There’s been plenty of fodder recently for comedians with all the reported delays at UK airport terminals, not so funny for anyone caught up in the queues. The fear business is alive and well and the huge sums spent by Governments which we pay for via higher taxation and the inconvenience caused is all cleverly justified in the name of keeping us and our borders safe.
At Gatwick luckily a book shop still exists and I found a book called ‘Risk’ by Dan Gardner. I can highly recommend ‘Risk’ to anyone with a curious mind who questions the propaganda we are meant to believe blindly. We remember 9/11 and maybe recall that 3000 poor souls lost their lives. In the USA fear caused people to shun flying for about a year afterwards; driving instead. In that one year studies show an extra 1595 people died in car accidents on American roads.
Road accidents don’t make the news as much as a terrorist attack and yet those 1595 extra deaths was a figure six times higher than the amount of people that died on board the three doomed airliners. If governments and the media had not hyped the risk with George Bush for example declaring that the survival of the USA was at stake; then those 1595 people may have lived.
In the last 100 years there have been less than 20 terrorist attacks that have claimed more than 100 lives yet each year in the USA 36,000 people die from flu and related illnesses. Flu doesn’t sell newspapers so instead we get our shoes scanned after 2001 and the infamous failed ‘shoe bomber’ Richard Reid was caught on a plane whilst clumsily trying to light a match to set a fuse alight.
The media are adept at stirring up mass hysteria; remember bird flu, swine flu, mad cow disease, road rage and crack cocaine? Funnily enough we are all here and reading the Sol Times. Either governments have done a fantastic job in saving the world or perhaps the risks were ever so slightly exaggerated. I maintain the position that Al- Qaeda win without firing many shots at the western world at all. Consider all the inconvenience that we suffer every time we want to take a flight anywhere when the risk of dying from a terrorist bomb is less than one twentieth the risk of getting killed when driving down the local shops.
In these days of retina scanners, body heat detectors, x-ray machines, physiological profiling, back ground checks, intelligence gathering, and good old common sense why is it that all of us are suspected terrorists when passing through major airports?
Surely if a terrorist wanted to destroy a plane they would target a smaller airport where the powers that be deem that security can be much more lax.
I did get the last laugh at the Gatwick Gestapo recently when I brushed myself down after my complimentary rub down; in my coat pocket that had been X-rayed I found a forgotten 250ml bottle of juice.