The moment when those Government policies championed by the cheaper end of the Fourth Estate come back to bite their hacks and pundits can be a thing of unbridled joy, especially when you’ve already suffered their effects yourself. So it was when deeply unpleasant former Sun editor Kelvin McFilth discovered that spending cuts and securing the country’s borders were two policies that did not just affect the little people.
Those of you who use smaller airports like Liverpool as their gateway to southern Europe will already know what happens if you disembark from an inbound EasyJet or Ryanair flight and find another plane-load has got to passport control before you - it means queuing. And if you’re at the back of a queue equivalent to two A320 or 737 loads’ worth, it can mean 30 minutes or more of shuffling around. Cutbacks in Border Security Officers.
You got that - a one hour hop from Paris, plus half an hour standing around because we’ve got to have Secure Borders - and spending cuts. Because papers like the Super Soaraway Currant Bun say we should, and keep bullying politicians into doing their bidding. When you’re passing through Paris CdG, Madrid or Lisbon Airport, and the Schengen area passengers just walk on and off their flights, you have to queue. Because the Sun says so.
So reading Kel’s whinge this morning was doubly satisfying. And he wasn’t even one of those doing the queuing: “THE Virgin flight from New York lands at Heathrow at 7.37am carrying my relatives who are staying for Christmas. They finally came into the arrivals area at 9.46am – two hours and nine minutes later. Is this a record?” Do go on.
“The delay was caused by a huge queue at UK Borders where a number of the passport booths were unmanned. Surely it won’t come as a surprise to the chaps drawing up the rota that planes are coming in at certain times or how many passengers are on the plane so they can staff up accordingly”. Hello Kel! What do you think they do, magic up extra Border Security Officers? They have a finite number of staff, and that number has been cut back by Government - at the urging of your sodding paper.
Never mind, though, Kel has an answer: “But isn’t the answer just to fill the hall with hundreds of hi-tech passport readers then the whole thing will take five minutes?” Very good Kel. So who do you expect is going to pay for that? Did you not notice that other European airports have installed those passport readers? Did you not think that they might not have listened to the Sun, and failed to cut public spending?
Kelvin McFilth isn’t interested in such details. Instead, he Wibbles “You don’t think UK Border has done a commercial deal with Costa Coffee to be paid for every cup we buy while waiting endlessly for friends and family?” No Kel, I don’t. But I do think that allowing gobshites like you to dictate Government spending priorities is A Very Bad Thing.
Fortunately, not even Sun pundits with offices on the 13th floor of the Baby Shard bunker are immune to the effects of their cheerleading. And another word in your shell-like, Kel: the queues to get through immigration at airports in the USA is usually worse. But as the Sun’s boss is a US citizen, we won’t be seeing any complaints about that.
Kelvin McFilth - too stupid to see the consequence of his cheerleading. What a clown.