UK Air Travel Recreates 1984

The irony is that I was discussing Shaving and Carry-on not that long ago - it turned out then that I was being over-cautious - but it now seems I was being naïve. It turns out that the UK government thinks that we should be forbidden from carrying pretty much anything on planes because of a ‘critical’ threat (Bruce Schneier has written about the stupidity of these threat levels before). All I can say is, don’t believe everything you are told. When we can hold the government accountable because they actually give us some concrete information, that might change things, but I don’t think we should expect that any time soon. This is why I’m a libertarian.

Update 10:21: One of the links above goes to a downloadable copy of the BBC documentary ‘The Power of Nightmares’ on It looks like the site is currently overloaded, but it’s well worth watching when it comes back online.

Update 13:59: The link now seems to be working again.


[...] For anyone who hasn’t heard, there are new EU-wide regulations on hand baggage - which have the effect of slightly relaxing the rules that were in place at UK airports (although there are still plenty of awkward gotchas). The implication of this, of course, is that either the original terrorist threat has subsided (although it would be nice for the security ’services’ to explain why), or that they panicked and couldn’t handle the situation they suddenly found themselves in. Either way, I suspect the next knee-jerk reaction isn’t far off. In the meantime, maybe this will reduce the number of annoyed executives having to check in an overnight bag. Incidentally, any particular reason we can’t have a free market here? I’d happily pay less for less ’security’. [...]