March 21, 2023

Four minute warning?

Boil an egg in my last minutes? No way I can't afford the electricity?

Four minute warning?
Photo by Denley Photography / Unsplash
 Fylingdales BMEWS | source Wikimedia Commons User:Cherubino

Back to the incredibly scary future?

Another local election season is upon us. The party faithful will rally round to support their candidates, and the magic roundabout whirls into action. So much spin, you see.

Nowadays, any election, something that used to galvanise me into action supporting the party and the party faithful, does not fill me with enthusiasm. Unfortunately, I am more like Dylan the rabbit in Serge Danot’s Le Manège enchanté! Like ‘hey man, what’s happening'? Said Dylan. Somehow I am not enchanted with things. Beware of Buxton the blue allegedly Tory cat who wants to take over the garden? He has changed his name to Boris.

Taking a line from the Beatles, it's been a long, cold, lonely winter. And sadly, I do not see the smiles returning to anyone's faces. I wish I could.

Moving back to terra firma. Apparently the government is testing an emergency alert system on our phones, on the 23rd of April. It will say apparently:

“This is a test of Emergency Alerts, a new UK Government service that will warn you if there’s a life-threatening emergency nearby.

I hope that we are safe until then. In this increasing fractious and dangerous world, who knows? Four minute warning. Just enough time to boil an egg? Boom! It is a scary old world again out there. And yes, ‘Al’ I was right all along. We have returned to xenophobia and division. Just as I predicted many years ago. It is funny how political slights can rankle after so many years. Al was a lecturer at my Alma Mater. Many hours of disagreement always ensued. Happy days. Not.

It appears to me that we never learn. We are, according to good old Uncle Sam, a tier two military force. Good. Perhaps we will stop sending people to fight unwinnable and pointless wars. We took our eye off the ball. I hope that this tier two status will stop us maiming and killing incredibly brave young men and women far away from our doorstep. For instance according to Sky News:

Our armed forces would run out of ammunition "in a few days" if called upon to fight. The UK lacks the ability to defend its skies against the level of missile and drone strikes that Ukraine is enduring It would take five to 10 years for the army to be able to field a war-fighting division of some 25,000 to 30,000 troops backed by tanks, artillery and helicopters. Some 30% of UK forces on high readiness are reservists who are unable to mobilise within NATO timelines - "so we'd turn up under strength”. The majority of the army's fleet of armoured vehicles, including tanks, was built between 30 to 60 years ago and full replacements are not due for years.

Part of the Social Contract between the State and the individual is to protect its citizens. Well another fail there then. No sane person would want to fight. But we are facing a threat that has always been there. It never disappeared. We ignored Shelob in 'her' lair. Now the spider is awake and we need to develop a ’sting’ to protect ourselves. Maybe we should think about a Swedish model of defence?