On a recent visit to the Peterborough cathedral Dalrymple was not allowed to deposit his bag at the entrance, inspiring this humorous piece in the Spectator:
The illogic of the church’s mistrust of my bag somewhat affected my appreciation of the building, boring into my mind as I once believed that earwigs bored into the brain if they entered the auditory canal. Have not the terrorists scored a signal victory in reducing us to such foolishness? What was the likelihood that an elderly man in a business suit was a bomber? And if he were a bomber, how would not allowing him to leave his case near the entrance to the cathedral, but allowing him to take it round the cathedral with him (with a hundred opportunities to leave it hidden somewhere), conduce to safety?The women were not allowed to use their common sense, for fear that they might be discriminatory. But there is no intelligence without discrimination, even if judgment is necessarily uncertain and always prone to error. The church preferred to dehumanise the women by subjecting them to a rule they knew to be idiotic. Thus we injure ourselves with lies, to which we apply the bandage of unctuous platitude.
H/t Michael P.