Monday 9 July 2007

Cruel and illusory security.

There's been much fun to be had taking the piss out of our recent batch of imbecilic terrorists and their inability to hurt anyone at all. But now it turns out that quite a lot of people were hurt after all:

SIX passengers were taken to hospital and another 14 needed medical treatment after being stranded on grounded aircraft for up to 10 hours following the car bomb attack at Glasgow Airport.

This is utterly appalling: a classic case of the overbearing airport bureaucracy that insists the only way to ensure security is to take every last freedom away from passengers. Why, when the bomb hurt no-one but the idiot who failed to detonate it, should six people have ended hospitalised? Because, quite simply, the airport's response to the attack was to gleefully seize the excuse to treat all its customers as vermin.

Strathclyde Police and airport security had kept all 1,250 passengers, pilots and crew on planes which had either just landed when the terrorists struck, or were fully boarded ready to take-off.

All those stranded were eventually taken by bus with police escort to the SECC in Glasgow.

Airport staff started to offload passengers at 9.30pm, but didn't finish till 2am, and up to 250 passengers on some jets began to suffer with air conditioning shut down and the doors staying shut.

Two diabetics collapsed because their medication was in the baggage hold and police were called to one holiday jet seven hours after lockdown after "unrest" amongst passengers.

Unrest, eh? You mean some of the jumped-up plebs actually objected to being treated like this? I for one am glad that, in the wake of a genuine attempt by genuine terrorists to kill people, Strathclyde police devoted some of their valuable time to locking up a load of the intended victims and making it clear to them that they'd be arrested if they complained about it, rather than wasting their time looking for, you know, evidence and stuff.

An airport insider said: "First casualty was a diabetic woman who became unconscious on a Spanish Futura 1510 flight.

"This was five hours after the jeep fire."

Five hours. Personally, I believe that anyone who locks up a diabetic and denies them access to their medication should be charged with attempted murder. Airline staff are trained in first aid, so it's not like they can claim ignorance here: they know that this is an effective way of killing diabetics, and they did it anyway.

What pisses me off is the pathetic excuse:

A BAA Glasgow Airport spokesman said: "We couldn't possibly move the passengers any sooner, because it was a crime scene."

Oh, yeah? Anyone stuck for five hours out the front of the airport, where the bomb actually hit? Nope. Any of the people who gave the terrorist a good kicking, thereby becoming a part of the event themselves, locked up for five hours and denied food, water, fresh air, and medication? Nope. The only people locked up were the ones on planes on the opposite side of the building, hundreds of yards away, many of them just landed from other countries and therefore unlikely to be part of the conspiracy. I'd like to hear an explanation from the police of what happened on the planes that caused them to be classified as crime scenes. On the planes, there were no attacks, no bombs, no muggings, no crimes of any sort — until, of course, some of the passengers committed the unspeakable crime of "unrest".

"The airport was closed 15 minutes after the attack and we started moving people off planes at 9.30pm. The job was finished at 2am as police wanted a police escort with each bus."

Why? What did the police think might happen on those buses? Imagine if, after the July the 7th bombings, the police had locked every bus and train in London and refused to let any passengers off for at least five hours, on the grounds that all those vehicles were one big crime scene. To describe the scenario is to ridicule it.

And the poor passengers weren't even being given police escorts anywhere useful:

All those stranded were eventually taken by bus with police escort to the SECC in Glasgow.

In other words, the police thought, well, we can't keep them locked up on planes forever: eventually, we'll need to lock them up somewhere bigger, with more facilities. Nice. Why not let them off the planes and then — I know this sounds crazy — let them go home? Anyone?

"We had 1,200 stuck on 11 jets."

No, you didn't. They weren't stuck: they were locked up. By you.

A Department of Transport spokesman said: "One feels for those passengers stuck on the planes although this was an unforeseen incident".

Yes, totally unforeseen. Who'd've thought that any terrorist might attack an airport, eh? Totally out of the blue, that one.

To put this nastiness in its proper context, let's just remember what started all this: 9/11. What happened on September the 11th was that the passengers on three planes did what airline security says they should: they subjugated all their rights and all their free will to official regulations: they sat still and didn't make any trouble and were used as weapons to kill three thousand of their fellow human beings. The passengers on one plane decided to damn the regulations and stand up for themselves, thereby saving the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands, of their fellow human beings. The attitude of airport security so clearly illustrated in this appalling story is exactly what makes airports and passenger jets such tempting targets in the first place.

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