Fireman Sam Creator Detained at Airport for Veil Comment at Security Gate

Jason Lewis, Telegraph (London), February 26, 2012

As David Jones arrived at the security gates at Gatwick airport, he was looking forward to getting through swiftly so he could enjoy lunch with his daughters before their flight.

Placing his belongings, including a scarf, into a tray to pass through the X-ray scanner he spotted a Muslim woman in hijab pass through the area without showing her face.

In a light-hearted aside to a security official who had been assisting him, he said: “If I was wearing this scarf over my face, I wonder what would happen.”

The quip proved to be a mistake. After passing through the gates, he was confronted by staff and accused of racism.

As his daughters, who had passed through security, waited in the departure lounge wondering where he was, he was subjected to a one hour stand-off as officials tried to force him to apologise.

Mr Jones, 67, who is the creator of the popular children’s character Fireman Sam, said: “Something like George Orwell’s 1984 now seems to have arrived in Gatwick airport.

“I feel that my rights as an individual have been violated. What I underwent amounts to intimidation and detention. I was humiliated and degraded in full public view.

“I am a 67-year-old pensioner and have lived my life within the law. I do not have even one point on my driving licence.”

He said that when he made his initial remark the security guard had appeared to agree with him, saying: “I know what you mean, but we have our rules, and you aren’t allowed to say that.”

As he went through the metal detecting arch, his artificial hip set off the alarm, prompting a full search from a guard. It was after this, and as he prepared to rejoin his two grown-up daughters, that he was confronted by another guard who said he was being detained because he had made an offensive remark.

“I repeated to her what I had said and told her that I had said nothing racist,” he said. “She took my passport and boarding pass and I was then escorted back through the security zone into the outer area. Here the female security guard proceeded to question me further, inferring many things that I had not said.

“It was impossible to get her to listen to reason. We were then joined by a second female security guard who stated that she was Muslim and was deeply distressed by my comment.

“I again stated that I had not made a racist remark but purely an observation that we were in a maximum security situation being searched thoroughly whilst a woman with her face covered walked through. I made no reference to race or religion. I did not swear or raise my voice.”

According to Mr Jones, who was due to board a British Airways flight to Portugal, where he now lives and runs a restaurant on the Algarve, the British Airways duty manager was then called in and sided with the security staff.

He continued: “I had now been detained for some time and my daughters were worried, calling me on my phone asking what was happening. We were going around in circles. I maintained that I had said nothing offensive and the security guard was continuing to accuse me. This had taken about 15-20 minutes and looked as though it was not going to be resolved.

“I asked the security guard if she was going to charge me to which she said no but I could not leave until I had apologised to the Muslim guard.

“At this point I asked for the attendance of a police officer. After some time he arrived but it was also plainly evident that he was keeping to the politically correct code. I told him that if there was a case then he should arrest me.

“I was told that we now live in a different time and some things are not to be said. They decided again that I would only be allowed to continue on my journey if I were to apologise to the Muslim guard. My reply was that as I had not made a racist remark it would be impossible for me to apologise.”

Mr Jones, a former member of the Household Cavalry and retired fireman, added: “I felt that I made a logical observation. That while everyone was being subjected to an invasive search it was illogical that someone should be let through with their face covered. I am not opposed to having this level of security but it must be equal for all.”

Eventually, Mr Jones said, the BA manager suggested that he should agree that what he had said “could” be considered offensive by a Muslim guard.

With his flight departure time now fast approaching Mr Jones agreed to the compromise. Escorted by the police officer, he was taken through security where he was again subjected to a full search after his hip replacement set off the metal detector alarms.

Mr Jones said he intended to complain formally to the Gatwick airport authorities and British Airways about the incident last Sunday.

Department for Transport rules do not prevent people covering their faces at UK airports for religious reasons.

However, all passengers must show their faces to UK Borders officials when they pass through passport control. Muslim women who wear hijabs can request that their identity is checked by a female immigration officer and they can also ask that they be taken to a private room before they remove their head wear.

