newquay where we were diverted to when Lands End was under fog. Full body pat downs, aggressive security and aggressive staff. Removal of jewellary, shoes, socks, belts, coats sweaters was required. One girl had a small bottle of moisturiser removed for destruction. They then cancelled our flight and we went from the Penzance Heliport who did no checks at all. The return from Scilly was equally peaceful with no fear of being strip searched by the body double of Matt Lucas. Newquay Airport is the real life Come Fly with Me!

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Surely the greater risk would be someone coming to terrorise the mainland from the Scilly Isles….Who would want to bomb the Scilly Isles? It is all of course a nonsense…

      zorro

  8. Andy
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    The excess of security, rules and regulations supposedly to protect the UK against terrorism seems to be, pretty much, a waste of time and money.

    If the terrorists of the world are so few and so incompetent that they cannot organize at least one attack a month in the UK I would suggest that we have little to worry about.

    For example, take the absolutely massive queue / scrum to get into Heathrow Airport security checks on a Monday morning. A hand grenade or bomb would be as (terrifying-ed) in the queue prior to getting into security as it it would after security.

    To cause real terror random daily or weekly random attacks on members of the public by one or two individuals would be effective, (suggestion on how to carry out terror attack removed-ed)
    I don’t believe that the fact that we have so few attacks is related to the security services; there are few arrests and even fewer trials to support this claim.

    We seem to spend billions on security for a threat that is likely to effect hardly anyone each year. To put the threat into perspective, as a society we live with the death of nearly two thousand of men, women and children in road accidents each year, but have made no special effort to reduce this (e.g. more traffic police on the roads instead of safety cameras)

    My opinion; We could cut security by 50% and it would make no difference at all. There would still be terrorist attacks of course, there always will be.

    • Mark M
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more. If you wanted to commit a terror attack, there are plenty of opportunities every day that are not covered by security. It strikes me that blowing up a plane is one of the hardest things in the world to do. If the terrorists are as intelligent and calculating as we are led to believe, they wouldn’t bother trying to attack planes and would instead go for easier targets with as many people but little or no security. With that in mind, it seems highly unlikely that if we relax security arrangements at our airports that we would see a string of attacks on planes.

      Of course, there are certain things that make sense. 9/11 taught us to lock the door to the cockpit, for instance. This, more than any billions of pounds spent on security men, has reduced the likelihood of a repeat of 9/11.

      • James Sutherland
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        “9/11 taught us to lock the door to the cockpit, for instance.”

        Was that actually a good idea? Any would-be hijacker can simply grab a hostage and demand the door be opened. Once they’re in, of course, it rules out a Flght 93-like resistance: hardly a good thing.

        The liquid limits really are pointless, particularly when you can buy large glass bottles after security anyway (yet aren’t allowed to take even the permitted 100ml of liquid in a larger bottle) – any bar brawl will show they could be much more effective weapons than 99% of the items confiscated for “security”.

        No tiny sharp objects, because of 9/11; no liquids, because of one attempted attack years ago that failed anyway – if a terrorist tries attacking with pure stupidity, will airport security eliminate itself to counter that?

        • uanime5
          Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          Given that before 9/11 anyone could just barge into the cockpit the lockable door is a great improvement. Thus you don’t need Flight 93 resistance because the problem won’t occur.

        • JimF
          Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

          Yes the 100ml limit is particularly stupid. If you really need more than 100ml in one container to do damage you could surely take <100ml of the offending liquid in several bottles, pour some specially expensive post-security bought mineral water from a 500ml bottle and replace it with the perfectly acceptable 5 x 99ml samples brought through.

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Indeed nothing what so ever to do with security in reality even if planes were made fully secure they could just attack countless other targets anyway.

    • Mark
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Disagree with you about road fatalities. Here are the long run data:

      http://timetric.com/index/reported-fatalities-road-user-type-all-users-casualty-gb/

      We probably spend far too much on trying to improve road safety in marginal ways – money that could reduce deaths in other ways. 400 excess deaths per year in Stafford Hospital for example.

      • Andy
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Hi Mark,

        I wasn’t suggesting the money be put to use against road deaths, it was just an example of where we accept many 1000’s of deaths without making a major fuss about it, your example is also valid and I am sure there are many more.

        BTW – I appreciate the reason for editing of my original post, but they were hardly mind blowing ideas for terrorist attacks, if the terrorists could not think of them for themselves they hardly warrant the level of response we put into “fighting” them.

        • zorro
          Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

          Which makes you think why these tactics are not being used by these desperate terrorists…….unless….?

          zorro

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      And more than that….but remember that private companies are making a bomb (excuse the pun) out of this….

      zorro

  9. Sue
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Ah, the joys of open borders, uncontrolled immigration and declaring illegal wars on countries filled with terrorists.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      INDEED

    • Russ
      Posted August 17, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Spot on.

