Recently travelling from Heathrow to Ireland I was asked to step into the full body scanner. In the way we Europeans have of apologising for others’ rudeness, I faintly protested I was late and might miss my plane. My remark brought a firm rebuke and a mini lecture on security from a woman in who looked like a prison wardress. Then in what seemed a punishment for opening my mouth, on stepping out the scanner my shoes and clothes were swabbed for explosive by a man of Middle Eastern origins.
The logic of my selection was obvious. I was a white seventy five year old male carrying a copy of the Daily Telegraph and travelling on that most suspicious of travel documents, an Irish passport. Could there be any better fit for the profile of an Islamic terrorist? Meanwhile burka clad and niquab topped women accompanied by heavily bearded males clutching prayer beads streamed past in the ‘good’ lane.
Afterwards I passed two policemen fingering their Glock carbines, and glancing out to of a window remembered that once upon a time Heathrow was just a pretty English village, patrolled by a single policeman on an upright bike with nothing more dangerous about his person than a notebook and pencil.
Today Heathrow is a monument to greed, rampant consumerism and denial. Denial that if we want to continue despoiling the globe for more and more consumer toys, we have to accept open borders. To make those toys we need cheap labour.
In order to do that – and keep the peace – we must pursue the fiction that all cultures are the same, and there is no difference between the killer who destroyed so many people in Nice last night and Prime Minister John Major’s ‘Old maids bicycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist..’
On the 20th of April 1968 in a speech on uncontrolled immigration ending his parliamentary career, Enoch Powell said, ‘We must be mad, literally mad as a nation….’