The tragedy of the Tunisia shootings has recently been brought to the fore through the conclusion of the inquest into the deaths of British holidaymakers on the Tunisian coast. There now remains the matter of possible civil action against TUI.
Any civil case against TUI will bring into question the security of any holiday, anywhere and begs the question: "How safe is safe?" A civil case would help to highlight issues that need to be addressed and what can be or must be expected from (any) tour operator to any resort. The question of compensation would be another matter and one that can be only determined by Their Justices, after having heard the arguments from all parties in this tragic case.
With the benefit of hindsight, if TUI had made sure there were plenty of armed guards around, had vetted and asked for the identity of each and every person going anywhere near the hotel in question, it is possible - possible - that the tragedy may have been prevented.
Guests could have been given a photo ID and made to pass through a security scanner, having their bags searched on each and every entry and exit from the hotel and its surrounds. CCTV cameras could be mounted all around any premises, razor wire around the beach or pool areas and trial evacuations could be organised each Tuesday at 11:00 am. Practical? Possible? Acceptable, even?
Then there is the UK Foreign Office (FO) whose advice may always be read in one of several ways. For example, current FO advice with regard to Spain states that "...there is a general threat from terrorism" - so should all the hotels and beaches around the Costas only be available to British holidaymakers where the safeguards mentioned above, are in place? British intelligence services state that have foiled no less than 13 plots on the British mainland; and you do not need a Kalashnikov to wreak havoc and kill - a lorry or even a car will suffice.
Of course, one can tell holiday makers that they must be vigilant, alert, prepared and ready to move at a moments notice; children must be kept watch on at all times, holidaymakers must never leave the confines of the guarded area..... in other words everything and anything which is precisely the opposite of what one books a holiday for in the first place.
Terrorism and more specifically the loan terrorist, is the greatest daily danger faced by all of us. We may be on holiday or we may be simply travelling through our home city on a bus. Our national agencies work hard to keep this great peril at bay but it is now a fact of life, I regret to say, that no matter where we go, the specter of attack will always travel with us.