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Bags Of Freedom

By Hazel Last edited 142 months ago
Bags Of Freedom
freedombag1.jpg

Ways to show we are not intimidated or scared by the London bombings #2756-190: by carrying all our stuff in specially designed clear plastic bags.

The Freedom Bag purports to be an ideal tool to combat terror as it will allow the common tube traveller to prove that he/she is no threat. By allowing fellow travellers and the police to see exactly what you're carrying, you're easing their worries and giving them the impression that you're a lovely, civilised non-threatening person. And everything is alright. If everyone else carried one too, then everything would be extra-alright with cream on top and the war on terror will be over.

Or will it?

Surely the transparent bag phenomenon will only increase paranoia among public transport users. For those who have to sit next to a Freedom Bag carrier, is it any more comforting to know that you're not looking at a home-made nailbomb but instead, it's a rucksack full of bloodstained soft toys, used condoms and Jeffrey Archer novels? Are you any more likely to say "Phew, I thought that person was a bit dodgy but now I can see into their bag, I know they're A-okay."

And what about the Freedom Bag carriers themselves? By all means, be a good egg and reduce terror for everyone else - but simultaneously increase terror for yourself. Try a few journeys with your iPod, camera phone and wallet displayed in full, clear, durable plastic and just feel that suspicion, paranoia and tension rise. In you.

Stick with the Louis Vuitton rip-off shoulder bag, the Nike rucksack, the crumpled and worn out white Tesco sack: the designers and marketing team behind the Freedom Bag are seriously misled if they think that Londoners abandoning their hard-won handbags and rucksacks for these frankly ugly, clear plastic holdalls means we've won against the baddies. The total opposite in fact: the baddies will have scored one more small point against us by making us feel obliged to show off our curiously stained gym kit, squashed banana, box of tampons / condoms / pubic lice cream to the world, all in the name of public safety and British defiance.

Real defiance is rolling out the better kind of plastic and treating yourself to the latest Prada tote or Balenciaga purse and fluttering it on platform one of your nearest tube station in the manner of one who really undertands the meaning of the word. London, darling - it's so you.

Last Updated 22 August 2005

shannon

Those clear plastic bags remind me of a time when I worked for a dept. store. To make sure none of the staff were stealing things, you were given a clear-plastic handbag that you could take out onto the shop floor. It just reminds me of that atomosphere of distrust. ick.

willb

The more popular the bags become, surely the more paranoid people will get about commuters without the bags. (But I agree that people viewing what I carry around with me would be more scared than if I had an opaque bag.)

Elaine

I think someone should invent transparent clothes so that we can feel safe knowing no-one has a bomb strapped to their body

Stone

Heh, we used to have those clear bags in elementary school to ensure that no one would bring a gun or drugs to school. Oh, how the times have changed....

Annie - London Underground Blo

The thing I really don't like about these bags apart from all the fear-mongering is the "charity" angle too. See my blog post on them.

Sydney, Australia

Yawn, the clear plasic backpack. What an innovation in modern technology, what will they think of next?
Ok, so their hearts are in the right place but how do I know that isn't a shoe bomb? Those laces look very much like fuse wire.