A spokesman for Gatwick airport said: “The security team are examining the incident to ensure that the issue was managed in the right way.

“They are talking to the people involved to understand what the issue was and how it came to have the police involved.”

David Jones

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  • Hirschibold

    Racism may be tasteless, immoral, or ignorant, but unless it trips a metal detector, I fail to understand why one can be detained for the “crime” of racism.

    • The_Bobster

      I fail to see how it can be “tasteless, immoral or ignorant”.

      Here’s someone arrested for the “crime”. I’d be sympathetic to his case, but he seems to be a bit of an ass.,0,4368181.story

      • Hirschibold

        Taste is completely subjective. I didn’t say it was any of the three adjectives. I left the door open because arguably it could be, based on one’s orientation. The Law, however, is (or should be) cut and dry. My point was that no crime was committed here.

    • Alexandra1973

      How’s it racism when Islam is a religion?

      Yeah, we’re seeing 1984 all right.  Thoughtcrime, Thought Police….

      • StivD

        Europe already seems to be working on post-1984. Whatever that may be.

      • Hirschibold

         Gee, I don’t mean to conflate concepts, but aside from outliers, you don’t seem to notice that a certain complexion usually comes with being a muslim?

        • Natassia

          Lots of Muslims are white. Arabs are considered to be white, remember?

          • Hirschibold

             Arabs are white? According to whose standard? I spent time in the Middle-East and they were, for the most part, brown.

          • Natassia

            When I spend a summer in the sun, I turn brown too.

            Ask the Census people if Arabs are considered to be “white.”

        • Alexandra1973

          I’m sure there are Anglo Muslims, just like there are black Muslims.  It just so happens that most of Islam’s adherents are of Arabic origin, is all. 

    • Natassia

      As Alexandra pointed out, Islam is not a race.

      I fail to understand why “security” is so blasted stupid.

      • Hirschibold

         Islam is not a “race.” Muslims are disproportionately of Middle-Eastern decent. To pretend there is no correlation between being a Muslim and looking a certain way is foolish. I understand there are exceptions (John Walker Lind, Dave Chappele, etc.). If you want to fill a full page of with a semantic flame war, I have some spare time on my hands tonight. I’d rather not, though.

        • Natassia

          In this country, and in England I believe, Middle Easterners are still considered “white.” The only time Muslims are not considered to be “white” is when they come from sub-Saharan Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan, or other southeastern Asian countries.

          If she was wearing a blasted hijab and didn’t have to show her face, how the heck would the man know what race she was anyway?

          If anything, his remark could have been considered SEXIST.

          • Hirschibold

             Again, I must ask Middle Easterners are “considered white” by whom? The census takers who categorize Hispanics as white? Or the majority of Amren readers / realists (yourself excluded, of course)?

          • Natassia

            I didn’t say I count them as “white.”

            I said they are generally considered to be white in America and probably in Great Britain.

          • loyalwhitebriton

            “In this country, and in England I believe, Middle Easterners are still considered “white””.
            Still considered “White”?.
            In the UK, Middle Easterners have always been brown skinned. Do you have different Middle Easterners in the US?. Middle Easterners who are not brown skinned?.
            Middle Easterners are not White in the UK. Take my word for it, I live here.

          • Natassia

            On the contrary, the government counts them as white. Just like they count most Hispanics as white.

          • Natassia

            It’s not just about ‘color’ of skin. It’s what RACE the government considers them to be. An albino African is still a “minority.”

          • Natassia

            It’s not just about ‘color’ of skin. It’s what RACE the government considers them to be. An albino African is still a “minority.”

          • crystal evans

            I always thought that the only white muslims were either converts or those from Bosnia, not Middle Eastern. I do know that Pakistanis are considered South Asians as are people from India.

          • Natassia

            If an Arab commits a crime, what do the police typically write? “White.” They do the same thing with Hispanic men.

          • KenelmDigby

            No, Natassia – the English, the real English, never think of middle-easterners being ‘white’ or of the same blood as themselves.
            I’ve been around long enough to know this.

          • Natassia

            My point was not that the average Englishman thinks that, but rather the governments, the scientists, and the media do.

          • KenelmDigby

            An Englishman with a subliminal look of a few milli-seconds fully knows and understand that a generalized ‘middle-easterner’ is ‘not of his kin’ and is a foreigner, an exotic foreigner at that.
             Until recently (the last 50 years or so), there were precious few middle easterners in Britain, so the notion of classifying them as ‘white’ or whatever never really arised.I remember the Metropolitan Police used the general term ‘mediterranean’ to describe ‘middle easterners’.
             Unlike the USA, it was never necessary to use racial classifications on census forms, government documents etc, as there was no substantial foreign population on British soil.

    • Natassia

      Or racism may be none of the above. It may be instinct.

  • loyalwhitebriton

    George Orwell was a British writer; and now we are living in Orwell’s Britain. Exactly as he had predicted.
    Notice the ‘compromise’ – that Mr. Jones should agree that what he had said ‘could’ be considered offensive by the Muslim security guard. If the PC brigade can’t pin anything definitive on you, they will settle for mere possibilities.  
    There is also some hypocricy going on here; minority groups often ask themselves the question “Would I be treated differently if I were White”?, and they can ask this question with impunity, yet if a member of the majority ask’s themself the question “Would I be treated differently if I were a member of a minority”?, this question is considered racist/bigotted.
    Minority groups ‘want their cake and eat it’. They can be offended, and seemingly always are offended, but we can never be offended. We are just the majority; which apparently makes us faceless, characterless, nationless, cardboard cut-outs of human beings – not worthy of consideration or concern.
    David Jones, an indigenous White Briton, was harrassed at a British airport over a completely harmless comment, because of insane poltically correct rules, and because some Muslim CHOSE to be offended.
    So, what is the solution?. There is no solution that today’s crop of pathetic, politically correct, liberal, smarmy, self-satisfied Politicians can offer. It is time that the British people embraced Section 61 of the Magna Carta – Lawful Rebellion.

  • IstvanIN

    Why was this man even allowed on the airplane?  And why wasn’t he charged with racial incitement to hatred?  It appears that this boorish oaf felt free to harass a Muslim Briton with impunity.  His lack of religous sensitivity towards his Muslim co-citizens makes me think he still has a “crusaders” mentality.

    Until the authorities take such incidents seriously there can be no peace in the west.  The days of treating our fellow man like second class minstrels is over. 

    • People like you are definitely the problem not the solution and it’s time to solve this problem.

    • loyalwhitebriton

      You’re obviously joking, right?.

      • IstvanIN

        At some point the people of Britian have got to come to some accomodation with each other.  The enitire idea that the UK can be ruled by a tiny English minority is just about over.  In addition to the Welsh, Scotts and Northern Irish the UK has huge number of Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese and Afro-Carribean peoples.  The English have what I think what could be construed as a “plantation mentality”: as long as we rule it doesn’t matter what the majority want.  Well, the days of the English lording over the non-English in Britain is just about over.

        Although it is my undertsanding that your Parliment does include people of Asian, African and Muslim background it must be pointed out that all the important posts are held by whites, including the two most prominent: the very powerful Prime Minister (head of government) and the ceremonial Monarch (head of state).  How you you think it feels to a largely powerless black Briton that he knows he can never rise to either of those positions?  Even Canada and New Zealand have taken the positive steps of appointing non-white Governor Generals, Haitian in Canada’s case and Indian in New Zealand’s, to make their minority population feel like they are part of the nation.  When a Muslim Briton hears “God Save the Queen” sung how do you expect him to feel a part of the greater British community?  The British national anthem does not celebrate him, it celebrates a God he doesn’t believe in and a Monarch who represents 400 years of British imperialism.

        The least an Englishman can do to make his British brothers feel less alien would be to not make snotty comments in public.

