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If this is security theatre, it gets one star.

Trainee accountant Paul Chambers has been in court.

He landed a £1,000 fine after the snow closed Robin Hood airport near Doncaster in January as he planned a trip to see “Crazycolours,” a Northern Irish girl he had just met online, and he tweeted to his 690 followers: “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”

A week later, he was arrested at work by five police officers, questioned for eight hours, had his computers and phones seized and was subsequently charged and convicted of causing a “menace” under the Communications Act 2003.

His defence lawyer asked if John Betjeman’s famous lines about Slough –

Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn’t fit for humans now

– would have caused him to be convicted under the Communications Act 2003, had he the misfortune to live in this blighted age.

Hey, stupid cops and stupid Robin Hood airport security people. Could we not have demonstrations of insane literal-mindedness from people whose poxy airport is named after a bandit ?

15 comments to If this is security theatre, it gets one star.

  • Ian B

    I also wonder how the police could think of eight hours of questions about this non-crime. They must have been onto “what’s your favourite band?” by the end.

    Seriously, this is a clear indication of the fact that we now live in an officially insane society.

  • Ian B

    I am also reminded of a quote from my favourite essay, GK Chesterton’s “Eugenics And Other Evils”, as he lists the types of supporters of, in that case eugenics–

    “I had thought of calling the next sort of superficial people the Idealists; but I think this implies a humility towards impersonal good they hardly show; so I call them the Autocrats. They are those who give us generally to understand that every modern reform will “work” all right, because they will be there to see. Where they will be, and for how long, they do not explain very clearly. I do not mind their looking forward to numberless lives in succession; for that is the shadow of a human or divine hope. But even a theosophist does not expect to be a vast number of people at once. And these people most certainly propose to be responsible for a whole movement after it has left their hands. Each man promises to be about a thousand policemen. If you ask them how this or that will work, they will answer, “Oh, I would certainly insist on this”; or “I would never go so far as that”; as if they could return to this earth and do what no ghost has ever done quite successfully — force men to forsake their sins. Of these it is enough to say that they do not understand the nature of a law any more than the nature of a dog. If you let loose a law, it will do as a dog does. It will obey its own nature, not yours. Such sense as you have put into the law (or the dog) will be fulfilled. But you will not be able to fulfill a fragment of anything you have forgotten to put into it.

  • In so far as the bringing of this prosecution is of any public good, it is behaviour that wastes police time (and also time of the Crown Prosecution Service). This is by raising a hoax threat. But a hoax surely needs serious intent, not some limited extent of carelessness as to the extent of the competence or otherwise of law enforcement officers.

    However, it looks to me as if, assuming the newspaper report is correct, the police and CPS staff were only to keen to waste their time on something totally unimportant. They were also willing to waste the time of the court, and the court was willing to waste their own time by allowing the case to proceed.

    There is currently, so I understand, a great shortage of money for the government to pay its staff. In fact there is a substantial shortage of money throughout most of the country. Maybe the staff who did all this should be advanced up the exit queue, on very special terms:- taxpayer oriented cost reduction terms.

    Best regards

  • Dale Amon

    Just for an exercise of the imagination, if the UK were a libertarian society, or even still a *civil* society, how many crimes did the government commit in this travesty?

    This is the problem with law. Once you have enough of them, the criminals are the ones running the system and the rest of us are in a nationwide concentration camp.

  • guy herbert

    I think it is a mistake to call this prosecution ‘stupid’. What it is, is vindictive.

    They know perfectly well what they are doing. They are enforcing subordination to authority in the matter of purported security. It is essential you obey without question. If people were allowed to question security or make jokes about it, the public might realise it is all a joke.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    … people whose poxy airport is named after a bandit ?

    Well, to be fair, Mr. Hood can also be viewed as an early example of a modern politician. Lots of airports are named after politicians.

  • Roue le Jour

    A classic example of the thin edge of the wedge. You accept that you can’t make jokes about having a bomb in your luggage at the airport, that is now extended to not making such jokes anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances.

  • Roue le Jour

    Ian B, I might take issue with G.K. on that. Laws do not enforce themselves. If I might crossthread for a moment, you yourself argued exactly that point when you noted that Christians simply ignore intolerant directives in the Bible.

    To misquote Alice:

    “When I use a law,” The State said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make laws mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said The State, “which is to be master, that’s all.”

  • Derek Buxton

    Didn’t you know comedy and humour are no longer allowed in this best of all police states.

    Now I will sit and wait for the knock on the door, oops forgot it will be at 4.00am.

  • torrent download

    well, it willYou accept that you can’t make jokes about having a bomb in your luggage at the airport, that is now extended to not making such jokes anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances.

  • orwellian nightmare

    I read he lost his job because of this too, poor man. They’ve actually managed to ruin his life! Scary.

  • Nuke Gray

    What Alisa said!

  • I hope everyone, at every level responsible for this get “The Pear of Anguish”. I wanna see them beg for the mercy they shall not receive.

  • 1. Mr. Chambers is unlikely to have friends and sympathisers who will fatwa and behead the police officers, CPS officials, and Judges on this case.

    I am sure that fact is irrelevant.

    2. What happened with Crazycolours? Does she appreciate his martyrdom?