By Neil Foster – The Community Press Group –
When someone is stopped and searched by airport security 9 times out of 10 in a supposedly random process, it’s a bit too consistent to be random
Having got out of bed at 4.30am on Thursday morning, for what I imagined would be an enjoyable trip to Guernsey, although work related, my experience of the day in terms of airport security at both London Gatwick and Guernsey Airports left me in no doubt that unless we put a stop to what can only be described as an abuse of, and an attack on, human dignity and personal freedom then all notion of such human dignity and freedom will be forever lost.
My day started well with the drive to the airport event free. My trouble started almost immediately as I made my way to the departure gates.
The first thing I found that had changed since my last outward flight from the airport was in the check-in system. I approached the area only to find that it had become akin to a railway station platform with the requirement to scan the barcode from my boarding pass before entry to the departure gates. This is the same type of system used by the Oyster card.
The main difference here was that I was also required to look directly into a facial recognition device, which duly scanned me to check I was who I said I was. The obvious question would be… who did they think I was and why was I already being treated like a wanted fugitive?
So having had my barcode verified, and after my face being digitally tagged, I was then permitted to enter the departure area.
Thank you so much Gatwick Airport! I felt so much safer in the knowledge that you knew who I was!
I then made my way to the small queue formed at one of the many baggage-screening machines and took my place.
As there were very few people taking their footwear off I didn’t bother and watched as some went through the normal metal detector with no difficulty. However, it was obvious that regardless of the fact that these so called ‘metal detectors’ were not picking up any evidence of metal objects on the passengers, it transpired that they were being directed towards the highly invasive and radiation spewing back scatter x-ray machine, with all passengers complying by inflicting DNA damage on themselves under the guise of ‘keeping them safe’ from each other.
As my turn came I stepped through the metal detector and as expected I was sent towards the Fukishima friendly x-ray machine. At this point I am sure that there was no ‘bleep’ of alarm from the ‘metal detector’. I certainly didn’t hear one. This is an obvious indication that the ‘metal detectors’ were deliberately set NOT to go off as an excuse for the use of these human body toasters to keep us all safe from ourselves.
As is usual in these circumstances which I’d again found myself in, although it was my first experience of mandatory body scanning, I refused to go through the ‘safe’ microwave oven to ascertain if I was dangerous to my fellow irradiated passengers. I was then asked if I had a pacemaker, to which I replied “no”.
I was then asked my reason for not wishing to be scanned. I replied honestly that having witnessed my 4 year old son die after having an x-ray a number of years ago, I was not going to subject myself to an unnecessary x-ray as I was not a criminal and that Gatwick airport had no reason to suspect I was. They had already scanned my face and ascertained that I was who I said I was and therefore they knew I was no threat. (My son was resuscitated at the time but that’s not the point)
At this point the ‘Borg’ called for a supervisor to attend.