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Airport fascists collar three jokers in just a week.

By johnboy 25 April 2005 28

ABC Online has an interesting story on the numbers of people being charged for making jokes at the airport.

the Queenslander became the third person in a week facing court on a charge that could attract a fine of up to $5,000.

While joking around with security types isn’t the smartest move in the world, I do wonder what benefit we’re getting as a society for charging these people who are doing no harm?

A few weeks ago travelling to Sydney on business (so I was wearing a suit) I got pulled aside for residue scanning. The guard was being reasonably pleasant and then as he scanned my lapels he semi-joked “this is just looking for any residues if you were making bombs”

I started to semi joke back “Assuming of course I was making bombs in my suit”

I got as far as “making” when I realised from his body language I was about to get in a world of trouble.

It seems to me that it’s pretty easy to get in trouble under this regime.

What’s Your opinion?

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28 Responses to
Airport fascists collar three jokers in just a week.
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vg 12:30 am 29 Apr 05

They don’t ask if you have a bomb. They ask if you have any dangerous goods with you. The tools take it that bit further

Geoffco 11:26 pm 28 Apr 05

Virgin Blue have signs on all the checkin desks at every airport I’ve been to recently (Canberra, Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne & Adelaide). They say something along the lines of: “We take jokes about security very seriously. Heavy fines apply”.

The only time I’ve had the vacuum cleaner type explosives test done, I was handed an A4 sheet of paper explaining what was going to happen, why and what would happen if I refused.

It’s dumb that they ask, and it’s dumb when people are smart about it.

ans 7:47 pm 28 Apr 05

But why do they ask if you have a bomb anyway? Because anyone, ever, who has one has said yes? Surely saying yes is equivalent to saying “so I’m a bit of a tool, but obviously I don’t have a bomb”, whereas you say no and leave yourself wide open… although I think I’m using some of the legal argument from the Corby prosecution here…

LurkerGal 12:30 pm 28 Apr 05

I would! But then I’m like that…… Besides, if they are that stupid, it’s really doing the world a favour…..

johnboy 7:21 pm 27 Apr 05

VG and LG: will you make sure we get pictures of your S&M extravaganza?

SpecialG: If you saw a person about to put a spinning drill up their nose would you just sit back and watch?

I don’t think you would.

vg 6:08 pm 27 Apr 05

Its a deal

LurkerGal 3:41 pm 27 Apr 05

Hey VG, who would have thought we’d have a future together? I’d do that job with you quite happily.

vg 3:38 pm 27 Apr 05

I volunteer for the postion of public thrasher. can i wear a black hood and jodhpurs?

bonfire 1:56 pm 27 Apr 05

instaead of fining them, we could just administer a public thrashing. or put them in stocks in garema place.

RandomGit 12:10 pm 27 Apr 05

A sign saying ‘Don’t stick a power drill up your nose’ is indeed a useless thing.

A sign saying ‘Don’t be Australian’ on Australian soil is very useful. By now we netizens all know via these anecdotes that we shouldn’t say such things in these situations. But we are a small proportion of the population.

Special G 8:29 am 27 Apr 05

I think Lg and VG have got this one right. Most people are mature enough to hold thier smart arsed comments and use them appropriately. As for signs warning people they are about as good as warnings for things like; don’t scratch your nose with a power drill.
Maybe there should be a stupidity fine.


johnboy 7:19 pm 26 Apr 05

If we were to give security forces “everything they need” we’d allow sodium pentathol injections in interrogations.

We’d allow unlimited searches, interceptions, and seizures.

We’d catch a hell of a lot more “bad guys”

But you might want to consider that the countries that do give their security forces (they cease to be police long before that) that kind of latitude tend to have more terrorism not less

(i’m thinking of russia and china where things go boom quite often, to say nothing of any number of third world crap-holes)

I think two things would sort this out.

One is that people should be cautioned in advance if the next words out of their mouth could lead them to have a criminal conviction.

Secondly security screening should be BEFORE check in so that any scare has no impact on other travellers.

But frankly (and somewhat offtopic I grant you) this airport security malarkey has more to do with making people think “something is being done” rather than genuine safety. They’re not catching glass or ceramic edges, and they’re not catching binary explosives.

vg 5:13 pm 26 Apr 05

LG, got it in one

LurkerGal 4:53 pm 26 Apr 05

Agreed. Given the nervousness of the Security Guards at airports these days, why not just shut up rather than aggravating them???? In other words, be a bloody grown up.

vg 4:28 pm 26 Apr 05

Ummm, not sure if that was actually in English but the operating factor here is the enormous inconvenience and delay caused to non smart- arses by the smart arses.

A couple of well placed fines may cause a smart arse to shut their mouth and answer as a normal person would. Its quite simple really, answer the appropriate question with a ‘no’ and you are on your way.

As for signs adverting that such comments are ill advised? I’d suggest 99.9% of mature adults would realise that without them

3:24 pm 26 Apr 05

for all you wet blankets that think responsible behaviour must now be enforced by law, fines, and what..mandatory sentencing? do try to remember that the operant fact here is the having or not having bombs and their bits. Also the detection of such by security, which as you do recognise, is their role. Not sure what import the comments of the passengers plays –
S “do u have any bombs?”
P ” ah, no, were just going to use stanley knives and see how things go”
smartasses dont blow people up, ass’oles do

2:08 pm 26 Apr 05

Thanks for all the info about weaknesses in Australian airport security: your advice will be very useful to my friends.

May Allah bless you all.

Ahmed Mohammed Yousef.

LurkerGal 1:56 pm 26 Apr 05

And a friend of mine took a full magazine (that’s wot holds the bullets, for the unitiated) through a metal detector at the Perth Airport and the machine DID NOT GO OFF!!!! (don’t try this at home kiddies – he wasn’t a passenger, he works there and was “testing out an idea”.

Meanwhile, the bloody 25 grams of metal I have in my heart sets it off every bloody time! Wierd.

bonfire 12:34 pm 26 Apr 05

im not sure how accurate these machines are.

last may after i’d been firing SMG’s all day my luggage (with the clothes id been wearing) managed to get through nashville airports enhanced security for Bush’s visit.

on the idiots who have been fined. im glad they have. what if they said they had bombs, the security guy laughed, checked him in and kaboom.

RandomGit 7:45 am 26 Apr 05

That security guard was fishing you.

That merely brushing past someone who has been making bombs is enough to get a positive set of ions on you is concern enough. They also pick up on any barbituates.

Where are the warning signs not to make these sorts of jokes, given that these rules do not apply in everyday life outside an airport? That I would rely on an anecdote like this to be aware of such policies is the real joke.

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