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Britain’s emergency planning against terrorism

Britain’s government has a website telling us all manner of splendid things about how we are protected by the state now that we have David Blunkett watching over us… and what we should do in the event of a spot of bother happening when Blunkett is off on a tea break.

Yet it seems a more, well, candid version of this site has also helpfully been made available to us by our political masters.

(with thanks to the eagle-eyed Guy Herbert for spotting this)

20 comments to Britain’s emergency planning against terrorism

  • This is just pure gold. I laughed my arse off… taster, on the “Helping to prevent a terrorist attack” page…

    You may have vital information. If you hear, see or come across anything that may be linked with terrorist activity, please tell the police. They want to hear from you. Well, they would want to hear from you, if they weren’t hideously understaffed and in desperate need of more officers.

    Terrorists need…

    A place to live: Are you suspicious about any tenants or guests? REPORT THEM, CITIZEN!

    To plan: Have you seen anyone pay an unusual amount of attention to security measures at any location? REPORT THEM, CITIZEN!

    Money: Individuals may set up bogus bank accounts, copy credit cards, return goods for large cash refunds. Or you never know, that tramp who’s always asking for spare change could be a terrorist.

    Equipment: If you are a retailer, do you have any cause to be suspicious about anything being bought? And if so, WHY ARE YOU SELLING IT, CITIZEN? SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS!

    I also love the bit where the govt wrote to him to tell him to take it down.

    The State is not your friend. It is the dumb bully kid that everyone laughs at behind its back.

  • ThePresentOccupier

    I fully expect the government’s next move to be going after the site owner (or more likely – his ISP) on breach of copyright grounds.

    Either that or invoke some legislation regarding undermining public confidence (this would presumably be the gov’t protecting their monopoly).

  • Verity

    No one has done more to undermine public confidence than Tony Blair. Allowing mad mullahs to preach hatred of normal people, unhindered, while tapping the side of his nose and saying ,”We’re keeping our eye on them” is very debilitating to public confidence. So is abandoning control of the borders, which is one of the two or three legitimate activities of government. (Another one is keeping law and order. Ooops!)

  • Verity

    Also, if they don’t want to alarm the public, they should keep Cherie Blair in the attic.

  • Or at least make sure she never smiles.

  • Axel Kassel

    Mr. Douglas Alexander’s “Welcome to the Preparing for Emergencies” message has a glaring flaw. “The booklet,” he says, “.. can save lives. Basic first aid advice, who to contact in the event of an emergency, reducing hazards in your home and how to ensure you do not put others in danger are just some examples.”

    Improving public safety and security requires, in fact, that others ARE put in danger, i.e., terrorists and other criminals. One good way to do this would be to restore Britons’ rights to defend themselves with deadly force, preferably with 10mm-or-better concealable handguns. Waiting for the police whilst under attack is merely passive suicide.

  • I love the fact that the .gov has already pounced on a PARODY website, and threatened to shut it down “in case people get confused”.

    Symptomatic of the way they regard the ordinary citizen, it seems.

  • Guy Herbert

    It is a little disturbing that parts of the genuine article are funnier than the parody. (To a sick and twisted mind like mine, at least.)

    Check the endorsement from Debbie Spargo, Chief Executive of the Emergency Planning Society, whom I would have sworn was made up if I’d read about her in, say, Private Eye.

    May I venture to prophesy that the government will in due course require all businesses to have a written Emergency Plan to go with their written Health and Safety Policy and their written ACAS-compliant Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. (The latter two no joke, overseas readers.)

  • llamas

    I read the linked site, and I was transported back to about 1974, when I attended the diploma show for the Royal College of Art in London. One of the assignments in the department of printing and graphics was to design and produce ‘A Half-Measure’.

    One student produced as his submission a poster, printed in that inimitable HMSO style, which consisted solely of the official HMG advice to citizens on what to do in case of a nuclear attack. All the data was legit, he showed the Government pamphlets and publications from which he’d drawn it.

    I still have a copy of that poster framed on the wall, as a reminder. The section about passing the bad news by ‘oral or whistle message’ is particularly striking.

    I think 9/11 showed us that the government is always, at best, barely able to help the citizens in the face of these sorts of things and, at worst, actively hinders them from doing what needs to be done. And advice like that in the linked site reflects more wishful thinking than it does reality.

    Readers might like to find a copy of a book called ‘What Happened to the Corbetts’ (US title ‘Ordeal’) by the novelist Nevil Shute. Although 70 years old, it does give some insight, if fictional, into what may happen when the unthinkable happens. This book was considered so prescient that it was printed in a special edition used for pre-WW2 ARP training.



  • Mr. Damage

    Screw the government website. Get a Glock. Oh wait, they won’t you Brits have one.

  • gasky

    I expect Herr Blunkett is already trying to nail the creator of the site. BTW, I thought the ski jumping penguin was priceless.

  • We should however be most careful not to stereotype,someone wearing a kefiya and carrying an AK47 may simply be celebrating their diversity.

