Friday, August 25, 2006

El Paradiso

As I write this there's an educated-looking Middle Eastern man sitting a few seats away on the riverbus with a large rucksack and a rather nervous air about him!

Anyway, yesterday a colleague and I disagreed about how silly some of the passengers on the Monarch flight from Malaga to Manchester were to imagine that their journey was the subject of imminent Islamic ill-intent. In my view, pretty silly.

Firstly, when you have a reservation in Paradise you generally want to get there by First Class. No point in queueing for the loo with your bomb-making materials, having to make conversation with Barry from Skegness...

Secondly, you would generally want to blow up the outbound flight in order to avoid having to spend a week in a grotty hotel in Torremolinos, where there would be little chance of finding one virgin, let alone seventy two.

Some people have little alternative but to keep their upper lips as stiff as possible. Stoicism is often a measure of powerlessness, and the powerlesss are not the most cost-effective victims (unless like the US military, you are happy for their deaths to get minimal media coverage.) Terrorists are better off targeting individuals convinced that their lives matter.

The IRA grasped this in the 70s when they started throwing bombs into crowded Knightbridge restaurants. Imagine what might have happened to the famous Blitz spirit if the Luftwaffe had decided to do the West End of London what they had done to the East End.

Of course I can yet be proved spectacularly wrong, but I don't think package holiday-makers should be trembling in their cramped airline seats.

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