It’s not that often I feel a real bond with Richard Dawkins but no sooner did I read his diatribe about Osama bin Laden having won the global war on terror because he, Prof Dawkins, had had a jar of honey confiscated at the airport, than I realised that here was a kindred soul. The prof declared on Twitter over the weekend:
Bin Laden has won, in airports of the world every day. I had a little jar of honey, now thrown away by rule-bound dundridges. STUPID waste.
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) November 3, 2013
Ah yes, I’ve been there. Except the jar of forest honey – raw, lovely, village stuff – confiscated from me on my way back from Kosovo wasn’t little at all; it was full-size. Same goes for the jar of near-solid chocolate-hazelnut spread that was taken off me on my way to Dublin, and the vintage marmalade that was taken off me en route to Rome. As I said at the time, you’d deserve a Nobel Prize to set off a bomb from a jar of marmalade. Mind you, it pales by comparison with the girl I know whose orange was brutally confiscated by US security en route from Shannon to New York on security grounds.
I simply do not believe that the policy has any connection with actual intelligence at all, as opposed to an approach that aims to cover every possible eventuality to reassure nervous Americans, and to afford a sadistic element of job satisfaction to the boys manning the security scanners. The situation has, I grant you, improved since the early days of the Bomb Terror, when they took things like lipstick liner off you – to the benefit of the cosmetic counters on the other side of airport security – but it’s still nuts. Osama can take credit for adding a purgatorial element to air travel; quite a legacy, when you think about it.Tags: Air travel, Osama bin Laden, Richard Dawkins, Security, Terrorism