        • loyalwhitebriton

          There is no tiny English minority, the English are 85% of the British population. Also, Scotland and Wales not only have their own democratically elected representatives in the national Parliament at Westminster, but they also have their own devolved goverments (Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly). This is causing some resentment amongst the English (The West Lothian Question), but that’s a different story.
          Britain, by the way, is a country – it’s greater than the sum of it’s parts. The English don’t lord it over anybody. The British family of England, Scotland, Ulster, Wales, is a United Kingdom. One Country.
          There is no “Plantation Mentality”.
          I don’t care what Black Britons or Muslims think of our Parliament or Monarch. Black and Muslim presence on this Island is relatively new, and our institutions are not part of their history; they’re our history – the indigenous White Britons.
           I’m Anglo-Celtic, which makes me a true child of this Island. Britain’s history and traditions are part of my DNA, part of my racial memory, part of my heart and soul. No non-white or non-British person can claim this. They haven’t been here long enough for the necessary ‘osmosis’ to take place. This osmosis takes generations, centuries.
          Multiculturalism does not work. The very many articles on Amren, and related sites, should be sufficient proof of that. You are, however, entitled to your opinion.
          Finally, the fact that you accused me of making, ‘snotty comments’ makes me suspect that you are one of those overly-sensitive, insecure, inadequate, anally-retentive, humourless, liberals that shares much of the responsibilty for getting the Western World into this multicultural mess in the first place.
          Please don’t be too offended by my assessment of your character. I’m sure your wife, or gay lover, thinks you’re a great guy.
          Kind Regards – “Snotty Racist” otherwise known as loyalwhitebriton.

          • IstvanIN

            Learn how to read.  I didn’t call you, or anyone, a “snotty racist”, I was referring to making snotty, or rude if you prefer, comments in public.  Nor did I insult you.  Must have hit a nerve.

          • StivD

            Did I miss something? I remember reading comments of yours that seemed more or less in-line with a white racial solidarity..? I may be confusing you with someone else.

  • StivD

    “Forget it Jake; it’s Great Britain.”

    As a teenager during the mid-80s I was a moderate anglophile. To be honest, this happening in Britain bothers me more than the same happening in France, Germany, etc. 

  • ncpride

    Madness. Complete madness. The best I can hope for with incidents like this is that it will awaken more White Brits to their plight, and force them over the edge so they will come together and fight back against their own government. One can hope…

  • What is going on in Britain is way past anything Orwell could have thought up. It’s Orwell on steroids.

  • loyalwhitebriton

    To Natassia:
    Thanks for posting.
    Colour of skin and race are synonymous. Very often, it’s the same thing.
    Just to reiterate, nobody in the UK considers non-whites to be whites. Middle Easterners are not considered to be White – for the simple reason that they are not White. They are brown.
    If your Country considers Hispanics to be White, that’s for political reasons. Doesn’t make it so.
    Nevertheless, you seem to be an attractive, intelligent, white lady. Stay with us. 

  • KevinPhillipsBong

    Why does this level of security even exist? Hmmm? Is it because Scottish nationalists are threatening Parliament? When the IRA was exploding bombs airport security wasn’t this strict, so we know its not them. Is it the ghost of Oswald Mosely, threatening a neo-fascist takeover? No, no, no. Airport security is strict because of the threat of Muslim terrorism. We all know this. (I, too, have been held up for extra screening by bitter black security guards and have watched as tanned turbanistas breeze through, grinning with an air of just-desserts.)  But yet if one of us mentions this as an aside — a completely justifiable observation — then suddenly it is WE who have detonated a bomb.  It is WE who have set off the 15-megaton explosive of hate speech. 

    It is as if the security created for Muslim terrorism is simply a to-be-borne nuisance, like checking a truck full of peaches for Mediterranean fruit flies — no wickedness, just bother. But if in the process of checking granny’s colostomy bag for hidden weapons, our sweet octagenarian mutters something painfully obvious to all but the most willingly blind about exactly WHO it is who bears the burden of suspicion here, then it’s time to break out the truncheons and thumb-screws, eh wot?

    • This_Name_Doesnt_Exist

      Airport security is strict because of the threat of Muslim terrorism.

