and Later security issues
Updated 30th October 2010

AUGUST 10th 2006
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, expensive 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. Never 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 madness.
[addendum Sept 14th 2006 - see: 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 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 myth,,,,

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:  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 the circumstances.

MPs 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 hazard.

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.

New targets

The committee heard from security experts that the resulting queues presented a significant security threat.

Prof Alan Hatcher, principal of the International School for Security 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.

Airport security is a silly joke. It creates absolute chaos and doesn't hinder the terrorists one bit
Joe Bloggs

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.

'Arrive prepared'

Chris Goater, from the Airport Operators Association, said the view of experts is that the primary terrorist threat is from explosives getting onto aircraft.

A DfT spokesman said: "The government has already launched a £1.5m advertising campaign in the national press to remind 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: