Monday, May 18, 2009

Papieren, bitte! Schnell!

For the first time in my life a government official recently stopped me at a passport checking booth and made me stand aside.

My state passport was then taken away to an office to be examined within.

Ten minutes later, my state passport was then returned, after about another twenty people had been 'processed' past me, all of them looking at me with a mixture of empathy mixed with a feeling of wondering whether I was a terrorist, an illegal immigrant, or a criminal.

No explanation. No apology. No, "I hope we haven't caused you any inconvenience, sir". Nothing. Just a, "you can go through now" dismissal and a call of "next!".

Despite knowing that I had done absolutely nothing wrong and that I was carrying nothing that could in any way be questioned, I was surprised by the amount of adrenaline that was pumping through my veins before I was finally allowed through the passport barrier.

With the amazingly draconian 'terrorist' laws that are now routinely used on people who fail to fill their garbage bins 'correctly', the stupidly imaginative things that can run around your mind in an international airport, surrounded by armed police and mirrored windows, is quite amazing, if you are left to stew long enough.

It is at this kind of point that you realise just how small you are compared to a state, which is supposed to be there to be your servant and which you are forced to pay for, for your own good, and just how fragile your grip on your own life could become if some petty official decided to enjoy themselves by making life unpleasant for you, for "looking at them in a funny way".

Even if, in their own terms, you have done nothing wrong.

I got just a tiny taste of what it must be like in a full-on police state, when the door gets knocked at 3am in the morning.

I also wondered whether the authorities in question are deliberately holding up passport queues in order to smooth the introduction of biometric passports. But that would be a foul and reprehensible thing, wouldn't it, for a government to deliberately cause inconvenience to its citizens to get them to go along with a government policy few of them want?

Oh what a joy it must have been, pre-1914, for an Englishman to have sailed around the world without a passport, an invention which was necessitated by the creation of the modern welfare-warfare state.

We should get back to those times as quickly as possible. That is why I particularly like Michael S. Rozeff's 'Airport Freedom Day', in his brilliant new article.


Matt said...

Jack I'm sure you've seen this but

your good friend Ambrose plays out the Chinese economy as unsustainable without the US and even claims the US has the means to rebuild its manufacturing base in the midst of all this!

there is some mention of the chinese consumer, but this idea is seen as some far-off distant future scenario......


Jack Maturin said...

Thanks Matt.

I'm beginning to read less and less of the Torygraph, due to its continuing descent into socialism, and its censoring of inconvenient comments, but I think this article needs a bit more examination...

Tom H said...

I thought it was just me...

Last week there were four comments in a row that weren't posted on the DT website. They used to post everything - however revolutionary.

One rejected comment was highlighting Cameron's mortgage interest claims, another was highlighting Ron Paul's refusal of a Congressional pension.

Or maybe the moderators are just sick of me. I do bang the drum for Ron Paul at every possible opportunity, however tangential to the content of the article :D

Jack Maturin said...

Censoring is so short-sighted, unless it's for swearing or other uncivilised behaviour.

So long as the comment is intelligent, civilised, and falls within the censorship laws of whichever odious mafia body is able to regulate your web site, it should be published, no matter how unpalatable, if you want to keep your online readership up.

If you censor for reasons of un-political correctness, you will soon lose any vitality, and hence any attractiveness to eyeballs and advertisers. The market will make them pay (though of course I do believe it is entirely within their right to publish whatever they want.)

All the Labourgraph will find is that their online readership will decline as well as their 'hard paper' readership.

So it's their loss.

That, and I really can't still believe that they pay that appalling Mary Riddell to write Labour puff pieces for them.

At first I thought it was a joke, but she's still there. What's that all about? Has she got photographs of the Barclay Brothers in uncompromising positions?

After my third comment failed to get through recently, I've just given up. What's the point wasting valuable time reading their articles if they won't allow you to respond?

It's a shame though. I used to enjoy having fun with Conway's idiocy.

I suppose in a way it's a good thing.

If the vitality, the advertisers, and the eyeballs move away from the Labourgraph, and towards more tolerant places, such as Order-Order, then we have done our job in helping to shut down or at least mitigate the power of the propaganda coming out of the Labourgraph.

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