  • Verity

    David Blunkett is blind. He cannot see the site. He is therefore at the mercy of the people who will be explaining it to him. This makes for a government minister who is not able. Therefore, he should never have been appointed a government minister – or even a local government councillor.

    Why should 59m Britons be goosestepped into living with David Blunkett’s disability? How many of us care? Why didn’t he go into business and somehow fight his way bravely through to being a big blind successful millionaire? Oh, you mean no one ever has? Because to be a successful business person you have to be able to read faces? Because the marketplace is unforgiving? So Blunkett, who is incompetent because he cannot read faces, is forced on the British voters and their payroll to make Toneboy look really compassionate (although we already knew that; he married Cherie) while putting in place draconian invasions of the privacy of citizens by commanding photos of the irises of normal people, whose irises respond to light, as identifiers. Blunkett is disabled. He has no business in government, which should attract the most able people. Tough.

  • PaleoMan

    If libertarians find it ludicrous to suppose that “the State” could protect its citizens at home, why do so many of you repose so much faith in the ability of the State’s spy satellites, bombs, “smart weapons” etc to eliminate terrorist threats thousands of miles from home?

  • ThePresentOccupier

    Who says anything about faith in “smart” weapons systems? The only way to “eliminate terrorist threats thousands of miles from home” is with boots on the ground. Intelligence is key to doing that effectively, not sanitised video-game systems.

    Of course, I’m biased. Never mind not being allowed a Glock, they won’t allow me my GPMG any more…

  • Thanks for the best laugh of the week. The tragedy is that most of it could be even closer to the truth than the “real” advice from our Illustrious Leaders cronies and civil servants. The only people they will make sure are safe and secure in the event of the unthinkable are themselves. They have emasculated the fire services, destroyed its ability to respond while conning the public that it is all being “modernised”. You’ll be luck to have one by the time Tone and his chums have finished.

  • snide

    ‘paleoman’, as simplistic as ever. minarchists think that is the role of the state, but the issue is HOW they try to do it. As things stand now, the state is a threat, not a boon, at home, but that does not mean in principle that the state cannot do its bit.

  • PaleoMan

    Snide: “As things stand now, the state is a threat, not a boon, at home, but that does not mean in principle that the state cannot do its bit.”

    So instead of chanting “The State Is Not Your Friend”, we should be saying “The State The Way It Is Now Is Not Your Friend”? But how will it ever be any other way?

    This site is full of rants against ID cards, DNA collection, alarmist government campaigns and so forth, but those things go hand in hand with beating up “rogue states” on the smallest pretext (or none at all in the case of Iraq).

  • So instead of chanting “The State Is Not Your Friend”, we should be saying “The State The Way It Is Now Is Not Your Friend”?

    Sure, but that doesn’t quite hack it as a slogan…

    But how will it ever be any other way?

    Good question, and the (probable) answer is by changing the frames of reference of enough people, i.e. win the culture war

    This site is full of rants against ID cards, DNA collection, alarmist government campaigns and so forth, but those things go hand in hand with beating up “rogue states” on the smallest pretext (or none at all in the case of Iraq).

    And there is where the paleo position descends into absurdity… if we want a government we are not afraid of, we need to cut it down to size and refuse to legitimise much of what it now does, hence “the state is not your friend”… but most folks can tell the difference between Blair’s Britain and Saddam’s Iraq… magnitude does matter. It is never morally wrong to overthrow a tyranny (though that does not always mean it is always an opportune moment to do so) and I am happy to see the lesser evil overthrow the greater evil, so opposing unjustified abridgements of liberty at home and also dropping bombs on full blown tyrants elsewhere seems just fine to me.

  • PaleoMan

    “Opposing unjustified abridgements of liberty at home and also dropping bombs on full blown tyrants elsewhere seems just fine to me.” – Perry De Havilland

    Not on tyrants– on 10,000+ dead Iraqi civilians, so far. Oh well, wasn’t it Lenin who said you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs? “Just fine to me.”

    Luckily most libertarians in the home of liberty can see the connection between the USA PATRIOT Act and an out-of-control defense budget:


    As can the Constitution Party:


    “Since World War II, the United States has been involved in tragic, unconstitutional, undeclared wars which cost our country the lives of many thousands of young Americans. These wars were the direct and foreseeable result of the bi-partisan interventionist policy of both Democrat and Republican administrations.

    “The Constitution Party is opposed to the continuation of the same interventionist policy, with that policy’s capacity to involve our country in repeated wars.

    “We demand that:

    “Never again shall United States troops be employed on any foreign field of battle without a declaration of war by Congress, as required by the United States Constitution;

    “Congress refuse to fund unconstitutional, undeclared wars pursuant to presidential whim or international obligations under which American sovereignty has been transferred to multi-national agencies.


    “The Constitution Party has consistently opposed American involvement in conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Central and South America. The United States has no interest in these areas which would justify the sacrifice of Americans on foreign battlefields – nor is our country properly cast as a merchant of death in international arms races.”

    http://www.constitutionparty.com/party_platform.php#Foreign Policy