Thursday, 14 May 2009

Isn't "Common Sense" wonderful?

No liquids, no gels, no sharp items and no books with images of guns on board this flight . . .That is exactly what bank worker Carolyn Burgess (58), of St Brelade, was told as she was stopped by security for trying to take her paperback on board a plane from Heathrow to Japan. As Mrs Burgess placed her Robert B Parker novel, A Triple Shot of Spenser, onto the security tray she had it snatched away from her because it ‘might upset passengers’ on the plane. It had the image of a handgun on the front....A spokesman for BAA said: ‘In certain circumstances, a passenger carrying an item which features an image or slogan that could be perceived as aggressive may be asked to cover it up or remove it. Security officers are advised to use common sense when making these requests.’ (1)

How easy is it to hold up a plane with a book with a pistol on the front? I've heard that "the pen is mighter than the sword", but that is ridiculous. What would you threaten - "This is a stick-up. If you don't do exactly what I say I will give you all the pages from my Jeffery Archer." Might you, that could be a frightening thought. Or what about an origami book - "Make it yourself: The paper pistol. Fires paper bullets"? Actually, there really are instructions for how to do this (2)! Perhaps any paper should also be conviscated?

They were in the end fine with the book provided that it went in the hold with the rest of the luggage, so the poor lady had nothing to read during the flight. But at least she could put her book in the hold. What would she have done if it sported a cover like this? With the application of "common sense" that they had already displayed, would they put a book with a bomb on its cover in the baggage compartment?




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