I travelled down to Stansted to meet up with my eldest grandson, who had travelled up from the South-east segment of London with his Dad and Mum so I could catch up with how much I had missed since last seeing him at Christmas. The journeys back and forth were routine, and of course short; my time with my son and my grandson was limited because of the need to return to the airport early: but it was a magic time for a thoroughly-chuffed Grandad.
The magic time was diluted by the ritual humiliation doled out in generous quantities by the Dept. Transport’s Airport Security Gestapo, all of whose employees have been taught to ignore the common English words such as ‘Please’, instead relying on a imperious beckoning of a bent hand to signify that the culprit should walk through the ceremonial punishment arch (metal detector); after which you are subjected to a pat-down search which came pretty close, in my case anyway, to being a classic case of common assault. If the prospective traveller says anything at all to respond to this gross invasion of privacy and personal space, you are immediately accused of ‘interfering with a lawful search’ and in danger of not only missing your flight, but of actually being detained by this bunch of out-of-uniform Nazi stormtroopers.
A level of security is necessary, when it is known that the murderous fanatics would have murdered their own families as a ‘price worth paying’ to smuggle their explosives on board the target aircraft; but one does have to ask the simple question, ‘How many 74-year-old white Geordie-born bearded Grandfathers have actually been discovered making plans to murder a plane-load of strangers’?