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 Continue reading

Protesters this time, terrorists next time?

Yesterday, a group of environmental activists from the group Plane Stupid, with terrifying ease, gained access to a supposedly secure area of Stansted airport – Britain’s third busiest and London’s third largest – bringing its operation crashing to a halt.

Whatever the merits of the protest – and the apparently unending expansion of London’s airports, set against a background of accelerating climate change, suggests the merits were considerable – their point was made with minimal damage, and no-one was hurt, merely inconvenienced.

Consider, however, that if a group of relatively harmless protesters can gain access, while apparently, they believe, under surveillance by the authorities, then a group of terrorists could have brought death and destruction on a huge scale to Stansted.

The protesters are now in custody, and will doubtless answer for the “crimes” in court. If there’s any justice, whoever is responsible for security at Stansted – and there seems little reason to suppose security at other airports is any better – should be in deep shit, too, because somebody was asleep at the switch. BAA says that the group was spotted almost as soon as it began cutting the fence by a security guard, who contacted a nearby patrol, and the police. Even so, one group managed to do exactly what they’d set out to do, so the response seems to have been a little inadequate, though a second group was arrested before they could gain access.

The protesters were hardly inconspicuous, arriving in vans and an old fire-engine, among other vehicles, and yet nobody noticed them until it was far too late. Half a dozen armed men, with automatic weapons and bombs would have been far less conspicuous, and we should be thankful that a serious terrorist attack on an airport hasn’t happened yet (other than the Glasgow event), because if airport security is so poor, it sure as hell will happen one day.