Ruth Dudley Edwards: Political correctness impairs airport security
We have to ignore all the hand-wringing liberals and political interference, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards
Published 10/01/2010 | 05:00
I bought an ulu in Alaska a couple of years ago. It's a sharp pocket knife with which Sarah Palin could efficiently skin a caribou or a terrorist cut the throat of a recalcitrant air steward. On return from a recent trip to Dublin, I found it nestling forgotten at the bottom of my handbag, having been undetected by both Heathrow or Dublin X-ray machines.
The people who watch the screens have a boring, repetitive job, and even if potentially dangerous items show up, they often get through. Security in airports is a con. Except in Israel, of which more later.
In the past 18 months or so I've been on 70 or more planes and been checked by security in around a dozen airports in Europe and the US. Mostly, what goes on is a complete waste of time. The explosive powder concealed in the underpants of the Nigerian wannabe bomber was undetectable by X-ray, as would have been the syringe with the nasty liquid. (No one has ever spotted the adrenaline syringe I carry to ward off anaphylactic shock from wasp-stings.)