Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tourist attraction or terrorist deterrent?

I was hanging around outside Luton Airport on Monday on the way back from visiting Perry, Marguerita (Prakatan!) and Mathew, smoking a ciggie, when I was treated to a fine display of airport security.

Two coppers touting large machine pistols were standing outside, presumably guarding the entrance, when a tourist came up and asked if he could have his picture taken with them.

For the next five minutes the police were fully engaged in posing with their guns as the tourist's pal attempted to work out how to operate the camera.

I tried my best to look suspicious - reaching ominously into my inside jacket pocket for a potentially hidden gun (all right, it was a lighter) - to see if they would break off from their jolly little chat, but to no avail.

Osama Bin Laden could have wheeled in a nuclear bomb on a shopping trolley for all the attention they were paying to the airport entrance.

Now, I'm not a fan of a huge armed police presence, but if they're going to be there they should perhaps at least do their jobs.

I believe we should replace all our cops with machine gun posts, set to fire at any kind of movement. Clearly this might cut down on airport traffic somwehat, but at least they wouldn't be inclined toward grinning inanely at tourists' cameras.

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