We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Irony

This blog has reported repeatedly on the Paul Chambers case. Quickly, Mr Chambers was convicted of a criminal offence for stating on Twitter that he would “blow (Robin Hood airport) sky high” if it did not reopen soon after bad weather, because he wished to catch a flight in order to see his girlfriend. This was an obvious joke, and was understood as such by absolutely everyone, but he was convicted anyway, lost two jobs as a consequence etc etc, before being finally cleared on appeal to the High Court.

News out today. Slightly before this incident, members of the same security staff at that same Robin Hood airport in South Yorkshire came close to actually blowing the airport sky high. They did this through utter incompetence, by insisting on opening and inspecting a shipment of anti-tank ammunition that had been flown into the airport, despite having no expertise or understanding of how to properly do so.

Guess what? The security staff in question were not convicted of anything. In fact, by law they cannot be prosecuted in such circumstances. Funny, that.

16 comments to Irony

  • the other rob

    There seems to be something about airports, perhaps a miasma of some description, that causes egregious irrationality in those who work there.

    I’m surprised that the ‘elf ‘n safety mob haven’t quarantined them all.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    The ‘elf ‘n safety mob stick by their own folk. The quarantining is necessary for the dangerous sort of person who boards a plane while in possession of an Action Man figure with a three-inch toy gun as a present for their kid.

  • Gareth

    Coming so soon after a breach of reason, let alone health and safety regulations, that involved a slim chance of blowing people up perhaps the incident with the ammunition explains their touchy nature over the tweet.

    That wouldn’t explain how it progressed all the way to conviction though.

  • llamas

    I’m minded of reported incidents at US airports of TSA/security muppets checked the security of parked aircraft by climbing onto the aircraft, using flight instrument heads as hand- and foot-holds.

    http://pamablog.typepad.com/pama/2008/08/american-eagle.html

    It almost goes without saying that the owner of the aircraft was threatened with fines and sanctions for (allegedly) allowing his aircraft to be parked in an insecure state, while the TSA emplyee who endangered the lives of the passengers in 9 different aircraft by using the flight instruments as monkey-bars was described as ‘doing his job’ and suffered no penalties whatsoever. Apparently, bovine stupidity is a job requirement for aviation ‘security’ work the world over.

    To the instant case – amazing as it sounds that these ‘security’ cretins actually took it upon themselves to start unpacking artillery ammunition, there is a deeper question, which is – Why? What did they expect to find, or learn, by doing this? I could understand them putting the cargo in a safer place, or holding it while further inquiries were made, but what earthly reason could there be for actually unpacking it?

    llater,

    llamas

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    what earthly reason could there be for actually unpacking it?

    Wow! Anti-tank ammo, never seen one of these before. Let’s have a play!

    I’m told that people who have cool cars are continually stopped by the police even if they are driving very sedately for the same reason.

  • Paul Marks

    No freedom of speech (although even the authorities think the present situation is insane and are promising some reform), crooked laws on negligence, and (today) the government borrowing figures are (YET AGAIN) “unexpectedly” high.

    This country is in for very bad times.

  • what earthly reason could there be for actually unpacking it?

    Looking for explosives?

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    I could understand them putting the cargo in a safer place, or holding it while further inquiries were made, but what earthly reason could there be for actually unpacking it?

    Maybe they thought they were hiding illegal high explosives in amongst their legal high explosives.

    Smugglers can be tricky like that…..

  • A cowardly citizen

    “To the instant case – amazing as it sounds that these ‘security’ cretins actually took it upon themselves to start unpacking artillery ammunition, there is a deeper question, which is – Why? What did they expect to find, or learn, by doing this? I could understand them putting the cargo in a safer place, or holding it while further inquiries were made, but what earthly reason could there be for actually unpacking it?”

    Because they were looking for explosives which would be confiscated. Duh!

  • llamas

    But this was not some smuggling activity – this ammunition was being legally transported, with all the right paperwork.

    Even if you allow for the possibility of this actually being some weird movie-plot threat where they were actually shipping something illegal disguised as artillery ammunition (I can’t believe I just typed that, it’s so absurd), how in the world could it possibly make sense to start unpacking the stuff?

    Let’s say you suspect that they are actually trying to run in cocaine hidden inside artillery shells – you’d better be close to 100% certain that what you’re going to start unpacking is not artillery shells. What if you’re wrong? Would you stake your life on it?

    I strongly suspect that what actually happened here was that they just couldn’t help themselves. Anti-tank shells? This, I gotta see! And they’re too dumb to figure out that messing with anti-tank shells can get a lot of people awfully dead if you don’t know what they’re doing.

    Drunk with power. And, to paraphrase Dean Wormer, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    I wasn’t being serious llamas ;-)

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Maybe they thought they were hiding illegal high explosives in amongst their legal high explosives.

    You know, that could be quite clever. A good plot for a novel, at least. I did once read a thriller in which hemp-drugs was being smuggled inside hemp-rope.

  • the other rob

    llamas wrote:

    Drunk with power. And, to paraphrase Dean Wormer, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.

    It’s the miasma, I tells ya’!

  • Mark Brentano

    Take a deep breath and think for a moment. In the current climate of [probably false] hysteria about the Islamic boogie man, all threats should be taken seriously by our assiduous public sector police-people. Now that the rubber-hat-wearing imbecile has been made an example of, it may stop other lollipop merchants wasting police time [for what that is actually worth]. Why should the tax-payer indulge poor-quality humour anyway? Plus, and as I saw written by a young man on a comment site recently, Twitter is, lahk, sooooo gay. Twitter is to blogging what Etch-a-Sketch is to Rembrandt.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Why is this country importing anti-tank ammunition anyway? Don’t we make it ourselves?

  • OK
    Hello little girl, what would like Father Xmas to bring you this year?

    Start ‘em young

    READ THE FEEDBACK