Ian Payne is Leading Britain's Conversation.
26 March 2017, 02:08
The British government has followed the Americans by banning laptops and Kindles and all that shiny electronica that people use to make time on a flight go faster.
From now on, you are no longer allowed your favourite screen-based waste of time in the passenger compartments of planes coming from some carefully selected Muslim countries.
People on carriers like BA, Egyptair and EasyJet are going to have to put their amusements and work tools in the hold.
This makes perfect sense because if some swivel-eyed terrorist nutcase wanted to plant a bomb in a laptop and it exploded in the hold, the hole that it would blow in the plane would only affect the luggage section which would disengage from the passenger compartment and all the people upstairs would continue on to their intended destination unscathed.
Of course, that's a fantasy - it doesn't matter where the bomb goes off in a plane, the whole thing is going to split into a million bits and rain fire and sachets of complimentary peanuts all over whatever is underneath.
What's the point of telling terrorists that bombs are no longer acceptable as carry-on luggage, they're going to have to put them in their suitcase with their pants and socks?
The government has decreed that no-one flying in from Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia can watch La La Land on their lap top, they're going to have to put up with whatever Adam Sandler film the airline dishes up.
Unfortunately, terrorists are crazy, they're not stupid.
If you were in Turkey and you wanted to blow up a plane going to New York and you weren't allowed to take your bomb in your carry-on bag, and you absolutely totally and definitely wanted to press the switch to blow it up, you'd just cross the border and fly from Georgia instead.
Apparently flights from there are fine. You can take what you like on board a plane from Georgia. There's chickens and goats running up and down the aisle on flights from Georgia.
The authorities say it is all about security. The British government takes security very seriously. They always say that when it suits them doing something daft or intrusive, but you can be pretty sure that if the security services have found out about some threat from an exploding iPad, the crazies that want to blow stuff up will have moved onto something else.
A while ago it was exploding underpants. You might remember that bloke was able to sail through security with TNT in his pantaloonies, and he got through probably because even if there had been a credible threat, no one wanted to look there.
Security experts who examined them after he tried but failed to light the fuse in his Y-fronts said that he'd been wearing them for two weeks straight and the explosive had become what they called "degraded".
I'm feeling degraded just thinking about it.
Then you will recall that fellow with the exploding sandals who just waltzed trough security despite the fact that he was about 8 feet tall, had a giant bushel of pubes on his head and looked so mad that you could have seen his crazy from space.
Richard Reid the shoe bomber actually tried to light the fuse in his boots with a match and the stewardess told him he couldn't smoke on the plane.
He couldn't light it because his feet had been sweating so much he wet the fuse. Everyone else wet themselves laughing.
So now we have to take our shoes off and go through a scanner that takes a picture of our genitals and shares them on Facebook for all we know, and we can't take over 100ml of liquid on a plane, not because you can't blow up a plane with such a small amount but just because the authorities want to be seen to be doing something, and now this.
It is almost as though the romance has gone from flying!
Of course, our British government was just following on from what the Screaming MeMe in the Whitehouse had done and banned electronic devices bigger than a phone from the passenger pod.
Theresa May presumably did this to further ingratiate herself with that orange golfing galumph in Washington in the hope that he will forget we are spying on him through a camera in his microwave and to avoid him slamming the phone down on us like he did Australia.