Drawing the Line

Did you know that the city of Manchester is on the coast? No, me neither.

Drawing the Line

I just had another successful screening of Escape from Doncatraz, in what is arguably the home of the No Borders movement, Manchester.

The interesting thing about Manchester is that, even though it is, of course, inferior to Sheffield in many ways (and, in fact, smaller), the whole world knows about the place because of its international airport (Sheffield’s got Loxley’s favourite son, Robin Hood, with his name on their airport…which is really in the Doncaster area, anyway – it just doesn’t compare).

When you land at Manchester Airport and leave the plane, you walk towards customs and nowadays see a sign stating “UK BORDER.”

I find it really weird, because I always thought Manchester was inland – I mean, where’s Manchester Beach? Where’s the Port of Manchester? Where are the Manchester Docks? How have I grown up in Britain without ever learning of the fact that Manchester itself is situated on the coast?

It isn’t, of course. The whole idea behind the over-sized sign declaring the “UK border” is to reinforce the ridiculous concept that people arriving in the country are suddenly supposed to somehow feel privileged to be about to pass through customs and allowed to wander around this “green and pleasant land.”

It’s bollocks.

Let’s face it, it’s not just the media that’s obsessed with immigration; the government is too. Is airport security today so tight just because of the threat of terrorism? Not at all. The claims that people can use liquids to explode a plane over the ocean are a little ludicrous, considering that – aside from the fact that if you’re hellbent on causing chaos and terror, you will anyway, somehow, some way – angry terrorists can kill many more people, and much easier, by simply strolling into the food court in Meadowhall (known as “Meadowhell”) and truly turning the shopping experience into a living hell by pulling the chord on their backpack and blowing up not just themselves but potentially hundreds of people before discovering there are no offerings of virgins from Allah (what a bummer that must be). So what next? Security checks at the mall? Or even at the end of every high street? Or X-Ray CCTV in every city? ID cards? Computer chips? Barcodes? Where would we draw the line then?

No, the idea behind the War on Terror™ and its alerts is immigration-driven, straight and simple. Firstly, it creates a fear of dark-skinned people from different cultures, and, secondly, it provides the perfect excuse to strengthen security at airports and tighten border controls.

The bottom line is, if we really want to reduce the threat of terrorism – which can never be stopped, and can happen anytime, anywhere, anyhow – then we have to stop committing acts of terrorism in violation of international law (*cough*Iraq*cough*).

And the next time you land at Manchester Airport, tell the sour-faced staff there that they’re wrong: the border isn’t there at all; you just took a trip, you’re strolling through an inland airport, and permission isn’t appreciated, as you don’t feel particularly privileged at all – especially since the white men in suits have sufficiently wrecked the country and its economy without help from a few poor dark-skinned refugees. No, it was the tax-cutting, warmongering American president and all their greedy banker friends who caused it – and both George Bush and the bankers are spelt with a W, by the way.

With a screening free from wankers, and full of passionate, smart young people, it’s been great speaking at the University of Manchester. Now, where’s the beach party?