By Yvonne Ridley
We are in the grip of yet another so-called terror plot designed to terrify the wits out of everyone.
Anyone of a nervous disposition was sent in to a tailspin of panic over the increasingly dramatic news coverage … this manifested itself in a tsunami of 911 calls in America which paralysed parts of New York, Maine and Philadelphia for several hours.
Mercifully in Britain the majority of us refuse to get caught up in this bloody nonsense for many different reasons. The primary one being we had already endured more than three decades of this during the height of the IRA activities in London.
Virtually every single day for 30 years there would be some terror alert in the English capital – it was called shoestring terrorism. One telephone call could bring a halt to a section of the London Underground.
The police would make their necessary checks, the media would ignore it and we all got on with our lives refusing to be intimidated by Irish terrorism.
And that is exactly how we should have treated Friday’s terror nonsense – that does not mean to say people should be reckless or less vigilant but governments should stop trying to impose a fear factor on its citizens.
We can not sacrifice our freedoms and liberties just because America wants to impose its own neurosis, hysteria and paranoia on the rest of the world.
While British anti-terror police say no explosives were found in a suspicious package found onboard a UPS flight, the
White House issued a statement completely contradicting this. Now the parcel has been removed for full forensic testing!
Call me cynical, but I find it too much of a coincidence that this bizarre alert came less than 24 hours after British Airways chairman Martin Broughton has accused the country of bowing to US demands for increased airport security measures.
Mr Broughton criticised the US for imposing more security checks on US-bound flights, but not on its own domestic services.
He urged the UK to stop kowtowing to demands for passengers to take their shoes off and to put any laptop computers through scanners to be screened separately.
The UK government said it would give airport operators permission to review their security procedures and I hope they stick to their promise despite all this nonsense.
One of the most ridiculous procedures we have to go through is to submit all of our potions, lotions and liquids to airport security.
This came about because of the so-called plot to blow 10 airliners out of the sky. That the fools behind this crazy scheme didn’t even have passports or a collective IQ of George W Bush mattered not.
A video was shown of an explosion onboard a plane if this chemical had been mixed with that chemical.
The fact the bombmakers would have had to create sub zero laboratory conditions onboard a plane which would take around 40 minutes, mattered not.
As a frequent flyer I can tell you no would would be allowed to hog the tiny toilets for more than five minutes.
Yet despite this nonsense we have to hand over our liquids, but can buy them in vast quantities minutes later having past through airport security.
Just recently I was stopped because I had a brand new 200ml jar of Eve Lom face cleanser and was told I could not take it through. I pleaded for some commonsense from the security officer and he even went to his superior when I pointed out that the jar cost more than my airline ticket.
A nearby passenger who had just wistfully given up his full bottle of Remy Martin brandy sympathized with me.
Since when did Eve Lom become a threat to Britain’s national security?
The British Government’s COBRA emergency committee is meeting as I write this. God only knows what will transpire but I hope this coalition government distances itself from these crazy security terror alerts coming over from the Americans.
US President barack Obama is facing his mid-term elections this weekend … if either he or his team have resorted to the “terror threat” ploy so often used by his predecessor to try and win votes then shame on them.
Of course what better way to divert voters’ minds from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Wikileaks than to create a fresh new bogeyman … Yemen.
Any government which uses security and fear to win votes does not deserve to be in power.
Yvonne Ridley is the European President of the International Muslim Women’s Union who came to fame when she ventured into Afghanistan after 9/11 and was captured by Taliban. Later released and then she studied Islam and became a Muslim. She is an activist, present everywhere against tyranny, injustice and oppression.
She is a regular contributor to Opinion Maker
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