The Clash hates freedom

Now it probably had nothing to do with the fact that Indian-born Harraj Mann was named Harraj Mann, but the 24-year-old was frogmarched off his plane at Heathrow Airport after a taxi driver reported him to the authorities.

The driver had been tipped off by music the young man had been playing in the car -- The Clash's London Calling and, ironically, Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song.

The lyrics to London Calling that not only got the driver worried but which prompted the authorities to take the extreme measures they did? "Now war is declared -- and battle come down" while other lines warn of a "meltdown expected."

Yeah, well: Ring around the rosie/pocket full of posies/ashes ashes/we all fall down. That song's about the Black Plague but we don't see kiddies hauled off planes.

The reality is this: the driver's impulse, benevolent though it may have been, seems to have been fueled by ethnic suspicions. The agents he spoke with, while they may have taken that into account, must respond to the fear communicated by the tipster. They're ultimately responsible for the safety of those on the plane, as they're responsible for upholding the standards of a free society, which supposedly England is.

I'm just saying, it's not evil, it's slightly comical, it's horribly frustrating, it's endlessly complex. (Reuters)

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