Don’t grumble about delays - just be thankful you’re safe

Security checks: Inconvenience and delay perhaps - but when it comes to our safety it's worth every

Security checks: Inconvenience and delay perhaps - but when it comes to our safety it's worth every minute. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Opinion: Delays and inconvenience are the price we pay for feeling safer - and it's going to get worse, says Sharon Griffiths.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance - and a lot of inconvenience.

No to mention dirty streets and lots of standing round. Expect more of the same and stop grumbling. It's a small price to pay.

Once upon a time there were litter bins on nearly every lamppost and in every station. Ever wondered where they got to? In the 1970s and 80s the IRA found them very handy to place a bomb – it was a bomb in a Warrington litter bin that killed 12-year-old Tim Parry – so litter bins vanished.

They've crept back in recent years, only now they have see-through bags, easier to deal with and easier to spot anything suspicious.

There used to be coin-operated left luggage lockers at most stations - very useful. But they were handy for bombs too, as well as the occasional murder victim, so they went too. Inconvenient.

But a lot of terrorism is inconvenient. The IRA used to delight in sending warnings about bombs, using a proper code word. Nearly every day railway stations, airports, department stores, theatres, cinemas or office blocks would be evacuated while people stood grumbling on pavements. Ninety-nine times out of 100 it was a hoax and after a few hours and a lot of police time and effort, everyone would troop in again, grumbling even more about the massive inconvenience and resultant chaos.

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Then there came the 100th time…

Friends of mine were caught up in the Birmingham pub bombing and the bombing of the Old Bailey. They never muttered about inconvenience.

We all moan about security – the time it takes to get onto a plane or Eurostar, or even into a government building or art gallery. And the apparently ridiculous rules – do they really think my mascara could be a killer? Do I really have to empty out my handbag full of embarrassing mum-type junk?

The answer, of course, is yes. And we'll be doing it an awful lot more after last Wednesday.

We'll be taking off our shoes, emptying our bags, putting our luggage through X rays when we just need to leave it for an hour. We'll spend hours more shuffling along shoeless in airport queues and never find a litter bin when we need it.

Enjoy a good grumble and consider the alternative.

And don't forget to take your rubbish home.