Anorak News | Air Bags

Air Bags

by | 11th, August 2006

THIS is a day for questions.

What turns a radical Muslim into an extremist prepared to board an airplane to America and murder hundreds of people at random? It’s hard to say.

The Mail wants to know: “Why did Blair go on holiday?” Perhaps to show the Islamicists that we Britons cannot be cowed. We will holiday if we want to. We shall not be beaten on the beaches etc.

But the big question is the Sun’s headline poser: “Is this the end of hand luggage?” This is the “WAR ON FREEDOM” and the enemy wants to take away our right to carry hand luggage onboard a plane.

It’s the thin edge of a wedge. First hand luggage, next footballers’ wives Chloe handbags in lurid shades of yellow and green, and onto those huge backpacks sported by antipodeans. The enemy cannot be allowed to defeat our right to bear bags, however hideous and invasive.

“UP YOURS,” says the front-page headline in the Star. “TWO FINGERS TO THE TERRORISTS” is the clear message. It’s always the message in times of war.

And on the point of mentioning the Dunkirk spirit, the Express spots a gaggle of six girls dressed up in spangly tiaras and scarfing bottles of booze at London’s Gatwick Airport.

They can take our hand luggage but they can never take our alcopops.

Other holidaymakers tell the paper that they will not surrender their summer holidays.

“Terrorists or no terrorists, I am having my holiday,” says Spain-bound Gabrielle Gibbs. Eden McEwan, age 6, puts on a “brave smile” and hands over her favourite teddy bear to the authorities at Heathrow Airport. Teddy (name not supplied) is shrink wrapped and ready to be detonated in a controlled explosion.

And this defiance has a celebrity face. The Star spots French footballer Djibril Cisse waiting to board a flight to New York.

“No one is making a fuss,” says Cisse, who “refused to jump the queue”.

But still not everyone can catch a flight. And in trying times the Mirror acts as a hub of information. As the paper’s headline advises: “If you can’t fly, try train, car or ferry.”

The paper equips its piece with pictures of these alternative modes of transport. And enlarging on the Mirror’s good work we’d like to add hot air balloon, racing yacht and hovercraft to the list (pictures available on request).

And through the din of defiance, the Mirror hears a “voice of reason”. It belongs to Saira Khan. She’s appeared on the reality TV show The Apprentice, and is ideally placed to offer her views on the attempted destruction of 10 passenger planes. Saira is also Muslim.

She says that living in the UK is a good thing and that she loves being British. She urges the moderate Muslim community to “wake up to the radicalisation” of their community.

They must join the democratic debate – is this the end of hang luggage? Or not?

Posted: 11th, August 2006 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink