Saturday 19 August 2006

Free to fly

Ryanair is often decried by the bien-pensants of Notting Hill on the grounds that it flies to and from some rather obscure airports. It does, although Ryanair's Scottish base is at Prestwick, the centre of the known universe.

The company's boss makes plenty of noise and his recent outbursts aren't appreciated by Martin Kelly on the grounds that Mr O'Leary isn't quite one of us.

I'm sympathetic to Martin's argument in so far as the only possibly legitimate function of the state is that of protecting the liberties of the British people and that it's up to us how the state should achieve that goal.

Today's Scotsman brings us this:

TERRORISTS are "rolling around the caves of Pakistan, laughing" at Britain's response to the terror threat, an airline boss said last night as he gave the government a seven-day deadline to relax restrictions or face legal action.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary described some of the security measures as "farcical, Keystone Kops-like and completely insane and ineffectual"

I have to agree with Mr O'Leary on the farcical nature of the situation, although some of the terrorists are probably a bit nearer to home than Pakistan.

But although I understand Martin's insistence on British sovereignty over the British state, does that rule out a security role for the Irishman O'Leary? Not necessarily. What if Ryanair were allowed to operate its own security system for its flights?

After all:
Mr O'Leary said the people being subjected to intense security were "not terrorists and not fanatics ... they are actually called holidaymakers".
Very well, let Ryanair operate a lax security system and see if the passengers still turn up. Other airlines may chose to adopt a policy of - how shall I put it? - passenger profiling. It's time to introduce some competition.

(UPDATE: the people have spoken.)

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comment made on previous template:

Neil Craig
We are doing more harm to ourselves with this than al Quaeda has. 
A purely Scottish example - the same security rules apply to the Highlands & Islands airports as to Heathrow but obviously have a greater per cpaita cost. About 40% of the cost of these airports is security. We currently subsidise the airposrts by about 2/3rds (a subsidy I support). If we got rid of most of the costs of keeping bin Laden off Tiree there would be no landing charges & the Ryanairs of the world would be interested. 
I once proposed this in a conference speech - since then the transport minister has introduced a complicated system of subsidy direct to locals traveling which cost twice as much & achieved less.

2 September 2006, 12:59:09 GMT+01:00