  10. Nicola Clubb
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    in answer to the last point of who came up with the nonsense, the UK Civil Servants, the ones who think up pretty much all the stupid ideas. I actually think the US has the best system of government in that all the civil servants loose their jobs when a new president comes in and the bulk of the old ideas and plans are lost to the ether.

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Actually, if you remember, the security mania started in USA and has continued no matter who is in government and the private/military industrial complex is still reaping the profits….

      Zorro

      • forthurst
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        …probably because ‘change we can believe in’ involves no actual change, except, of course, in rhetoric.

    • Bob
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      @ Nicola Clubb

      You might be interested to know that the direction of travel continues whichever party is in office.

      Google: “The Collectivist Conspiracy

  11. alan jutson
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Ah Yes a loverly set of Islands, very fond memories of our last visit there a few years ago.

    Last time we visited we had to paddle out in the sea in order to get on some inter Island boats at low tide.

    Super walks and gardens especially if the weather is good.

    Did you visit Harold Wilsons grave in St Mary’s whilst there, he also loved the Islands and liked them just as they are/were.

    Guess now you have alerted the terrorists about security proceedures, it is now a perceived risk area !

    I am with you, air travel is now the worst form of travel experience, unless you can go by private jet with someone else paying.
    Given the enforced securuty waiting times and baggage claim (if you take any) it takes a day to travel any distance by plane, given that the flight time is usually the shortest element of the day, unless you are going intercontinental.

    • alan jutson
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Once again we have private enterpise reducing the costs to the customer, and the government increasing the cost over and above any savings made with huge tax rises.

      Little wonder that for a large family travelling long haul, it is cheaper to take a short flight to Europe, stay overnight, do some sightseeing in Paris or Amsterdam, and then fly out to your chosen destination the following day or day after.

      Thus our Chancellor gets less tax than if it were a reasonable charge in the first place.

      The other alternative, a train to Paris.

      • Graham
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Alan,

        I didn’t think that arrangement worked if you booked it in the UK?

        Did you book the long haul element on the Continent separate form getting to the Continent?

        Would really like to know please since as you say there is a cost to be saved there.

        • alan jutson
          Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

          Graham

          Not done it myself as not flown long haul for some years, but friends of ours have, (round the World trip) and I am informed you book two totally seperate trips.

          One from say London -Paris/Amsterdam and then the second leg a totally seperate airline from Paris/Amsterdam to where you want to go, thus it is not connected in any way to the first purchase.

          Clearly you may have to pay in Euros or whatever, but hey not a huge problem.

          Likewise we found when booking a cruise from the States (years ago) that booking the cruise using a US Agent was more competitive than the same cruise from the UK (same boat same cruise same cabin), although not checked this out in recent years.

          Do remember you may/may not have the same cover ATOL etc if doing it all seperately. but if you choose your carrier carefully should not be a problem.

          You takes your choice, you pays your money.

  12. ChrisXP
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    As long as people allow themselves to be put through these processes, they will never be withdrawn but rather stepped up more and more until the whole business of flying becomes a permanent body-assault session. I have upset several family members abroad by refusing to fly out for a visit. So many folk have just shrugged their shoulders and submitted themselves to physical handling because they believe it is “inevitable” as an aspect of their lives. It isn’t inevitable, but the trouble is no-one protests enough. If everyone refused en masse to be strip-searched and body-scanned, it would bring the airports to a grinding halt

    • Graham
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Yes but doing it in isolation is asking for trouble though – my wife has had to ‘intervene’ on a number of occassions when I have voiced my opinions to stop me being ‘dealt with’

      Too many subserviants though

  13. John Ward
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    We face this security nonsense thanks to the misguided policies of the past, multicultural appeasement, and American bungling.
    But above all, the point Mr Redwood makes about lack of proportion is spot on – to which I’d add one other: the role of bonkers pc in opposing targeted searching.
    I take a radical view of airport security which is, I know, unpopular – but more likely to retain our liberties more effectively in the future: minimalise it, and focus attention more on the cells that aspire to blow us up.
    etc etc

  14. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Can I invite you on holiday to Cockermouth John?

    If you haven’t time to come can I recommend this excellent Radio 4 program which was on yesterday afternoon and explores how we do banking and business outside the London bubble?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01lsqkd/Fixing_Broken_Banking_Episode_2/

    For those who are interested in how we live here ‘The Cockermouth Post’ online gives more insight and you can read my recent correspondence with Jonty Chippendale who features in this program in the letters to the editor or on the ‘Cockermouth Discussion’ forum on linkedin.

  15. David in Kent
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    The same idiots who didn’t want Usain Bolt to keep his baton are getting busy in Scilly it seems.
    It is now much cheaper to fly to Dublin and there fly business class to America. All because of the Gordon Brown carbon tax which is more onerous for business class passengers. Obviously because their travel is more CO2 intensive. That’s a good way to encourage business travel to export markets.

  16. Pete the Bike
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    All part of our wonderful, socialist nanny state that considers us all too stupid and untrustworthy to be left alone to live our lives. The control gets worse every day, more cameras, more lectures, more showing of ID. If they made a new film of Orwell’s 1984 most people would think it was reality tv.
    The worst thing of all is that a large part of the population welcomes being treated like cattle.

