In the past few hours, the following has happened:
- All UK domestic and European flights to and from London Heathrow have been cancelled for today and tomorrow, for all airlines. Some flights also cancelled to and from London Gatwick.
- All flights leaving the UK are subject to a hand luggage ban until further notice. The only items passengers are permitted to carry on board are travel documents, prescribed medication, keys (without electronic fobs!), wallets/purses, glasses/contact lens holders, babyfood, female sanitary items and tissues (so your long flight to NZ wont include a change of underwear or a book!);
- Duty free or any shopping departing from UK airports largely useless unless for pick up on return (can't take it with you);
- Milk for babies must be tested by an "accompanying passenger" (good luck if you have one, presumably your baby!);
- Shoes are all being x-rayed;
- 21 people have been arrested in the UK for plotting a terrorist attack, which apparently included letting off explosives in hand luggage on ten flights on three US airlines (American, United and Continental) flying between the UK and the USA;
- The UK terror threat rating is now at the highest "critical";
- Flights from the US to the UK facing similar measures (presumably includes Air NZ's daily flight from LA to London Heathrow).
So people flying wont have toothpaste, makeup, books, ipods, magazines, laptop, work papers, umbrellas and changes of clothes on flights. Bad luck if you're in the back of the plane flying to NZ today or tomorrow, especially in the latter parts sitting next to bored, smelly people! Great news if you are fed up with people flying with babies of course.
No doubt the mystical or atheist socialist avowedly egalitarian anti-sexist, anti-racist, peace loving, pro "human rights" apologists for sexist, stone-age, execution advocating, sexist, racist and jihad promoting Islamist terrorists will say it is "our" fault. That the dispossessed middle class of Islamist England, living in relative comfort and peace, want to commit suicide and murder men, women and children from different countries, faiths (or no faiths), backgrounds, ages, races, all because of the oppose the policies of the democratically elected governments of the UK, US, Israel and others, and because they believe their ghost says it is ok.
I await the "it's horrible, so glad the plot was thwarted BUT..." phrases, with the but saying "if only the "coalition of the willing" hadn't invaded Iraq, if only Israel had let Nasser destroy it, if only Israel tolerated the lobbing of rockets from Hamas and Hizbullah and given up land to them, if only Al Gore had won the 2000 election, if only people caught the train instead of driving (because it's all about oil and the Bush-Cheney-Blair Jewish conspiracy to take over the world and nuke the bejesus out of all the heretics).
My main comment is to be grateful that the police and Scotland Yard are working, glad that there have been no attacks since 9/11, but angry that there continues to be people in the UK organising to commit mass murder. Nothing justifies this, nothing, no "but you have to understand", or "but if only we hadn't"... you wouldn't excuse a man murdering his wife because she annoyed him, or ran up a large credit card bill, or changed churches or didn't like that her brother was fighting in Iraq... don't start to excuse this initiation of force.
Daily Telegraph quotes UK Home Secretary John Reid "We are involved in a long, wide and deep struggle against very evil people." Reid was a member of the Communist Party once, but has been quoted saying ""I used to be a Communist. I used to believe in Santa Claus". He's moved a bit!
Daily Telegraph report on delays at UK airports.
The Times on how Pakistani intelligence helped foil the plot! (Imagine if Islamists took over Pakistan - nuclear weapons in their kit!)
The Independent reports on the terrorists' moral if not financial backers, the Taliban shooting a 13yo boy and his grandmother in Afghanistan for being alleged government spies. Yes, some people think this is the same as bombing terrorists.