Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Better just go back to profiling

If this happened in the United States, you could predict a big fat punitive damage settlement.
A mobile phone salesman was hauled off a plane and questioned for three hours as a terror suspect - because he listened to songs by The Clash and Led Zeppelin.

Harraj Mann, 24, played the punk anthem "London Calling" and classic rock track, "Immigrant Song" in a taxi before a flight to London.

The lyrics to both tracks made the driver fear his passenger was a terrorist.

Mann had started his four-song set in the cab ride with Procul Harum's "White Shade of Pale," which the cabbie liked, and ended it with "Nowhere Man" by the Beatles, all choices based on an assumption (false, as it turns out) that the driver liked oldies. Once again proven true, no good deed goes unpunished. There is no mention of whether the cabbie appreciated or was frightened by "Nowhere Man".

The words of the Clash track begin: "London calling to the faraway towns, now war is declared and battle come down." And Led Zep's Immigrant Song goes: "The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands, to fight the horde, singing and crying: Valhalla, I am coming!"

Mr Mann, of Hartlepool, Teesside, had boarded the plane at Durham Tees Valley Airport when the flight to Heathrow was stopped and he was arrested by police.

He said he was told he was being questioned under the Terrorism Act and his choice of music had aroused suspicions.

Unless Mr. Mann is prepared to plug in Petula Clark or Barry Manilow, maybe he'd better just use his headphones and make the cabbie work a little harder at reading his mind.


At 12:05 PM, Blogger AWG said...

Good thing he didn't play another track off the "London Calling" album called "Clampdown." That would've resulted in this poor lad being shipped off to Gitmo lickety-split. There's no more freedom in merry ol' England. The sun has set.


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