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      It is a welcome break from Eastenders and Coronation St for them and makes them feel protected…

      zorro

    • Rebecca Hanson
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Farmer treat their cattle much better and grant them far more freedom than this government gives teachers.

  17. Iain Gill
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    So many parallels

    obvious one is the aggressive staff at Wembley if you go there to see a concert versus the norm in the rest of the planet, quite how the bully boys at Wembley get away with it is beyond me I have been half expecting one of the customers to pull out a warrant card and nick them for a long time

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      I stand my ground politely but firmly…

      zorro

  18. Acorn
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    “If you follow the painted signs you can end up unable to get on the boat! I wonder who thought that nonsense up and made us pay good money for it.” [JR].

    That would be you and your mates in Westminster! If you keep rubber stamping new rules and regulations, you end up with a lot of silly rules and regulations. These all made by the thousands and thousands of central and local government bureaucrats you continue to supply the pay budget for. Simples!!!

  19. Greg Tingey
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    If you thin THIS is stupid, try catching a TRAIN to Bruissel or Paris.
    It’s insane.

    We need to do two things, simultaneously.
    EXIT the EU
    JOOIN Shengen.

    There, fixed that for you!

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Now that would be bonkers to join Schengen but exit the EU!

      zorro

  20. oldtimer
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Now you`ve blown it – the Scilly Isles will never be the same again. Next time there are sure to be whole body scanners in operation.

    • norman
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly. Someone must have served our host a cold breakfast so he’s decided to wreak revenge by ensuring their tourism suffers as some idiot jobsworth in Whitehall is taking a break from surfing the net and dashing off a memo about the dangerous situation that exists there. Terrorists could be reading this blog – have you read some of the lunatic right wing fringe comments (some from me even!) that are written here? Dangerous lunatics (or is it fruitcakes) to a man and woman.

      Can you imagine if something did happen (and the threat is real people, make no mistakes about it, government Ministers are continually assuring us the UK is full of immoral people) and nothing had been done after the sensible concerns raised by this blog.

      Glad you have brought it to the authorities attention Mr Redwood, why shouldn’t they suffer like the rest of us.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Indeed – but hopefully not!

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I fear that St Mary’s will seem just like Southampton next time you visit, following your revelation.

    • Martyn
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      I sincerely hope not! I flew into St Mary’s a couple of months back in a little 2-seater single engined aircraft with a pal, having taken off from White Waltham and staged to St Mary’s, where we landed, parked the kite, strolled up the stairs into air traffic control to book in and pay landing fees, chatted with air trafficers and wombled downstairs to a taxi without let or hindrance.

      The EU is trying hard to rope in such freedom activities to enmesh them in ‘security’ measures, despite the fact that no terrorist in their right mind would want to use a titchy little aircraft to destroy London or even parts of it. Looks like the EU might be winning, too – endorsed and supported by the UK jobsworth anti-freedom brigade, of course.

      Whatever happened to common-sense? Off topic but relevant, much trumpeting from the Australian government about fags will only be sold in purple packets with a small text indication of name, on the basis it will bring to a halt the advertising of brands each time someone takes out their packet of fags. Do the idiot politicians not realise that fag manufacturers and others will instantly bring out highly decorated and branded cigarette boxes into which consumers (daft thought they might be) will decant the purple packets and show the world? Madness, all is madness…………….

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        As for the EU’s attitude to the use of small airports by Ryanair, they are outraged. It means that they lose control.

  22. Bryan
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    You ask who thought up such nonsense?

    1. Academics

    2. Civil Servants

    3. Jobsworths, to implement them to the maximum

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Try private security companies and subtle lobbying too….There are jobs to be had for ex government ministers in these companies…

      zorro

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        Indeed many laws are clearly only in place due to vested interests and “lobbying” of MPs and MEPs as they call it.

  23. Islander
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-18930242

    Isles of Scilly tourist idyll masks ‘culture of fear’

  24. Gary
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    One of the best pieces that you have written IMO. That a senior member of the govt would even go public with these heretic thoughts signals a faint hope. Expect a knock on the door.

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      But John is not a senior member of this government but it is good that he can see and convey what we have to endure…..By questioning this theatre you must question a lot of ‘events’ over the years, and it may change the way you view the world….

      zorro

  25. Jerry
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Before throwing the baby out with the bath water, don’t forget that much of the security was put in place at airports well before 9/11 and the attempted attacks since, most of the changes since have been due to the realisation that terrorists are now prepared to die in the attack themselves and not just as a way of resisting capture. John, ask the residence of Southampton if a 20 seat plane falling from the sky is no threat…

    Whilst I agree that “security”, like ‘elf and safety, has become all conquering and used to excuse anything and everything I feel that you are picking the wrong fight here. I don’t fly that much but if I did and to fly I had to change in to a disposable white paper jump suit I wouldn’t see it as any infringement or distinctive.

    I’m more concerned about hidden surveillance and fishing episodes, without due checks and balances we are in danger of becoming exactly what we have fought wars against. This is the bigger threat to what it means to be British and only politicians can stop us slipping into a Stasi like (small s) state.

    Reply: Why are there no checks on people travelling b y train, where there have been terrorist attacks?

    • Iain Gill
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      there are checks on eurostar, although a lot less hassle than heathrow!

    • Jerry
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Good question John, I guess that a line has to be drawn some place, plus probably the likely hood of collateral death and damage is a deciding factor too.

      Don’t get me wrong, I to wish all this wasn’t so but we are were we are. Of course the UK could just go back to a 1950/60s style of laid-back air travel but then would we be able to travel beyond our own territories, would any other country allow our aircraft into their airspace…

      • zorro
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        The airport is a captive audience with time built in with check and baggage loading procedures to allow them time to undertake the security theatre. It is a licence to print money…..Why do you think that you are told to be at the airport 3/4 hours before the flight?

        zorro

        • zorro
          Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Follow the money….

          zorro

          • zorro
            Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

            The real threat to this country is illegal immigration/smuggling contraband and its facilitation. That is where the money is to be made. Think about it. Who makes money out of the terrorism theatre? See how it works?

            zorro

        • Jerry
          Posted August 17, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

          Zorro, that doesn’t follow, one could build such lead times into any rail travel, same for many sea crossings. I’m not saying that you are wrong about the airports exploiting the commercial opportunities (especially once ‘air-side’) but I suspect that there are other operating considerations – such as time to sort/screen hold baggage. In fact if I not wrong, the cabin luggage only airlines do actually have shorter check-in times.

        • lifelogic
          Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          Any you have to buy new water after security too – rather like the Olympics I understand.

  26. Max Dunbar
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    If we left the EU tomorrow the “prison camp” feeling would not change a bit.
    The problem is here in Britain and has been for a long time. The socialists who blight our country are the primary cause of this problem. Until socialism is pushed back then this sort of thing will continue to get worse.

    • Bob
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      @Max Dunbar
      They have gained total control of the state broadcaster and have a strong influence over the educational establishment and the Tory Party.

      It’s going to be one hell of a battle to unseat them.

  27. Iain Gill
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I think the requirement for photo ID on flights within the UK is a nonsense. Many a happy flight I took up to Aberdeen in the days before this. I really dont think forcing me to carry my passport around on the off chance I may want to fly up to Scotland at the weekend is helping the fight against terror.

    I agree with you on differences between airports. I often fly into heathrow from abroad in transit to another UK airport and find the checks both immigration and customs much less in many regional airports, indeed why would a terrorist fly into Heathrow direct when they can just transit to say Newcastle and walk out the airport basically unchecked?

    All a bit of a joke

  28. English Pensioner
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I visited the Isle of Man a few years ago and to me it seemed just like England after WW2.
    A total absence of all the stupid health and safety signs – if you fell off the cliff’s edge or the castle parapets it was your own fault for not looking, not some official’s fault for not having warned you!
    I wonder if it’s still the same?

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      These places are heading slowly on the same mad health and safety disabled rights, endless litigation path alas. It benefits no one really but lawyers perhaps and some silly pressure groups.

  29. Martin
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I thought your article was spoiled by the dig at the EU as UK airports make needless extra security checks not needed by EU laws but demanded by Westminster to transit passengers. Indeed I suspect it is the UK that pushed the EU for even stricter rules.

    The present government has also kept the police domestic passport check flight rules. Again nothing to do with the EU but the communistic Home Office and its beloved police state anti-terrorism act.

    The reason the security stuff hasn’t been imposed on the railways or motorways is that Whitehall knows it can get away with the security theatre at the airport because only a small percentage of the electorate have to put up with it. Indeed if the pensioners had to put up with the security theatre at the Post Office all hell would break out.

  30. forthurst
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    The level of ‘security’ experienced, in particular, by air travellers is a direct consequence of a rachet created by a succession of false flag events perpetrated over the last dozen years. There is a window of opportunity now for those who wish to seek the truth rather than accept the drivel spewing daily out of the MSM; all they have to do is use their computers for research. Once they have done that a very different picture will emerge, one that many people who do not believe in individual liberty for ordinary people are extremely anxious to suppress.

    There are now two versions of reality, one that our politicians purport to believe and one that is known to increasing numbers of people worldwide. When politicians purport to believe falsehoods which are damaging to the English people and their right to go about their lawful business without interference, or those used to have our country multiculturalised by a hostile alien elite, or be subsumed into a foreign ‘country’, or be sent to war where we have no enemy, they are committing treason.

