Why are people so compliant to 'authority' figures?

PaulB

Legendary Member
Location
Colne
Something that never ceases to bother me occurred early this morning. Again. You know when you go abroad on holiday (Cyprus since you ask) and at some point have to come back to your own country, why are people so compliant, so obsequious to immigration? There were 232 passengers at a small regional airport and we had to queue for ages while some jumped-up acne-ridden kid checked OUR passports (the one that states you will be allowed to pass freely WITHOUT LET OR HINDERANCE) and presented our bona-fides to be allowed INTO OUR OWN COUNTRY and most actually thanked this baked-bean-faced no-mark for putting them through considerable inconvenience! It absolutely staggers me that people think they are somehow doing us a favour! In total contrast, we were ushered in with welcoming smiles for being visitors to Cyprus (and many other countries, the Great Satan, USA apart, like) and a simple perfunctory glance at our passports while being waved through.

Those who swap freedom for 'security' end up with neither, as my favourite saying goes.
 

asterix

Comrade Member
Location
Limoges or York
In WW2 we submitted to being governed by a totalitarian regime*. It became part of our culture. Just Keep Calm and Carry On (© Ministry of Information, for whom George Orwell worked before writing '1984').

*It was 'for our own good', of course.
 

Andrew_Culture

Internet Marketing bod
Both times I've been to the states I've had to stare into a camera and have my fingerprints taken by someone with a firearm, whilst being watched by several people holding firearms, then asked to detail everything I planned to do during my stay.
 

asterix

Comrade Member
Location
Limoges or York
Both times I've been to the states I've had to stare into a camera and have my fingerprints taken by someone with a firearm, whilst being watched by several people holding firearms, then asked to detail everything I planned to do during my stay.
Yes but they are paranoid. Are you saying that we need to ape the USA in everything that we do?
 

Andrew_Culture

Internet Marketing bod
Yes but they are paranoid. Are you saying that we need to ape the USA in everything that we do?
Not at all, I mis-read your post and thought you were saying that entrance into the USA was un-hindered! The first time I went was with a writer friend, when he was asked which magazine he wrote for he very sheepishly told them he wrote for a magazine called 'Terroriser'.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
Well, Paul, it probably has something to do with not wanting to be delayed by several more hours as you are taken off to a side-room where a 2 metre tall stranger with a very deep voice and wearing latex gloves takes inordinate pleasure in carrying out an intensive rectal search! :whistle:

In the case of the U S of A, it would be not wanting to get sent home on the next plane! :thumbsup:
 

jonny jeez

Legendary Member
Thing is, bothersome as it is, I think I'd be more bothered to read the files on the total number of threats that our small isles faces each day from overseas visitors and those coming in on fake UK passports.

I think we'd be surprised at just how many people want to cause the UK harm...each and every day

like it or lump it, this system seems to be working. Much of it is about applying overt security as a form of deterrent.

you dont really expect to just breeze in and out do you?
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
why are people so compliant, so obsequious to immigration?
Because not doing it, or being arsey about it, causes you a lot of trouble. Just smile, get on with it, and be thankful you're allowed to travel at all, a luxury denied to many, now and in the past. Really, on a world scale, having to have your passport checked is not losing your freedom. Just just having a passport to check defines freedom!

As for smiling and thanking the guy - I don't suppose he loves every minute of his job. Why not just be nice to him as you would to anyone? He doesn't make the rules. He'd be dumped on from a great height if he didn't do it properly.

I grew up in a place where you had to stop and be searched just to pass from one end of a street to another, so having to have your passport checked at an airport seems like pretty simple stuff to me.

Generally, I avoid such hindrance by not flying much. Ferry security never seems all that onerous.
 

Maz

Legendary Member
Not at all, I mis-read your post and thought you were saying that entrance into the USA was un-hindered! The first time I went was with a writer friend, when he was asked which magazine he wrote for he very sheepishly told them he wrote for a magazine called 'Terroriser'.
Oh dear! Good job it wasn't me working for the magazine. That Customs officer would get straight onto his walky-talky and ask for backup.
 

Archie_tect

De Skieven Architek... aka Penfold + Horace
Location
Northumberland
Leaving UK by DFDS ferry to Amsterdam the UK Customs people gave me a close body scan, searched all my bags and asked me a detailed questionnaire about my movements and intentions. the other 3 weren't even stopped... I must have looked like someone they had been tipped off about. To be fair I found it reassuring rather than a problem. Scanning every passport makes sense to me, providing having taken the scans, the information logged is effectively managed to identify and 'remove' undesirables [:tongue:] - and they're not just messing us all about.

On the way back into the UK on our return [from Amsterdam] didn't even get a second glance.
 

Mad Doug Biker

Bikeoholics Anonymous
Location
Craggy Island
^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Ferry security never seems all that onerous.
My sister's fiancé came with us on a day trip with us on the DFDS ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam a month or two ago. We got to Amsterdam perfectly well and boarded the ferry on the way back without incident.
It was only when we reached Newcastle again that anyone noticed he had taken his old passport by mistake! :laugh:


I wonder what would have happened if they had noticed it on arrival at Imjuden?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Maz
Top Bottom