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14 August 2006

Kneejerk reaction detector

"Instead of wasting hundreds of millions of pounds on compulsory ID cards as the Tory Right demand, let that money provide thousands more police officers on the beat in our local communities"
Tony Blair, sometime prior to 11th September 2001.

Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday rammed home that he saw identity cards as a "major plank" of the new Labour Party General Election manifesto.

Tony Blair, sometime after 11th September 2001.

Kneejerk reaction anyone? The same goes for the current situation with carryon baggage on flights. Carryon being the operative word here as it certainly is a carry on when you aren't allowed to take on a book. What do they think will happen? It's a bit difficult to conceal something of any size in a book isn't it. Let's play "Who wants to be a terrorist" now. You can phone a foreign tent, ask the Axis of Evil or have your motherland invaded by a superpower and partitioned 50:50. You have four choices, remember to choose carefully. OK, let's begin. You need to hide a few pounds of explosive material somewhere and a detonator. Where do you put them?

1. In between pages 666 and 667 of "Bomb making for novices", causing the book to expand to 10 times its normal size.
2. In between pages 1 and 1000 of your autographed copy of "Bin Laden: caves of the world an insider's guide." with a special large cut out section that security will see on an X-ray, or if they open the book or pick it up and notice its making a funny sloshing sound.
3. A schematic of an aircraft with your large bomb carefully wrapped inside, together with Afghan postmarks to carefully disguise it and make it look like a Genuine Parcel.
4. Somewhere else.

Not wanting to give too much away here, but I think "Somewhere else" might be the preferred option. Still maybe they think People With Books will be able to attack the crew and render them entirely helpless by shredding the book at high speed and dispensing mass paper cuts to the entire inflight crew before they have had time to react. Uh-oh, better ban all those in-flight magazines too then. And the safety notice as that's made of laminated plastic and could be carefully used as a weapon by creatively reflecting the reading light off the laminate and a spoon and into the flight crew's eyes rendering them paralysed.

All equally ridiculous and absurd I'm sure you'll agree.

You know it's a kneejerk reaction when you can still take your duty free booze on board and you can't take a bible. A 1 litre glass bottle and a paperback book. Which do you think represents a more dangerous weapon?

Never mind, all will be solved in the post-ID era when we all have ID cards. You'll be able to tell the terrorists quite easily then as they will have "I am a terrorist" on their ID cards. What? They won't? I thought that was the whole point?

I should read more. Fahrenheit 451 or 1984 anyone?
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