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Now we are talking….

      zorro

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Here’s another version of reality…..We are told that it is all too difficult to enforce deportation or remove foreign national prisoners. Think about their human rights….their sick cat or dog etc etc……

      However, the USA (Sweden – LOL) wants Mr Assange…..oh, he’s in the Ecuadorian embassy. Oh, no problem – we’ll rescind its status as an embassy and barge in and arrest him….doesn’t matter that something like that hasn’t been done from what I remember in a peaceful society without the offending country having committed a crime…..Of course, it won’t have any repercussions abroad for any UK embassy staff or embolden a country to do likewise for some spuruious reason NOT! What are these clowns up to? Can they not wait? He’ll have to come out of there soon or come to some arrangement, but why oh why does the government think that it will be a good idea to go into the embassy and get him?…….So remember that the next time the government says it is all too difficult to control immigration or remove people….

      zorro

      • zorro
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        I think that the government will rely on the 1987 Dip­lo­matic and Con­su­lar Premises Act, which I suspect was enacted following the incident which involved the 1984 shooting of Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan People’s Bureau and the aftermath of trying to clear up that affair. However, to try and invoke this legislation in the pursuit of Assange is a different kettle of fish and might seem rather disproportionate….

        I cannot believe that the UK wants to leave itself open to criticism and challenge diplomatic niceties for this….. Perhaps they are bluffing….in which case they might have shot their bolt….

        zorro

        Reply : Yes, it was enacted in the circumstances you describe. The government seems to accept this is no Libyan Embassy moment and fell short of saying they were about to use these powers. The response from Ecuador was clearly not what the UK government was hoping for.

        • rose
          Posted August 17, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          Cardinal Mindszenty was holed up in the American embassy in Budapest for a very long time indeed during the soviet era. Has Assange got what it takes to do the same? Has he got as good a cause?

          • rose
            Posted August 18, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

            Furthermore, it inconvenienced the Americans who were short of space there already, before making room for the Cardinal, and weren’t allowed planning permission to expand while he was there – for about 15 years. Can you see Ecuador making a sacrifice like that?

      • forthurst
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

        What’s so wrong with invading sovereign territory, anyhow? We do it all the time. Do you want the FO to be deprived of dog biscuits, or what?

        The European arrest warrant which apparently can be applied without any formal charge having been made is an entirely logical consequence of the effective abolition of the nation state: the confusion is only with those who think our borders still exist.

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      For a good view of the ‘Underpants’ bomber episode, I recommend Kurt Haskell and his blog. He was the lawyer on the flat who saw Mutallab being led through security by someone without a passport at Amsterdam airport…..

      zorro

      • zorro
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        flight sorry

  31. AndyC71
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I’ll say a few words in favour of Southampton airport… I use it quite a lot, and it’s invariably an efficient and reasonably cheerful experience. At least in comparison with Heathrow or Gatwick, where the passenger is just a nuisance to be slowly milked of cash. The car parking restriction has been around a while there, but they do have a free drop off zone in the car park itself these days, which is hardly onerous.

    The belts off, no liquids thing is annoying anywhere, but that’s surely a matter for Westminster to do something about.

  32. rose
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    You should go to Cauldey. No nonsense going or coming back from the English county in Wales.

  33. Alex
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Current security protocol dictates that public transport flights under 10 tonnes maximum take-off weight don’t need to be screened – used to be that or under 20 seats. So 19-seat Twin Otters don’t need to be security screened. However an EU airport into which such an aircraft is destined could dictate to the operator that they are not prepared for their ‘dirty’ aircraft to be flown into their ‘clean’ airside restricted zone, in which case the origin airport will have to screen the aircraft regardless – if they have the capabilities to do so. St.Mary’s doesn’t, so it’s always going to be a dirty aircraft or nothing. If you are an airport looking for new business, you may not turn down a daily flight just because it can’t be screened appropriately. A lot of commercial airports have seperate ‘executive’ terminal facilities for handling private flights where, if under 10 tonnes, those flights can come and go as they please.

  34. Adam5x5
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    The sureveillance state is merely a way for the government to try and tax us more. Terrorism is just an excuse – there will always be attacks and there is no way to stop them. Wasp should be required reading for anyone making security policy. A determined individual will always find a way to wreak havoc and damage the infrastucture.

    Anyone with half a brain can see many tempting targets without any security in any of our cities. Train stations, bus stations, nightclubs, pubs, shopping centres. Basically any place people congregate.
    But don’t worry, the police and security services will be able to watch it all happening on the CCTV cameras which have replaced the officer on the beat…

    (There’s no comfort to be drawn from that-ed)
    Alternatively, relax the gun laws in this country. Let the people protect themselves without fear of prosecution. The mainstream media in this country is forever shouting about the gun massacres in the US, hardly ever mentioning the incidents that never happen because another passer-by was also armed and stopped it happening. they also don’t mention that these massacres mainly happen where the gun-carrying ability of the average citizen is curtailed (colleges, army bases). Or what about the other countries where gun ownership is common – Canada, Switzerland, Australia?

    All we can do in this country is run for our lives and be happy that our desperate flee for survival can end up on You’ve been Framed.
    At least we’ll make £250.

