What the h*** happened to the security?
by Michael Smith
When, on Monday, December 8, 2008, environmental activists, gained access to a high security area air side on Stanstead airport in Essex one can only ask as to what the h*** has happened to the security at that airport, whether their own security teams or the police. Was everyone asleep at that time of the early morning?
If that is the security on the air side side of our airports then what is going to prevent a more or less major terrorist attack. If environmental activist – unarmed – except for bolt croppers and such like – can get air side on a more or less major airport, the second-largest airport in the UK in fact.
Not so long ago activists got onto a parked aircraft at Heathrow, Britain's largest airport, and one of the world's busiest and no one had noticed until some of them in fact unfurled a banner on the plane.
I must say that if that is our air side security at airports then all the other security measures are a waste of time and useless and will not make our airports and air travel secure.
While those measures aimed at air travelers inconvenience those traveling by air and make check ins and arrivals and longer process they will not prevent explosives, for instance, being placed on a plane. Not as long as the security on airports remains a joke as it is presently. The problem is that this joke is not funny by a long shot.
All the measures currently in place, as I have said already, do is inconvenience the airline travelers and not the terrorists for all they have to do is get air side, by cutting through a fence a la environmental activists and place a device at the belly, for instance, of a parked aircraft. And, the way security (what security?) is on that side of the airports at the present this is not, despite what we are being told, a difficult undertaking and this should make us really worried.
This is also very much the same as regards to security of the railroad rolling stock. While, for instance, as regards to the Eurostar trains, for example, airport style scanners and security checks are used and now even small penknives are illegal to be taken on that train there is very little stopping any more or less determined person getting near the parked trains and attaching a device to it or getting onto the tracks and sabotaging them.
I know that as much as with cyber security there is no 100% security possible anywhere and it cannot be unless we would surrender all our liberties and freedoms and we, as people, should take some responsibility – in fact the greatest part of it – for our own personal security and that of our families and loved ones, and, to some degree of society as a whole.
However, when we look at the ease that people can get into supposedly secure areas and get onto, as in the instance of Heathrow, a parked aircraft then we must ask what is going on.
One must then also wonder as to whether there really is the threat that we are told is there or are we just being told that so that the powers that be can make things more and more difficult for the ordinary people to go about their daily lives, such as having biometric ID cards (probably with transponders) forced upon them and the threat that any cop may demand to see ID and if no ID carried that one then might find oneself in jail.
If the security is allowed to be as lax as it appears to be then on can but come to the conclusion that in reality there is no such threat as the security services and government keep trying to tell us. If not then the lackadaisical approach taken to the air side security at British airports is criminal negligence and some heads should, nay indeed must, roll, and security must be made nigh on watertight.
As I said already, I know, and I hope that everybody else does too, that there is no such things as 100% security without living in a fortress and giving up all liberties and freedoms, and it would be then that the terrorists and enemies of freedom have succeeded and this we must not allow to happen.
If anyone is supposed to feel secure again flying – I for one would not, then again I do not like flying, period – then air side security must be enhanced and made as good as watertight. No good inconveniencing the passengers with all those checks and searches and restrictions when anyone can just saunter into any airport directly through the fence with bolt cutters and then can do, unmolested for quite some time, what they wish to do. There are many countries in the world where anyone entering such a secure are of an airport would simply be shot by snipers.
I do not think that we would, necessarily, want to have such kind of operations in the United Kingdom, but...
© M Smith (Veshengro), December 2008