The law of unintended consequences is a wondrous thing. Excellent
though it is that a possible aerial massacre has been avoided, perhaps
it is only if air travel becomes once again difficult, uncomfortable,
and dangerous can we be prevented from destroying global climatic
equilibrium. I am told it was the Duke of Wellington who deplored the
arrival of the railways because they would only 'encourage the working
classes to move around', which he thought could lead to nothing but
trouble. How right he is when this is extended to modern air travel.
mind the classes, there are only two now that count in this context:
those with a regular income
without excess debt and those on skid row. All those with a job
consider it their right to travel either on business or on escape from
it. Whole economies are being built on tourism and luxury global food
transport, in spite of the fact that this is ecological and social
[addendum Sept 14th 2006 - see: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/13092006/323/ultimate-belfast-new-york.html
for example of this insanity]
The quicker the tourist business goes into reverse the better. The
money can be spent much better in different ways to benefit all and
economic growth need not be tied to travel and transport as it is now.
It was right that
tourism should boom and right now that it should bust. Most of us know
the world far better from books, films, TV and very modest occasional
visits than the frantic and obsessive aerial excursions that waste the
planet's resources and wreck the environment it. In the future
technology will enable us to know it far better without travelling at
all. Our incessant and escalating daily commuting and wider travelling
could be seen by any serious student of biology and sociology as the
death throes of a certain phase in the development of human life on
earth, or at least hysteria. A good slap in the face should bring us to
our senses. Of course it takes desperate fanatics to administer the
slap, which they do for reasons neither they nor most of the
unfortunate recipients understand. Hitler was the cause of the EU.
Although G.W.B. always manages to use the most simplistic unhelpful
language 'Islamic Fascism' is actually reasonably accurate.
The first tourists I would like to see curtailed are the British
football hooligans. A passport is not a right. Inside the cover it
states: "Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and
requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to
allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford
the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary."
Such a document (which remains the property of the state) should be
assigned only to those who can prove their identity and citizenship and
who undertake unequivocally to reciprocate in their respect for the
institutions and laws of the state and to represent it with at least a
minimum of dignity. Failure to do this should have the passport
withdrawn for a year for a first offence and 10 years for a second.
Nobody should have the right to a passport. Those UK citizens without a
UK passport would be free to travel to any country that will accept
them without a UK passport. If there are none, well, tough, but it is
absolutely ridiculous that our Offices of State should supply the
travelling credentials to those who are not worthy of them. The liberty
to travel the world is for the different nations of the world to give,
to those who respect the conditions imposed by the sponsoring nation.
Once a UK passport is in a modern format and part of a proper identity
system (which will include non passport holders, those who have not
applied and those who have had them withheld or withdrawn), it will
become apparent that this is a reasonable way forward.
Mr O'Leary of RyanAir as threatened to sue the Government over the cost
and serious losses caused by onerous security checks and limits imposed
on the passengers on his aircraft. Since the government do not own his
aircraft, I am not sure that they have any right to impose these
procedures if neither he nor his passengers want them. Rather than sue
the government, he should advertise flights with the normal check-in
procedures or his own variant.as well as flights with the government
approved methods, giving passengers a choice, He would have to set up
his own access channels for those flights, but why not? The passengers
are free individuals and the aircraft are not government property. He
would need to carry his own insurance unless he could find an insurance
company to carry the risk for the aircraft and the passengers would
have to waive any legal rights to claim against terrorist actions. Or
perhaps the freedom George Bush claims to be defending is just a
Ditch US in terror war, say 80pc of Britons
A majority of British people wants the Government to
adopt an even more "aggressive" foreign policy to combat international
terrorism, according to an opinion poll conducted after the arrests of
24 terrorism suspects last week.
However - by a
margin of more than five to one - the public wants Tony Blair to split
from President George W Bush and either go it alone in the "war on
terror", or work more closely with Europe.
Article at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
By Toby Helm, Chief Political Correspondent and
Philip Johnston - Filed 17th Aug, Edition 20th Aug 2006
JULY 26th 2007
2 weeks ago Stelios, the founder of
EASY JET, was asked if the inexorable expansion of his business was
reconcilable with the steps we need to take to limit CO2 emission
effects on climate change. He started his defence as follows: "I think
we can all agree that travel is a good thing". Therein lies the error
in the premise which is at the root of the problem. Travel is not a
good or bad thing. At the moment, we do far more than is appropriate in
warn over air security checks
Heightened security checks at airports could create a potential new
target for terrorists, MPs have warned.
A report by the Commons transport select committee said queues of
hundreds of passengers in cramped spaces could become a security
The committee recommended that reducing queues at security and
speeding up check-in times should be a priority.
The Department for Transport (DfT) said baggage security rules
introduced last August met "a very real threat".
The regulations resulted in disruption and delays and, although the
situation has improved, passengers still face longer queues and
increased waiting times.
The committee heard from security experts that the resulting queues
presented a significant security threat.
Prof Alan Hatcher, principal of the International School for
and Explosives Education, said that with bags not being searched when
people entered a terminal he was concerned that queues of hundreds of
people were effectively creating new targets.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Airport security is a silly joke. It creates absolute
chaos and doesn't hinder the terrorists one bit
Committee chairman Gwyneth Dunwoody said: "Because of the necessary
measures that are now in place, passengers are finding it more
uncomfortable and time consuming to begin their journeys.
"Security is the issue which currently has the most significant
impact on passengers' experiences of air travel."
The committee heard evidence before the recent suspected attack at
Glasgow airport took place.
Chris Goater, from the Airport Operators Association, said the view
experts is that the primary terrorist threat is from explosives getting
A DfT spokesman said: "The government has already
launched a £1.5m advertising campaign in the national press to
passengers to 'arrive prepared' and, where possible, is introducing
changes to help make the security process quicker.
"But we have to be satisfied that any changes will not compromise
the safety of passengers."
The committee made a series of other recommendations, including:
- Airlines should always advertise additional fees, taxes and
charges up front
- There should be a government review of telephone charges for
- Airport operator BAA should cease to be run as a monopoly
- There should be a review of airport car parking charges
- More robust systems are needed to stop the loss and mishandling