      I, too, have been held up for extra screening by bitter black security guards and have watched as tanned turbanistas breeze through, grinning with an air of just-desserts.

      If airport security exists because of the former, why the latter?  Were Muslim terrorism the real reason, the opposite would be the case, as it is in Israel.  Tanned turbanistas would be looked upon suspiciously throughout their passage through the terminals and time on their flights and little or no attention would be paid to Europeans.

      Airport security exists to bring about the latter situation, using the former as a pretext.  It exists to condition you to accept a state of affairs that 20 years ago would have seemed unbelievable.  It exists to make you feel like a criminal in your own country and harass you into giving up your freedom of movement voluntarily.  It has absolutely nothing to do with Muslim terrorism beyond the excuse that gives the state to strengthen its police structure. 

  • bluffcreek1967

    Mr. Jones stood strong and, eventually, so he would not miss his flight, he agreed that what he had earlier said “could” be considered offensive to a Muslim. Can you believe how this man was treated?! I suppose anything that one might say “could” be interpreted as ‘racist’ or ‘offensive’ to another – but so what? Must people in Britain, especially Whites, guard their words so tightly for fear that someone might object and report them to the ‘authorities’? Apparently so! The amazing thing is that Mr. Jones only made an observation concerning the veiled woman’s passing through the scanner without having to show her face. He said nothing about her religion or her race! We have come to a place in the West where if a Muslim merely feels ‘uncomfortable,’ or ‘uneasy,’ or even ‘perceives’ a disparaging comment from a Westerner (White), that person must apologize profusely to the offended Muslim or risk being interrogated by the police. And all the while, Muslims laugh at how stupid we have become and how effectively they use our laws against us.  

  • tickyul

    Wow, and I thought The United States Of Ameritard was done for…….these guys are swirling down the toilet bowl.

  • crazy_j

    “Mr Jones, a former member of the Household Cavalry and retired fireman,
    added: ‘I felt that I made a logical observation. That while everyone
    was being subjected to an invasive search it was illogical that someone
    should be let through with their face covered. I am not opposed to
    having this level of security but it must be equal for all.

    That attitude is such a big part of the problem in the Western world – especially the US, UK and Canada: Government should be free to trample rights, so long as it tramples everybody’s rights equally.

  • KenelmDigby

    Whatever happened to the famed British sense of humor?
     – a sense of humor that was always barbed with a hard cutting edge.

  • June39

    The sun has surely set on the British Empire.

    • StivD

      On the empire but not the people yet.

  • Shawn_thefemale

     I’d be asking if the guard’s offense taken was any worse than MY offense taken that certain people are allowed to skirt the ‘[Zero Tolerance]  rules. . Looks like we’re at a stalemate, matey!

  • slobotnavich

    I for one am glad that UK airport security it at pains to cater to Muslims and humiliate and delay non-Muslims.  After all, we all know how touchy Muslims are.  Giving offense to a Muslim could result in a bomb-throwing incident, or worse, a complaint to the ultra-PC airport security personnel.

    Seriously, I think we’re all thoroughly sick of excessive Muslim sensitivities.  With the relative availability of concealed carry permits in most of the US, we should declare an open season on obnoxious Muslims.  Of course, to maintain a civil element to it, only male (buck) Muslims would be fair game.

  • loyalwhitebriton

    All the fuss made over a completely harmless comment will only increase the anger of the indigenous White majority. It also demonstrates the sinister and insidious nature of political-correctness/cultural-marxism; where even a harmless comment can lead to demands to ‘confess’ to a crime which does not exist. The result?, I think Rudyard Kipling put it succinctly in “The Beginnings”:

    It was not part of their blood,
     It came to them very late
    With long arrears to make good,
     When the English began to hate.

    They were not easily moved,
     They were ice-willing to wait
    Till every count should be proved,
     Ere the English began to hate.

    Their voices were even and low,
     Their eyes were level and straight.
    There was neither sign nor show,
     When the English began to hate.

    It was not preached to the crowd,
     It was not taught by the state.
    No man spoke it aloud,
     When the English began to hate.

