Having chosen to swallow the red pill...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Naked at the airport

I nearly committed a civil protest the other day when I was coming back through the airport. There were armed police throughout the airport and they have increased exponentially in number the last few years. This time there were also armed police monitoring the passport queues. As you moved through from the passport desk to the customs team, there was a policeman sitting behind a laptop, monitoring the passengers as they moved on through. I don't know for certain, but I believe that he was sitting behind the scanner device that enables security teams to see through clothing. As I walked through, I thought to myself, 'well, there goes another civil liberty.'

Clearly it feels wrong for me to ask someone to remove all of their clothing in the middle of the street. It also feels wrong for me to throw my clothing aside and walk down the high-street... but now, in the name of homeland security or whatever they have dubbed it this time, it is suddenly, without even having the courtesy of informing the public, it is suddenly ok to look through our clothes. I am sure that the public weren't informed because there would have been an outcry. It seems true to form that it is best to follow a policy of least resistance. It is best to keep people in the dark and slowly erode their civil liberties than it is to shine a light on it and risk public protest and possibly having to both explain and justify your actions.

How much more are we prepared to sacrifice in the name of terrorism? Do we even know what we have given up already in the Glorious Fight Against Terrorism? Are we going to wake-up one day and find that is it too late, that we are monitored in everything we do and it is all written in the law books and there is nothing to do about it? It is a funny paradox that the price of 'freedom' is that the government can use the 'fight against terrorism' to monitor us more closely than ever before.

I am not stupid enough to write a criticism without considering the 'what if's'. What if there is another terrorist attack on English soil? What if the plane that I am flying on is hijacked and forced to fly into some strategically and nationally important building? Are we willing to take that risk? Or should we not maybe take the steps necessary to minimise the risk of such a tragedy occurring? All very valid points, but the thing that bothers me most, in a democratic country is 'do I as an individual, have a choice?'

2 Comments:

  • Of course there's an answer to reduced civil liberties:

    1 - Write your your EURO-MP & get them to change the rules...if you're in the majority democracy should mean the rules change for benefit of "liberty" of the majority...they have shown that sending personal info to USA for "security reasons" is anti-data protection "liberty"...

    2 - When you fly, go naked, be a free as the day you were born,so they don't need machines to see if you've concealled anything...see where the "liberty-indecent exposuse" boundary lies!!...

    3 - Don't enjoy tyhe "liberty" of polluting the planet & using up precious resources flying...

    Jakob

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:40 pm  

  • I have seen Paul naked.
    Trust me...there is nothing to see.
    Or let me refrase that...there is very LITTLE to see.

    Bear.

    By Blogger Bear, at 5:47 pm  

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