Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Police State

Until the Glazers took over at Old Trafford in 2005 I used to travel with my Dad, who was also a season ticket holder, to watch United in Europe on average about 2 or 3 times a season. Good fun and we spent a day or two in some great cities sightseeing and watching football with friends who were also on the trips. Since then we have had one foreign jaunt watching FC United of Manchester in Leipzig in 2006. Withdrawal symptoms have set in.

This week we were mulling over possibility of a sporting away trip when a weekend in the USA to watch our first ever baseball game came up as a possibility. But, considering the oppressive security measures now operating at US airports, that thought was knocked on the head, if I behave criminally then treat me like a criminal, until then no thank you.

So instead we are off to Oslo to watch a Norwegian championship game between Lyn Oslo and the quaintly named HamKam, otherwise known as Hamerkameratane, not a name that lends itself easily to pithy chants from the terrace songsters of Hamer, the club's hometown. At least going from Liverpool to Oslo we only have to show passports, and will be outside the EU for a few days which is a nice bonus.

However, this article by Nigel Rumfitt QC highlights a worrying development at Heathrow's Terminal 5. Here the Spanish owned British Airports Authority, and British Airways, are fingerprinting all passengers on domestic flights claiming it to be a government requirement. When challenged on this, as ever, the standard response is that by agreeing to use the facility you are "consenting" to being fingerprinted therefore there is no compulsion. How long before our airport security, for domestic and foreign flights, becomes as oppressive as US security currently is?

Yet another step in the direction of a full blown police state. Support for No2ID is now more vital than ever.

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