    It was not suddenly bred,
     It will not swiftly abate,
    Through the chill years ahead,
     When Time shall count from the date
    That the English began to hate.


    I love Rudyard Kipling. Nobody can write poetry like White Europeans. Nobody.

  • blindsticks

    Do you know the question was put to him.  Quote:  ‘ What would happen if we were to call you a drunken old duffer?’ As if to say   he has an abuse problem -which he hasn’t btw. And isn’t ’ageism’ itself a crime nowadays? Well it is in Britain anyway. Surely these sort of interviews regarding ‘racism’ ought to be recorded for the person  being accused (Especially if the  accusedis white). Imagine what these people can say if they  decide to  put this man  in the frame  even more. It’s  like the Emma West case –   remember her:   ‘ The Racist Tram Lady’ . youtube?  Well  ever since they’ve upped the charges to ‘causing distress’,  the  prosecution has  managed to magic  up all these ‘offended ethnics’ (all seven of them) who were on that train on the day (looking for compensation no doubt).  There will  be hell to pay for this. We English will not tolerate  this situation for much  longer. Trust me cousin.  The backlash has begun but the media is  not always reporting on our  side of the fight. But it is happening. Please also go to the recent BNP article on the Hyde Demonstration and how the police and Muslims backed off after trying to make the BNP remove their  ‘offensive flags’.
    I’m only  surprised readers of AMREN have not reported on our previous loony occurrence regarding racism. I’m  not exaggerating when I say  nearly every day in Britain  we have an incident of some sort where someone is being pulled over the coals for racism  (usually a  white for offending a black or Negro). 
     Even small  children  arent  exempt.
    Boy, 7, branded a racist for asking schoolmate: ‘Are you brown ……/Boy-7-branded-racist-asking-schoolmate-Ar...
    19 Feb 2012 – The mother of a seven-year-old boy was told to sign a school form admitting he was racist after he asked another pupil about the colour of his …Melanie Philips  in a recent article sums it all up nicely: 
    Melanie Phillips | Mail Online
    2 days ago – MELANIE PHILLIPS: When I wrote about a seven year-old who was branded a racist by his school, I was deluged with similar accounts – some …

  • loyalwhitebriton

    Unfortunately, what British history is taught in today’s schools is a very sanitised, politically correct, socialised history. It’s all about ‘Imperialism’, slavery, workers rights, and the Suffragettes, etc.
    I read a newspaper article a few years back which reported on various studies that had been done, on both sides of the Atlantic, into University students knowledge of history. Two of the most notable findings were:
    40% of US students thought that the Magna Carta was signed by the Founding Fathers on board the Mayflower.
    55% of UK students thought that Winston Churchill was a US President.
    How can people, even University students, be so ignorant of basic history?.
    Absolutely unbelievable!.
    The Magna Carta is not taught in British schools. I know this from my own kid’s school; and by looking at the modern history syllabus.
    You are right, Wat Tyler was a champ. Do we have anyone in Britain today who is even remotely comparable?. No, we don’t. Unfortunately.

  • loyalwhitebriton

    Britain is a constitutionally Protestant nation. Since the Council of Oak, 597 ad, we have rejected the authority of Rome. We are not being conquered by heretics because of our protestantism, but because of liberal secular cultural marxism.

    Read “The Drama of the Lost disciples”, by George Jowett.

  • MekongDelta69

    I was told that we now live in a different time and some things are not to be said.

    Half true. Some things are not to be said… against ‘protected, oppressed, perpetually offended victims groups.’

  • KenelmDigby

    That’s another negative characteristic of the hard left.
    Apart from being totalitarian, intolerant, domineering, bombastic, dictatorial, bullying, pig-headed etc, you will notice they have absolutely no sense of humor whatsoever – something that shows their essential lack of humanity.

  • Natassia

    What the majority thinks doesn’t matter. What the people in power promote matters. The government, scientists, and the media basically label Arabs as “white.” This also helps to hide criminality by Middle Easterners in Western countries.