  35. Fay Tuncay
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I think we need to campaign more

    Government policy and corporate vested interests, which fund political parties have created so many pointless sectors to hoover up our time and cash. Airport security, “climate change”, and sock puppet NGOs being some of the most costly and mostly pointless. My question is why do we accept this?

    UPDATE ON ECI: On a positive note our small committee of 7 nations has finally got its European Citizens’ Initiative to Suspend the EU Climate and Energy Package registered. We now have to organsie the signature collection which should be ready by October. We are aslo fundraising to run this campaign, so do contact me if you wish to donate. Details are already online at the EU see here:

    http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/initiatives/ongoing

    A few more details are also here http://eublackout.wordpress.com/

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Do you have a UK citizens’ initiative to end unwanted EU citizenship?

  36. Jason O'Mahony
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    When Britain leaves the EU (and it will) you guys are going to be so disappointed to discover that it isn’t Brussels that is the bane of your lives but your own government. Ireland is bound by the same EU directives as the UK, yet we have nowhere near the same level of petty bureaucratic interference in our lives as you guys. If box ticking was an Olympic sport, Britain would win a gold every time.

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Both the EU and our own government blight our lives Jason. Only difference is the former will be disbanded in less than 3 years, whereas the former will take one almighty shove to get rid of. If Britain does manage to leave the EU do you think Ireland will stay in or follow us out?

      • Sean O'Hare
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Blast No edit! Should have been:

        “..the latter will be disbanded in less than 3 year”

    • alan jutson
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Jason

      I agree with much of what you say.

      You only have to visit a French, Spanish or Italian Market to see how they handle food and cash without gloves, to notice the difference.

      Compliance over here suggests that food and cash are collected by different people to avoid the possibility of cross contamination, temperature probes must be used when cooking, different knives for cutting bread from other produce (colour coded if possible) running water must be to hand for frequent washing of hands, refridgerators and freezers must be at a safe working temperatures.

      All produce must have warnings about possible allergys (nuts etc), home baked cakes must be done in a sterile kitchen (suggest powerdered eggs used).

      Risk assesment and method statement must be on site and available for checking as should a certificate showing who has passed the necessary hygine courses.

      How do I know.

      Our club cooks a few burgers for charity fundraising purposes a couple of times a year.

      One of our ladies had her home made cake taken away for analysis a couple of years ago after questioning by a compliance officer.

      No problem found with it, but reason taken.

      It was baked at home using real eggs, and it did not contain a notice on it saying that cake may contain nuts.

      Commonsense ?

    • James Matthews
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Not my experience the last time I went through Shannon bound for the UK. Checks as intrusive and officious as any I have encountered anywhere. You are right on the general point though. Much as I dislike our membership of the EU this doesn’t have much do do with it, we mostly do it to ourselves. That said, a comparison with the Irish Republic isn’t really valid. You don’t have the legacy of dislike which a nation which was once powerful but is now weak has to deal with, nor (yet) the …., touchy, aggressive (staff-ed)

      • James Matthews
        Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        I am amazed that you felt the need to edit my post. What I said was simply a description of the present reality in our country. Clearly some truths are unacceptable.

        • James Matthews
          Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

          To which I should perhaps add that you appear to have misunderstood my comment. The part you have deleted did not refer to the security staff themselves, but to the sources of the threats against which they are employed to guard us. The way in which you did interpret it may be revealing though.

    • Mark
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      At least the ability to blame Brussels will disappear. Too often, Whitehall and/or politicians persuade the Berlaymont to promulgate a directive that wouldn’t stand public scrutiny – and then fill in the details via statutory instrument, again avoiding scrutiny. People might then regain some democratic control.

      I’m not wholly optimistic though: many of them have been educated to believe that everything should be regulated, rather than using common sense.

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Well said sir

      zorro

  37. Muddyman
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    The sheeple could show some resistance by boycotting air travel for a week!, this would at least draw attention to the idiocy and hit the only attack point left – Money!.

    • Bob
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      @Muddyman

      Which week had you in mind?

  38. Ken Whistance
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Surely you are elected to stop this stuff happening to us??
    I accept that you, personally, don’t agree with a lot of what goes on these days but collectively you are all letting us down in a major way.
    All sorts of nonsense goes through ‘on the nod’.
    People are seriously getting fed up with it all.

    I have said before on here that I have given up ‘obeying’ these diktats.
    I live my life how I want to and tell almost all officials to go away. As nicely as I can I might add.
    I don’t need all this regulation of my life so disregard it all.
    I have come to no harm so far.

    • Bob
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      I recently received a letter from the police alleging a minor infringement of a speed limit. As you can imagine, the reading was taken by a mobile trap on an incline where the speed limit is set too low for the type of road. I’ve driven the same stretch of road for years and never encountered a problem before. Today I travelled the same stretch of road at 30 mph and I had a build-up of cars behind me with impatient drivers wondering what on earth I was doing.

      Also today, while travelling on a narrow uphill stretch of road in the West Midlands, where 30 mph is a reasonable speed I was suddenly overtaken by some idiot in a hot hatch doing about 70 mph which his engine screaming. No ticket for him though.

