Monday, March 21, 2005

News from the North

Ever since I posted News from Aberdeen I've felt a little bit guilty. I often read The Press and Journal newspaper and I probably did them a slight injustice in that post.

Today, I read a story in the paper about Raj Jandoo, Scotland's first Asian advocate. It is entitled Government blamed for creating fear of ethnic minorities. The story is also reported in the Scoland on Sunday. Mr Jandoo has been found guilty of breach of the peace and acting in a manner likely to endanger the flight from Edinburgh to Stornoway. He was fined £2,500 and it is likely that his career has been ruined. According to both reports this is a result of these actions:
He said "These bloody repressed people up here, they think I am a terrorist going to bomb their plane" when speaking on his phone before the plane took off.
He said "I hope we have no problems with bombs today, eh?" to an air stewardess while on the flight.
He rummaged in an overhead locker after the seatbelt sign had been illuminated as the plane prepared to land.

I don't think any of these actions were a good idea, but to fine Mr Jandoo £2,500 hardly seems like a proportionate reaction from the courts. I'd have to say that the "war on terror" is to blame yet again. Common sense appears to have been abandoned in favour of reactionary hysteria.

A final point. A relative of mine, white like me, travels by plane every weekend and often rummages in the overhead lockers when he should be sitting down. Normally, nothing happens. Occassionally, a steward tells him to sit down. He's never been arrested for endangering his flight though.

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