Now, cheered on by Norman Baker and Chris Huhne, air travel is about to leap into a clear lead. Full body scanners are to be installed at airports in Britain and abroad so that anyone catching a flight will be viewed naked by security officials before boarding the plane.
They are not taking it lying down in Germany. Yesterday the Daily Mail reported the gathering of a number of naked flashmobs - or fleshmobs - to protest against the plans at airports in Berlin, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf:
There have been no such demonstrations here in Britain. It seems that it only takes one Nigerian to set fire to his underpants and any sense of human dignity is forgotten. Give us our cheap flights (aren't we supposed to be cutting down on those?) and we will put up with anything.
The demonstration was organised by the Piraten Partei (Pirate Party) - a group who say on their website that they stand up for 'civil liberties'.
Protestors, using the motto 'you do not need to scan us - we are already naked', scrawled messages on their bodies including 'something to hide?' and 'be a good citizen – drop your pants'.
This confirms the impression that government is principally about news management. It is not clear that these scanners would have prevented Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab getting on to his plane. The important thing is that the government is seen to be do something - and cannot be charged with not having done it next time there is a terrorist incident.
What protest there has been in Britain has centred on the possible introduction of racial profiling. It seems that so much of our moral energy goes into Not Being Racist that we have none left to be outraged at anything else. As long we are all oppressed equally, what is there to complain about?