Sunday 1 July 2007

The Glasgow incident

I don't propose to say too much about the attack itself - that's been widely covered elsewhere, including by others in the Scottish blogosphere. I particularly liked this observation from J Arthur MacNumpty:
We will defeat the terrorists by giving them nothing, not caving in; by holding onto our freedoms, not giving them away in an attempt to create a false sense of security; by going about our lives as we would every day, not changing our routine fundamentally 'just in case' - which, incidentally, we don't do to prevent the risk of heart disease or lung cancer, and we've shown reluctance to do in terms of reducing our emissions in the face of climate change.

No, giving up our freedoms won't make us stronger against any threat: it will simply show our willingness to give up what we claim to hold dear in a futile attempt to protect ourselves. Those who make the call for extended detention, for ID cards, for all the rest, they are the cowards, they are the weak ones. The rest of us will not give in so easily.

Instead, I'd like to consider the response of the authorities. I've noticed a lot of criticism on the web about passengers being held onboard planes at Glasgow airport for many hours after the event itself. On report talked about a departing EasyJet plane being kept shut with its passengers locked in for eight hours. I've also read about several passengers being taken ill during their long waits.

I know it's easy to criticise at times like this and we need to consider what might not be apparent to the layman. Certainly, passengers couldn't be let off planes to go back into the terminal until it was properly examined but surely they could have been bussed a bit sooner from the planes to hotels or wherever. Again, aircraft crew, air traffic controllers and firemen are subject to legally restricted working hours. But, perhaps, all the more reason to let those planes already loaded to leave ASAP, if only to get them to Prestwick or Edinburgh and await new crews.

I think part of the anger I heard from passengers on the radio this morning was tied up with the increasing feeling that the police in this country aren't primarily there to help us - their paymasters - but to serve the state. I wonder if things would be different if police chiefs were elected. Actually, I know things would be different.

I did hear a nice story though. When the attack occurred a MyTravel plane had no passengers onboard but it was fully stocked with food and drink. After a while the crew on the empty flight warmed up their own food supplies and sent them over to nearby British Midland and Loganair planes whose occupants had nothing left to eat. Being Glasgow, I suspect that the odd bevvy was consumed.

Heartless capitalists...

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

James Higham
...feeling that the police in this country aren't primarily there to help us - their paymasters - but to serve the state... 
I wrote about this over my way. The ordinary policeman, I feel, is on a hiding to nothing as he must do what comes from above. It's the "above" with is serving not so much the elected puppets but those behind them.

10 July 2007, 04:47:25 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer
Yes. What if another ten self-exploding Jeeps had broken through the crash gates and headed for those planes?

2 July 2007, 12:23:18 GMT+01:00
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I hope someone had thought through, in advance, the wisdom of imprisoning people aboard jets that are, I presume, fully fueled. Perhaps it was for the best - it'll be interesting to see what's done next time.

2 July 2007, 11:49:41 GMT+01:00