Thursday, 15 October 2009

Oh Matron, No!!


Save for certain specific and, on the whole, private conditions I’m against it. Where, when and to whom I expose my unlovely carcass is my affair and, I feel, should be under my control. Furthermore I believe that one of the sure signs of civilised living is that there are legal and social limits and conditions on my being obliged to gaze upon other’s bodies. Save for those blokes in summertime* and rugby players, we get this right on the whole, I feel.

After all, the first thing any torturer with an eye to promotion does is to get his or her victim to strip. It’s the first thing they teach you at Guantanamo after where to find the toilets and the jump leads.

You will therefore share my surprise at the reaction to the news that a security scanner at Manchester Airport apparently shows the naked body under the clothing in order to ascertain whether there is a bomb concealed there.

Now it is not this in itself that surprises me. Nothing the current administration does in the name of security and safety surprises me these days. No, my raised eyebrows have been caused by the public response, or at least as reported by the local Metro free sheet and the Guardian on line.

The people have spoken and the people are in favour of an underpaid security officer gazing upon their nudity in order to speed up the queues, save the embarrassment of being frisked and to reduce the chances of being blown up.

Really? Can this be right? Are we prepared for these paltry reasons** to let a bored guard gaze upon that which should be reserved for the sight of our doctor and loved ones?

Apparently so.

Curiously enough the being blown up reason (a goodish if cowardly one, we’d never have beaten jerry with that kind of attitude) seems to be fairly low down the list. Convenience is higher.

Now I know we as a society are besotted with flying, but are we truly that desperate? Already we’ve accepted delays, pollution, inconvenience, a curious definition of ‘near’ in the case of Ryan Air and an extra fee if we want to sit next to our children in the case of BA. Now we are ready, nay eager, to bare all for the privilege of going to visit places whose indefinable magic has been spoiled by all the putative nudists who have flown there with us.

Ah well.

Incidentally, a massive round of applause to the anonymous poster in the Guardian who responded to the comment: I don’t care. I have a six pack and 12” with the brilliant: I think you’ll find that’s a foot

*Chadwin’s First Law of Male Clothing: No male over the age of thirteen years should be seen wearing shorts unless engaged in a legitimate sporting activity or is, in extreme cases, Austrian.

**Yes alright, being blown up is maybe not all that paltry.

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