Now BAA is helping the War on Terror


Ask almost anyone under 30 what got them into politics and protesting, and I'll bet you a fiver they mention the Iraq war. For me, nothing symbolised the arrogance of Government more than a war no one wanted, which achieved nothing except the slaughter of hundreds of British troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

So BAA's latest PR campaign, destined for page 13 of local newspapers everywhere, makes me go a special kind of angry. We've already endured them press releasing the launch of the Bike to Work scheme as being part of a carbon reduction strategy; now we're subjected to Operation Patchwork Quilt.

OPQ is a hearts and minds spectacular, in which BAA took all their old security guard uniforms (otherwise destined for the rubbish bin) and gave them to Help for Heroes, a charity which seems dedicated to ignoring the single easiest way we could help the troops - getting them out of the war - in favour of blind patriotism and flag waving. Somewhere along the line they were dutifully stiched into quilts to be given to injured soldiers.

Now I'm sure everyone injured in Iraq and Afghanistan (soldiers and civilians alike) is crying out for a quilt, and that BAA's gratutious attempt to appear part of the community has touched their hearts. After all, a new quilt is a perfect replacement for having an arm or a leg blown off by a roadside bomb in a country you can't find on a map where no one wants you to be - especially if you come back to find your once peaceful village is now under the flightpath of a newly expanded airport.