A couple of days ago a woman was handcuffed on a plane, as she suffered a panic attack and was found to be carrying some hand cream. Today it was reported that a man was given a sound kicking, when he was suspected of trying to light his own farts.
Luckily a sky marshall was on board the plane, and saved the day by inserting a large rubber bung up the fart lighter's arse.
As a result of this incident Nanny will be upgrading her security advice to airlines and insisting that all passengers have a rubber bung inserted up their arses.
Additionally, she is insisting that these new custom designed security seats be installed as soon as possible.
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Postcards of the above design can be purchased here Electric Commode Postcards.
OK folks, maybe part of the above was a slight exaggeration!
However, I would contend that the security measures and ensuing hysteria have done little to improve the long term (read that bit carefully) security of the UK or of passengers departing from UK airports.
- The current level of security checks are unsustainable.
- BA has had to cancel 13000 flights since last Thursday, this is economically unsustainable.
- Over 20000 bags have been "lost/misplaced" since last Thursday. Fortunately the baggage handlers at Heathrow are a very honest bunch of people, and as such passengers can rest assured that their "lost" bags will not be interfered with in any way.
- Despite the security checks a 12 year old boy managed to get on board a plane, and a man returned to an empty plane to look for a lost wallet.
- Aside from the increased security at British airports, European airports are as they were before. As such, were you part of the "crescent of evil" you could simply pop over on the channel tunnel (which has no extra security) to France, board a flight there back to London and as a transfer passenger board a long haul flight with your tube of toothpaste still on your person.
- As for the rest of us travelling by train or tube, tough luck, the security remains as before.
Here are a few simple ideas that I have for improving the situation:
1 Allow only one small clear bag onto a plane, containing "safe" items. The previous situation, whereby people were bringing all manner of crap on board was a ridiculous nonsense anyway.
2 Ensure that people only book into the hold of a plane 1 item of baggage per person, with a maximum weight. The vast array of ski equipment, boxes and bits and bobs that some people carry severely delays the check in process. Should you wish to transport your kitchen sink, then place the extra load on board a separate plane specially designated for delivery of such items.
3 Do away with 100% hand searches of people and their carry on luggage, instead use profiling to identify the high risk traveller. Therein lies the problem with Nanny, she seeks to zeroise risk, rather than manage it.
None of the above are radical or new ideas. However, at the moment, it seems that the relevant authorities are behaving in some senses like headless chickens and not sitting down calmly and working through what really needs to be done.
In the meantime, the alleged terrorists much be rubbing their hands with glee as they see the chaos that they have caused.