No, you didn’t read that wrong. That’s really what our lovely government has decided, courtesy of its system for keeping tabs on people who take flights: “’Suspect’ requests likely to cause innocent holidaymakers to get ‘red flags’ as potential terrorists include ordering a vegetarian meal”.
You could smile and move on to read about something else.
You could get angry and move on to read about something else.
You could wonder quite what a paranoid conspiracy theorist would have to come up with these days to exceed what our government is actually getting up to.
Or you can do something about it.
It’s not just about our civil liberties, it is also about our safety. Any government that has got to the point where it is spending serious amounts of time and money worrying about whether or not someone eats lentils isn’t doing a good job protecting us from the seriously dangerous people – those with bombs, not lentils.
For all its flaws, we do live in a democracy and one that often listens to public opinion. So you don’t have to just sit there and let this happen. You can do something about it. Yes, you. No, don’t look over your shoulder as if there is someone else that was addressed to. You.
You and the computer you are sat at are an incredibly powerful tool. Campaigners through the centuries would have given their right arm, and quite a few other limbs, for publicity possibilities that you’ve got sat at the computer, right now.
So what can you do?
1. Share this post with your friends. Whether it’s Facebook, Digg, email, Twitter or printing it out and gluing it to your shirt – the more people who know about the story, the better.
2. Join the Facebook group and share it with your friends on Facebook.
3. Write to your MP. It only takes a moment. And you can do it right now, for free – at http://www.writetothem.com.
4. Back the Liberal Democrat Freedom Bill campaign. It’s true that the Bill doesn’t explicitly contain a clause protecting the rights of lentil eaters, but it is about rolling back the sort of crass and ineffective Big Brother policies of which this is the silliest extreme. Go to http://freedom.libdems.org.uk/petition/ and sign up. Already signed? Then email 10 of your friends to encourage them to sign. It’s as simple as that.
5. Make a donation. We’d love it if you gave us some money – as the bigger and better this site is, the more people will see stories like this one – but you could instead donate to the Liberal Democrats or a good cause such as Liberty.
6. Bookmark this page and come back and do another one of the above five steps later in the week.
After all, once they’ve started coming after the lentil eaters, it is getting serious isn’t it?