      The police should be going after the reckless drivers with the same vigour that is applied to minor inadvertent infringements.

      But as we all know, it’s just another form of tax, and they go after the easy targets.

      I have long since lost my respect for the police, and authority in general.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted August 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        they should be going after some of the road engineers and town planners who have designed acccident blackspot after accident blackspot and got away with it! far too easy to pick on the little people

  39. Caterpillar
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    “When was there ever any intelligence to suggest that the 10.30 am from Southampton to St Mary’s was a number one target? ”

    I agree the checks in themselves seem largely stupid, but presumably a small aircraft leaving Southampton for St Mary’s could reach London with over half its fuel left and be used to target something. On the return journey this wouldn’t be true.

    • zorro
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      And what would this aircraft do exactly?……It would be reported off course and challenged in the air and shot down if it presented a threat or did not respond to challenge. That has been standard practice for years and has been in USA for decades…….It just so happened at the exact time of 9/11, there just happened to be the biggest number of military ecercises that had been held up to then – including the following…..

      1) Operation Northern Vigilance.
      2) Biowarfare Exercise Tripod II.
      3) Operation Vigilant Guardian.
      4) Operation Northern Guardian.
      5) Operation Vigilant Warrior.

      Not surprisingly, this caused confusion about what was real or not on the day……It was also the day after the US had to announce that 2.3 Trillion dollars in unaccounted defence expenditure had gone missing……and unfortunately all the potential evidence around that was supposedly destroyed by the flying vessel attack on the Pentagon….But it’s all a coincidence….

      zorro

      • zorro
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Follow the money (if you can) again…..

        zorro

        • Bazman
          Posted August 19, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          I usually do on the fantasists favourite web sites. They seem to have nothing to say after the funding is pointed out to them. Are there views on the site changed? Of course not its their bible.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted August 17, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        So? I would rather be patted down than shot down.

  40. Gewyne
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    It’s all just a meaningless joke – terrorist with bombs in their shoes and under pants that they are unable to actually detonate, so we inconvenience 100,000s of people a day.

    Yes, 9/11 was bad, so were the hijacking of commercial flights in the 60/70’s – but that was more due to the pilots being accessed so easily.

    The day I have to go through a scanner and leave all my drinks binned, bags checked and take my belt and shoes off for the underground – then I will take the terrorist threats seriously.

  41. James
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think it’s the EU that is at fault here. If you visit any other EU country it is like going to a free country compared to here. It is our own nasty government and their bloated, overpaid public sector that are completely to blame here. Officious jobsworths everywhere, cameras, gum chewing thugs toting machine guns, it is all too ghastly for words. I recently drove about 1500 miles across Europe and didn’t see a Police car, parked pretty well where I wanted and generally felt welcome wherever I went, no spying, no officials, all very nice. Get back here and there are Police and officials everywhere, along with those idiots from the Highways Agency who close the motorways at the drop of a hat for no good reason. You feel the air of oppression the minute you get back to the UK. We are getting a bad name for it.

    The Conservatives promised to put and end to all this nonsense but it is getting worse. We need mass sackings of the odious jobsworths and their overpaid bosses who make life here so unpleasant.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Spot on.

  42. Mike Wilson
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    ‘Many of us feel we now live in a surveillance society.’

    And I was putting my faith in a Conservative government changing that. You said you would undo the creeping Big Brother government that Labour were behind.

    But, again, what has been done?

    And, by way of an aside, when did a ‘sense of proportion’ become a ‘sense of proportionality’. Is there such a word as ‘proportionality’? If it has to do the relationship between one aspect of something and another … that is what ‘proportion’ means.

  43. Electro-Kevin
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I don’t live in a city and so am only aware of surveillance from the private sector (consumer profiling.) Being an ex-police officer I know that the average person will draw very little attention from the security services and has little to worry about. There is much paranoia.

    An estate agent revealed to me recently how much he knew about us looking at houses online. No wonder we are subject to so much targetted junk mail and internet spam. Now that I do worry about and it is really intrusive.

    I am slightly irritated by the refusal to profile at airport security but understand why they need to be sensitive about this issue.

  44. Matthew
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Similar to the difference between Glasgow and Benbecula – in the Outer Hebrides.
    A few days fishing there, all of the fishing equipment, rods, and artificial flies examined in detail, shoes, and belts.

    On the return nothing – just walked onto the plane. I had even carried liquids onto the return flight in my hand baggage (not deliberately I hasten to add) harmless stuff that fisherman use to make the artificial flies float.

  45. Atlas
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    John, since you are in the position to ask a question in the Commons to which a Minister will have to reply – unlike for the rest of us poor mortals from whom such questions are disdainfully ignored- perhaps you could ask about the excessive nature of the ‘jobsworth’ measures you have outlined here?

    • Jock
      Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      A pleasingly rotainal answer. Good to hear from you.

