Tim Minns – columnist of the year

The award-winning columnist who knows things better than anyone

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You may remember just over a fortnight ago how I carried out an undercover “sting” on a Dutch airline, smuggling on board a potentially lethal writing implement without detection. Well, in the light of this, and several other compelling pieces of evidence, the government has now taken the decision to raise the terror threat level from “substantial” to “severe”. Having played a major part in highlighting fundamental security flaws in airports, I know better than anyone the importance of this decision and the reasons why it was undertaken. What may surprise many of you is that one of those reasons was the increased threat posed by women.

It beggars belief that women could ever be involved in something so heinous, so masculine and so ultimately destructive. What next? Suicide-bombing babies? Elderly cripples with a kilo of semtex concealed in their false leg? Where will this end? How many more questions need to be asked? Three? Four? Five? Or will we never find any answers?

The other factor which played a prominent part in the government’s decision was the fear that some Al-Qaida terrorists had trained women, who may not have Arabic appearances, to carry out suicide bomb attacks. Now this presents the very real threat of white, middle class women being involved in terrorist atrocities – an idea which, until recently, would probably been laughed all the way down the boarding tunnel. I know better than anyone the threat posed by white, middle class people, having easily smuggled a dangerous item on board a Dutch aircraft at the start of this year – something which you may remember me referring to at the start of this article. Mind you, I was most probably too shrouded by the cloud from their funny cigarettes for them to have noticed. And even if they had they’d probably be too busy eating biscuits and crisps to bother apprehending me.

In all honesty, although it was the right decision to escalate the threat level, the government could have noticed this a lot sooner. If I can effortlessly smuggle a weapon on board a commercial flight, then how many others could have already done something similar? How many flights could this have conceivably occurred on? How many pens in how many pockets will it take for anyone to face up to the very real threat of white middle class terrorism?

It makes my blood run cold to think of how many potentially dangerous items have been innocently taken on board flights over the last few years. It only takes one passenger to flip, to lose a vital part of their faculty due to the altitude and perform an act so far removed from civilized society it doesn’t bear thinking about. And the fact that something like this could involve a woman is genuinely terrifying. No doubt this woman would be “in love” with one of these people, brainwashed by the alluring and hypnotic power of a highly-trained Al-Qaida “soldier”. Her moral compass would be distorted so much that she would eventually turn her back on her wealthy (and no doubt frantic) family and think nothing of indulging in an evil act hitherto completely incongruous with her background. So spellbound would she be that, to her, it would represent the greatest act of love one person could perform. By this point it would be too late and the terrorist lowlife (whom I would be more than happy to impale with a garotte spike) will have easily achieved their warped aims, and no doubt will laugh in the face of the powerless British authorities.

How low will the Al-Qaida eventually stoop? Allah only knows, but I know one thing – better than anyone, in fact – security must be STEPPED UP in order to prevent this FEAR from becoming a REALITY.

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Congratulations to Denise Van Outen and her husband Lee Meade on the birth of their first child. Knowing them both as I do, I know how wonderfully overjoyed they will be feeling right now. I know better than anyone that Denise will make a fantastic mother and I’d like to be the first to wish her, Lee and “Teapot” all the best for the future.

“Teapot”, by the way, came from when they had dinner at my place towards the end of last year. I suggested to Denise that they use an alias for their baby when it was born, because it would be fun and also it would provide a clever way to retain some privacy from the press (the other reason was that they didn’t have a proper name in mind at this point). I told her to name the first thing she saw, which in this case just happened to be a teapot. Luckily, with my help, they’ve now thought of a name. Unfortunately for you, you’ll just have to wait to find out what it is – I already know, of course…

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