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By Jason Michael
AS EVERYONE KNOWS, September is ‘Preparedness Month!’ Actually, no one outside of America’s wacky survivalist or ‘doomsday prepper’ community knows that September is preparedness month, but given that September is the month before October – and as we all know October is going to be a very interesting month in the United Kingdom, the emergency services in the UK have decided that it’s probably a good idea that we’re all well prepared for a catastrophic disaster scenario they are refusing to name – Brexit! At first, when I saw the tweet from Police Scotland, I thought it was just something the Scottish police thought up, seeing as everything is much calmer up here than it is in London. But no, as the day went on it became clear this whole ‘bug out bag’ thing was something the police and fire brigades all over Britain were keen to get us thinking about. Evidently, this is something they have thought about and discussed at a national level. So, what’s going on?
Sam Coates, a political editor at Sky News, mentioned in a tweet the gossip around the news rooms was whether or not the Prime Minister could use section 2 of the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) and declare a state of emergency in order to scrap the Withdrawal Bill and thereby avoid another painful extension to Brexit. This legislation is interesting in that it defines an ‘emergency’ as an event which ‘threatens serious damage to human welfare in the United Kingdom or in a part or region’ of the United Kingdom, an event which ‘threatens serious damage to the environment,’ and ‘war – or terrorism – which threatens serious damage to the security of the United Kingdom.’ Its use, or even the consideration of its use, would be an acknowledgement – the first explicit acknowledgement – on the part of the British government that Brexit is indeed a disaster.
Chatter tonight over whether Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings cd declare a national emergency by using part 2 (Em… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) September 08, 2019
A number of senior Conservatives have already voiced their concerns that there are powerful forces at play in the state, working to ensure the hardest possible departure from Europe. In the House of Lords, Nigel Lawson wasn’t joking when he said there is a “real danger that undesirable, but often understandable, insurrectionary forces will feel they cannot trust the British parliament [if a hard Brexit is avoided],” and that as a result “a very ugly situation could well arise.” The feeling – among Tories – in the upper house is that an insurrection – a civil war, an actual violent armed struggle – is on the cards if the government fails to deliver a Brexit which satisfies a powerful and well-connected segment of the British establishment. They’re not talking about street politics here – disgruntled thugs like Tommy Robinson running amok on the streets of London and Manchester, they’re talking about an organised coup, something closer to a bloody right-wing revolution.
Is this something we ought to be prepared for? Well, it’s clearly something people at the top of government are getting prepared for. We know that ‘Operation Yellowhammer’ involves the deployment of soldiers to the streets of large urban centres and hundreds of police from England and Scotland being sent to assist the PSNI in the north of Ireland in the event of the breakdown of the Good Friday Agreement – a treaty which actually ended a three decades long civil war. The government has been stockpiling food and essential medicines because it knows a no-deal Brexit will immediately terminate our just-in-time supply line from the continent, and it knows that food shortages always lead to civil disorder and rioting.
We’re damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t. If we crash out of the European Union on 31 October our cross-Channel trade links will stop – meaning everything from nappies to insulin will stop arriving into the UK. The closer we get to that deadline without another extension or a negotiated resolution to the crisis, the more likely ordinary people will begin panic shopping; stockpiling food and medicines themselves – which means the shelves in supermarkets and local shops will be empty days or even weeks ahead of the deadline. When people find empty shelves in the supermarkets and when they know those shelves are not about to be restocked any time soon, they will begin to panic. Frightened and panicked people do not protest. They rampage.
KatherineSandersIcons🏴🇧🇪 (@sjksanders) September 08, 2019
If we escape the inevitable chaos and civil disorder and violence of a terrified general public in an ‘apocalypse scenario’ Brexit, then the government is readying itself for an entirely different kind of disorder – from those ‘insurrectionary forces.’ It is beginning to look like the near horizon does not look good for the British state. We may not all be entirely aware of this, but the people in Whitehall are – and they are talking about it. They are planning for it, and that planning involves both the police and the army. This explains why the police and other emergency services all over the UK are eager to have us thinking about bug out bags and supplies of food and first aid equipment. It is just a little too far fetched to believe Police Scotland and the Thames Valley Police thought – independently of one another – that the same advice with the same chirpy-looking info graphic was a good idea for ‘preparedness month.’ They’ve been talking about this, and – really – it is something we should be talking about too. This is serious.
Personally, I cannot see an outcome in the next month to twelve months in which we can successfully avoid some sort of violence between one group or another (or both) and the police or the army (or both). Thanks to the utter incompetence of the British government, we now find ourselves in a horrible situation in which widespread disorder and violence are unavoidable. We can hope – of course – that is not long-lasting and does not cost lives, but the reality is that we simply cannot know. What we do know, and what the government is planning for, is that it is coming. My advice is this: Take the advice of the police and the emergency services, be prepared and take preparedness month seriously. Stock up enough non-perishable food and other essentials to last you and your family at least a fortnight. Whatever happens, stay calm and keep those around you calm. Do whatever it takes to keep you and your family safe, and do what you can to look after the elderly and the infirm.
How I wish this was a hoax!
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