08 December 2008

Stansted disruption: heroes on two fronts

Absolutely sterling work by Plane Stupid today at Stansted airport - on two fronts. One, managing to draw attention to the fairly serious inconsistency between the UK government's tough long-term CO2 emissions targets and its obsession with expanding low-cost air travel exponentially. Two, exposing the security arrangements at Stansted as totally lax.

For years now, air travellers have had to contend with a panoply of poorly-thought out security measures which have vastly extended check-in times and resulted in good business for companies selling water bottles airside. These have been high visibility to say the least, and undoubtedly designed to make it look as if the govt was doing "something important" about terrorism. But meanwhile, a group of around 60 protesters with very limited equipment was able to break through the airport's perimeter fence and camp on the runway. Some security system.

Of course, strengthening the perimeter fence would cost substantial amounts of money, whereas enforcing rules about liquids just costs passenger time and patience. That's probably why we get more of the latter than the former.

Really, the country would be run a lot better if we had a lot more protesters. We're gonna have a lot more unemployed very soon, so I think a new branch of the New Deal should be started - the protest option. The government pays you money to find important stuff to protest about. A new form of public service... the DWP should get working on this proposal at once.

No comments: