I landed at Manchester Airport last night. For once, there were no queues at immigration, but the post and ribbon barriers that usually structure them were in place. An older businesswoman who had sat next to me on the plane from Frankfurt walked straight through, opening barriers as she went. We followed, pleased at avoiding the humiliation of walking pointlessly from side to side under the gaze of the petty officials.
The senior immigration officer (an officious Scot) looked angry, but said nothing. As I walked away after he had checked my passport, he barked at a junior colleague to "Put those barriers back! Someone [pointedly, as the "someone" in question was in earshot] has opened them." She scurried to comply.
How were those ribbons aiding Britain's security? Why could they not have been restored (the work of seconds) when there were actual queues?
I am glad I didn't join the State apparatus. I cannot imagine delighting in petty control of my fellow man.