Protesters 1 – MI5 0

While I have no objection to anyone tossing green custard over Peter  “Lord of Convenience” Mandelson, I have to ask – where the hell was his security?

That the perpetrator, Leila Deen, a leading light with the environmental activist group Plane Stupid, could just walk up, throw the custard then walk away unhindered, to give interviews to the press, simply beggars belief. Whether you think embarrassing Mandelson in this way was a good idea or not is immaterial – it should not have been allowed to happen. This was a security lapse of massive proportions.

Mandelson doubtless  has a sizeable crop of enemies from his days as Northern Ireland Secretary, and his support for the third runway at Heathrow has made him few friends among environmentalists, not to mention the fact that senior politicians are potential terrorist targets these days. Nobody should have been allowed just to walk up and throw what so very easily could have been acid, or a biological agent and, having done so, she sure as hell shouldn’t have been permitted to just wander off again.

Yes, in an ideal world, politicians should be able to wander at large unprotected by armed police or Security Service goons, but not any longer. The fact that Mandelson probably hasn’t personally pissed off any Islamist fascists matters little – as a representative of the British government he’s still a prime target.

You can be sure that the events of yesterday didn’t go unnoticed by those who would do this country harm in the name of Islam (while at the same time being content to live here, as has been amply demonstrated in the past), and if MI5, who presumably dropped the ball with Mandelson, today, don’t sharpen up their act. Next time it may not be custard.

Here’s a thought, though. Deen is white and reasonably attractive – as far as anyone can tell from the few, poor-quality, pics online – would anyone who is brown-skinned have been allowed to get that close, I wonder? If the answer is “No” then there is something seriously wrong with our security services. The idea that someone might be viewed as harmless because they don’t meet some stereotype or other is pretty scary. And while the reverse is also true it doesn’t usually, unless you’re Brazilian, result in anyone dying. So far.