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A lawyer who styles himself as "Just about the only man that truly challenges the status quo" backed down from challenging the status quo last month after a mob of passengers chanted at him to get off a plane when he refused to don a face mask.

Louis Stead was preparing to fly back to the UK from Egypt last month when cabin crew confronted him about his lack of PPE.

Stead, who runs a strange website which advises people with complaints about companies to "Track down senior management and pay them a visit at their home, in their time", said afterwards that he had difficulties wearing a mask because he has suffered from PTSD ever since he was given an oxygen mask when he was stabbed in 2012.

Video of the incident showed Stead attempting to convince the cabin crew that he was exempted from the rules under the Equality Act.

"What you need to do is tell the Captain that under the Equality Act 2010...you are not allowed to discriminate against a person with a disability as defined by that Act", explained Stead.

"No, no, no, there's more", continued the lawyer when a flight attendant interrupted. "Don't be pacifying and dismissive of me, it's not right".

"Sir, we've got to stop you", insisted the crew member, "I've got to tell the Captain what you're saying".


air

Mask failures all round.


When the Captain proved to be immune to Stead's legal argument, the cabin crew and passengers turned on the lawyer. "Get him off!" shouted a woman, as others chanted, "Off! Off! Off!"

"People want you off. You're off now", snapped a flight attendant, as passengers chipped in with their views, which included, "Get off the plane!", "Fuck off you twat!" and a baby wailing.

Stead decided to surrender and wear his mask when he was told that otherwise he would have to get off the plane and leave his luggage in the hold.

EasyJet said the disabled parking permit which Stead had produced to the cabin crew was insufficient evidence of his disability, and that in any event the Equality Act did not apply to a plane parked in Egypt.

"It was like I was being attacked by a pack of wolves", said Stead after the incident. "They just assumed the staff are always right and that I was being difficult. They didn't really know what was going on."

Stead, who was in Egypt to scuba dive and look into property investment opportunities, said that because "I dress well", people assumed "I'm just some wealthy guy who drives a nice car" and that "I'm just pulling a fast one". But, "I'm genuinely disabled", he said.

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Comments

Disgruntled 23 October 20 08:53

Guess what is a requirement for diving? That's right, a mask... Seems his disability is rather selective?

Ogdoad 23 October 20 08:58

He isn’t, as far as I can tell, a solicitor, barrister, legal exec, patent attorney, costs lawyer, notary or licensed conveyancer. Paralegal, I guess? McKenzie friend?

Gobblepig 23 October 20 09:15

"They didn't really know what was going on."

I think they knew only too well what was going on, which is why they told this precious self-important tede to sling it. 

Macawbre 23 October 20 09:25

Sounds like the vox populi got it right this time. 
 

Bit concerning that EasyJet think one might be allowed to be a racist or discriminate against people on the basis of where their planes are parked. 
 

 

ShootyMcShootyface 23 October 20 09:57

Stabbed in 2012, eh?

Why would anyone want to do that to such a clearly likable individual? #TotalMystery

 

Dingo 23 October 20 11:32

Like him or loathe him.  Well, probably loathe him, but there is still nothing pretty about the hysteria we have created that encourages the formation of howling mobs 

WE ARE MAGA 2020 BABEEEEEE!!!!!! 23 October 20 11:37

wear-your-mask-obey-the-media-protect-your-granny-don't-think-for-yourself-protect-the-nhs-save-lives-ask-no-questions-just-keep-consuming-watch-britains-got-talent-read-the-guardian-orange-man-bad

Je Suis Monty Don l’Autobus 23 October 20 11:43

I feel sorry for him, he was shabbily treated.

Short of becoming a police officer, working for an airline is the likeliest job to give the bear of relatively little brain a hard-on for their own power over their fellow-creature and turn him or her into dire, authoritarian robot. 

As for the baying crowd, ban all of them from flying anywhere ever again 

Not a lawyer 23 October 20 11:48

I'm not sure a legal website should accept his description as a lawyer when he is not on any public register that can be accessed.

Did he once read Glanville WIlliams' Learning the Law and think that was enough?

Anon 23 October 20 13:33

He also made the news a few years ago for a racially charged LinkedIn post. Seems like an interesting chap 

Piers T 24 October 20 00:34

Imagine if someone told you this time last year that, within the next 12 months, seemingly normal and sensible people could be whipped up into a superstitious frenzy if someone amongst them in a public place did not wear a face covering. Just like how everyone else also did not wear a face covering back then. 

Gosh, you'd think, upon hearing the news, there must be an existential threat to public health on the scale of Ebola or the bubonic plague or some other disease which has indiscriminately wiped out whole swathes of the population, surely, in order to justify that kind of reaction to someone doing something so completely normal as to sit on a plane with wearing a face covering?

Well... no, it's a new virus but statistically it's broadly the same as a bad flu season in any year, seemingly not dissimilar to winter 2017. The average age of someone dying of the disease is actually older than the average age of all causes of deaths. In fact most people exposed don't get it at all, and most people who get it don't know they've had it. For the small minority of people who know they've had it, it's a mild flu-like condition which passes in a couple of weeks. Overall it's got a 99.94% survival rate. Outnumbered by other causes of death by 100 to 1.

Ah OK, you say, well at least the masks help people avoid getting it.

Afraid not. 

Right, I see, well I guess if you don't know you have it - but you're one of the 0.5% of people who have it at any given time - then at least the mask prevents you giving it to others? 

Um... Yeah possibly, if the mask is of a surgical standard, is properly fitted, is replaced every hour but otherwise never touched or adjusted, then maybe it could well have some prospect of perhaps lowering the probability of transmission, yep. So that's something, you know, because presumably there's a lot of evidence of transmission occurring on flights...? No? 

Well I guess it's better to be safe than sorry. Follow the precautionary principle and all that. While we're at it, come to think of it, let's lower the speed limit on motorways to 10 mph to stop all the car crashes, which are a much bigger cause of death for the under 50s than the virus. Let's scrap smoking and drinking as well. Too dangerous. Walking in the park? Forget about it. Not with all those leaves falling off the trees at this time of year. 

Wait a minute, why not let's go one further and just do away with going anywhere at any time ever - let's just live and work online, because the internet is a great place to live, like Bond Street or better on a Monopoly board. Nice and clean, like the desert. But how then can we get whipped up into a frenzy and dispense mob justice on those who think for themselves and don't follow our superstitions? 

There's always Twitter. 

Anonymous 24 October 20 18:02

"Find out where key members of the relevant senior management team (SMT) live. Make it clear that they work for US – our taxes pay their wages. Always give them a chance to resolve the situation during working hours.

If they fail to take you seriously, simply pay them a visit at home. First thing in the morning or last thing at night are the most effective times to knock on those SMT doors. By showing them you know where they live you are holding them accountable. With nowhere to hide, they will soon get their act together and do what’s right by the people they serve."

From his website. What in the actual f***.

Anon 02 November 20 07:45

The fact that he can stick an air regulator in his mouth 30m under water for an hour shows that completely capable of wearing a face mask. 

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