  46. Jon
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    A bit like my local park, there were a few more ancient oak trees a few years ago than there are now. Someone being very “professional” keen to fulfil their performance indicators decided that a 500 year old Oak tree might fall on someone so better to chop them down.

    You can never get rid of risk, risk often is a good thing. Its about managing rather than thinking the answer is to get rid of it.

    The chances of a 8 to 10 ft diameter oak tree falling on someone in a park and at a speed that they couldn’t get out of the way if they were that unlikely are non existent. Its so unlikely that the insurance pemium for such an event would have been cheaper than the fuel for the chainsaw.

  47. peter geany
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    John I agree with your sentiment and with those who have been left seriously disappointed with the current government and it lack of progress in rolling back the surveillance society.

    The way a government handles personal freedom says a lot about its core values and I have to say the current Tories are as hard over to the authoritarian left as Labour was.

    But the other aspect I would draw your attention to and that of your readers is the part we as citizens play in all of this. Our Children have been so brainwashed that they often tell me I’m a stupid old fool and that all this “security” is for our own good. They just can’t see the fact that this makes us no more secure, yet cost a fortune and lulls everyone in to a false sense of security. It allows Politian’s to cover their backside without having to think or work; a bit like the FSA and Banks.

    But many of our young and many adults are dangerously close to not being able to make any value judgements or accept any personal responsibility for the consequences for any actions they may take. What is it going to take to jerk us out of this complacency?

  48. zorro
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    ‘My fear is that the new Southampton is the future, not St Mary’s. If they need more money to improve St Mary’s airport doubtless the security people will crawl all over them,making the project dearer and the experience less enjoyable for holiday makers.’

    This is the deal really isn’t it? Investment always seems to be accompanied by this progress which always increases the security, costs, and profits to companies not directly linked with improving service to the customer.

    zorro

  49. JimF
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    The worry is that some of us are electing you to correct just this type of thing. However I am not aware of any corresponding blogs by libdem/labour or tory MPs celebrating yet another intrusive security measure. So again we have to question the democratic mandate for disproportionate security.

  50. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    My experience was at Terminal 3 Heathrow, flying to Abu Dhabi. Checking in, I explicitly asked the airline how many pieces of hand luggage were allowed. Two. The officious security man said otherwise. Only one hand luggage allowed. I’m going to confiscate the other. No you’re not. I’m going to go back downstairs to tape up the briefcase for protection and check it into the hold. The said security man looked disappointed in a very nasty way.

    The only people not inconveienced by anti-terrorist measures are terrorists. I could think of very good anti-terrorist measures but they all involve cruel or unusual punishments.

  51. nemesis
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
    H. L. Mencken

  52. David Langley
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    In the services when large amounts of troops are being moved, sometimes they all made sheep noises which amused me a lot. The facts are though when you are being moved about in a risk environment you become a process not really meant to be an individual treatment. Like a prisoner do as you are told or suffer the consequences. Management has a responsibility for your lives from the moment you step into airport premises. This turns every thing into a risk factored process that has a cost and a profit. Reduce the risk and maximise the profit. I go with the flow, when a little Hitler shows up the process irks a lot.

  53. Robert Taggart
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    “I wonder who thought that nonsense up and made us pay good money for it”…
    No doubt some lame-brain ‘civil’ servant / jobsworth – employed by national or local government – doing one of those all too numerous ‘non-jobs’.
    Liebore loves non-jobs and the busy-bodies who go with them. Thirteen wasted years of Liebore government = happy times for such people, but, expensive / frustrating times for everyone else.
    The Tories, methought, were intent on abolishing such nonsenses ? What are you doing about it ?? Be rid of these parasites, or, the electorate may be rid of you (in government that is !).

  54. startledcod
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    My family and I flew Easyjet from Pisa yesterday. Due to our wish to import some rather fine olive oil meeting the check-in lady’s absolute determination to enforce the 20kg limit per suitcase (although not on the tall and rather suave single guy with the big smile) this resulted in some very rapid decanting of items (various) into hand luggage.

    When being searched following the scanning of our hand luggage my wife was forced to give up three small glass jars of the most delicious tapenade I have ever tasted and then was quizzed as to the contents of another packet, she explained that they were for lighting fires and barbecues (I have no idea why they were in the luggage let alone transferred to hand luggage). They were allowed to be taken on the plane.
    As the Americans say ‘go figure’.

    I was detained for a full 12 minutes as they scanned and scanned again and emptied more and more electronic holiday essentials (laptop, iPads, cameras, video camera, BlackBerry and their chargers and power supplies). At last they found what they were after, a folding iPad stand; I waited with baited breath whilst Solomon pronounced, phew, it made it. They have never once found the rather sharp letter opener concealed within my silver Dunhill propelling pencil.

  55. Organic Herbs
    Posted August 25, 2012 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss and would really
    like to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my audience would value your work. If you are even remotely
    interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

    Reply: Thank you for your email. I do not have time to guest post, but you could post any piece from this blog on your site with credits.

  • 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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