Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Nation Government Of Paranoid Hobbits

Or maybe they're just more forthcoming about it now; but it certainly appears that the Brits were deadly serious about ensuring Airstrip One would remain usable if the Cold War had gone hot: case in point, the vast hidden shelter known as Burlington. H'mm, perhaps it helps motivation if you've actually, you know, had bombs fall?

Update: After more web-browsing, changed title: seems Her Majesty's Gummint promis't civilian nuke shelters. And then never built any. Better/worse than the minimal fallout-only "shelters" in the U.S., mostly located inside the areas that would be wiped out by a nice big USSR nuke? Eh, about the same if needed.


Joanna said...

Totally OT: I'm all for a March 21 blogmeet. Lines up nicely with the 1500.

On topic: I wonder how many cities have underground structures squirreled away, just waiting for when TSHTF? Given how much of our infrastructure is now underground, my guess is: Lots.

Robb Allen said...

"Built in the late 50s this massive city complex was designed to safely house up to 4,000 central Government personnel in the event of a nuclear strike."

Screw the people, save the government.

Roberta X said...


MrWolf. said...

I can recommend 'War Plan UK' by Duncan Long, a journalist who took the time to root out the government plans and regulations for Britain if the wheels fell off. (Standstill orders to stop citizens fleeing the cities. Three magistrates sitting together 'when possible' making execution orders, otherwise one magistrate and two other 'people of responsibility'.)

That book, and the TV program/DVD 'Threads' are two of the reasons I migrated to Australia in '88, with my firstborn a baby in my arms. On a small island it's hard to get safely away from one juicy target without nearing another.

You want another reason? Shortly before leaving, I bought some potassium iodide,to protect from radiation. Later on, the U.K. government made it illegal for citizens to purchase, because 'it will be easier to get survivors to work in reconstruction teams if we can promise them anti-radiaton pills as a reward.' Good to know they have our welfare at heart.

Best wishes.

Roberta X said...

That's a breathtaking degree of government arrogance, sir; escape to the Antipodes was an appropriate response

MrWolf. said...

Duncan CAMPBELL, not Long.

Well, it has been over twenty years since I read it. Funny how I lost interest in the grim future for Airstrip One after I moved to Godzone!

NMM1AFan said...

Seems like people worked to discredit or make irrelevant civil defense here in the U.S., too.

Justthisguy said...

Potassium Iodide not allowed? That is just evil, and grounds for violent anti-gov revolt.

WV: astory. Yeah, it's just a story, but I think it's true.

Ken said...

I was going to say that the post title was a calumny against hobbits, but I paused to reflect that the Professor would not recognize the Serutan-land that England seems to have become. I suppose in little places like Chalfont St. Giles it's possible to believe in the green and pleasant land. On the other hand, that's fairly dear real estate, some of the dearest in England (Buckinghamshire)...and I haven't been there since 2001.