You won’t sing ‘London Calling’ in an English Cab!
Terror fear over Clash fan’s song
A phone salesman was hauled off a London-bound plane by police after his taste in music aroused terrorism fears.
Harraj Mann, 23, asked a taxi driver to play The Clash’s London Calling through the vehicle’s stereo.
But the cabbie rang police after he heard the song which includes the line: « War is declared and battle come down »
Police said Mr Mann, from Hartlepool, was released without charge after his arrest on board a Bmi plane at Durham Tees Valley Airport.
Durham Police said a security check revealed he did not pose a threat.
A spokeswoman also said that it was not just the music Mr Mann requested, but the « overall impression » he gave that aroused the taxi driver’s suspicion.
She said: « By the time it was established the man did not pose a security risk, the plane had taken off.
« Safety is paramount and we respond to concerns from members of the public in the way they would expect us to.
There’s caution and then there’s taking it to the point where it’s absurd and ludicrous.
« In this case the report was made with the best of intentions and we would not want to discourage people from contacting us with genuine concerns regarding security. »
Mr Mann, a mobile phone salesman of Indian origin, missed his flight to Heathrow last Thursday because of the security check and took a taxi back to Hartlepool. He said he was questioned under the Terrorism Act.
He told BBC Radio Five Live: « I said to staff you’ve taken me off my flight due to my taste in music, in a more colourful way.
« I mean where does it stop? What if I was wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt, what if I was wearing odd socks, you know.
« I mean obviously the political climate these days is like walking on egg shells, but I mean there’s caution and then there’s taking it to the point where it’s absurd and ludicrous. »
The contentious lyrics by the 1970s Clash song include the lines: « London calling from the faraway towns, now war is declared and battle come down.
« London calling to the underworld, come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls. »
In June 2004, Mike Devine, 35, from Bristol, was questioned by Special Branch after he had sent text messages of the lyrics from The Clash’s song Tommy Gun. They included the words « gun » and « jet airliner ».