Spin Doctors & The U.K.

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Spin Doctors & The U.K.

One of my friends, from across the pond in the U.K. just sent this in. -- Diane

Thanks for all the Y2k stuff. A scottish MP predicted chaos and a breakdown of law and order over y2k just last week, but the spin doctors rubbished him as usual. Police leave is cancelled NATIONWIDE so a local constable told me, but no one is telling the British public this YELL IT ON THE NET FOR ME. This is serious and no one is believing it. Currently people are still chucking out as garbage beautiful all solid fuel burners...we picked one up for #5o, it will even run on combustible garbage. We are also stocking up each week with small amounts of storable food and candles, oil, lighters etc. I am also buying a 40band CB radio....

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 09, 1998


The British will NEVER believe in a y2k disaster, no matter what.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), November 10, 1998.

The PUBLIC will never believe in y2k, until it hits them in the face!

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplnaet.net), November 10, 1998.

Not true about the UK not waking up in time - check out this link:-


Also it's hit questions in Parliament and Blair is taking it very seriously.

-- Andy (andy_rowland@msn.com), November 11, 1998.

This is my (admittedly simplistic) take on things as a Brit expat living in America - and my views tend to vary as new factors emerge or I give things a little more thought (OK, I let optimism rear it's ugly head!).

Washington DC has always been gun shy with coming clean on issues. So has the UK, but although we have the Official Secrets Act and 'D' notices which curtail the freedom of the press and media, it's quite obvious that the USA is more locked down. So ask yourself "why would things change now" with possibly the worst calamity to hit the human race looming on the horizon? There are simply too many financial and societal implications for DC to tell the truth at this point in time.

The markets (Japan a lost cause, USA - trillions in debt) at the moment are *really* close to meltdown, they are being artificially manipulated - no question. DC does not want a run on banks - hence keep quiet, downplay the situation. For every $100 dollars in your checking account your average bank has less than $2 in currency. When the general public wakes up the bank run issue is very likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy whether DC tells the truth on Y2K or not - especially if there is a financial meltdown in late '98 or '99. Yet DC *is* failing the people by not realistically addressing the situation - damned if I do, damned if I don't...

USA = 280 million to feed, huge country, agriculture extremely mechanised/computerised, dependent totally on trucking and rail for the food chain (calculated incidentally to be 1500 miles back in the sixties), great extremes of weather and access to water and viable growing land, logistically a nightmare if things go up the swannee.

UK = 58 million to feed, plenty of water, much smaller country, still a fishing industry (just), no hurricanes, no real extremes of heat or cold, not too many guns floating about, you get the picture. Bottom line is the Brit's have got less to lose financially and more to gain by getting a head start in the "hey this is real" stakes.

The UK is a pretty sturdy little ship and the logistics of muddling through if things get really bad are not in the same league as the USA will have to cope with. But hey, we do like a good riot every now and then, it's going to be bad everywhere...

I can't comment on Canada but it looks like they are getting their act together - printing currency, mobilising the reserves etc. - but it does get bloody cold up there - especially in January 2000.

What can you do? - keep asking questions, write to your local newspapers, call talk radio stations, tell your friends and family, but *don't* analyse this thing to death and not (or leave it too late) make your own financial, physical and mental preparations.

Maybe I've got this all totally wrong - I really hope so, but I'm not betting my life on it.

Good luck, Andy

-- Andy (andy_rowland@msn.com), November 11, 1998.

Andy, I'm talking about joe public, not the Gov. whose actions so far have been pitiable, I don't care about Blair's hot air.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), November 11, 1998.

OK Richard, fair point, but there has been recent activity, check out


Cheers, Andy

-- Andy (andy_rowland@msn.com), November 11, 1998.

Sorry, wrong link,

"A potentially major panic over the Year 2000 issue is brewing in the UK Friday morning after late editions of the Daily Telegraph Thursday revealed details of a leaked government memo on the problem.

According to the London daily paper, a confidential memo from Donald Dewar, the Scottish Secretary to George Robertson, the British Defense Secretary, argued against proposed cuts in the British civilian reserve army, known as the Territorial Army.

Dewar is reported to have reasoned that the cuts in Scotland could cause problems in the aftermath of Jan. 1, 2000, since it "would severely hamper Scotland's ability to cope with a serious civil emergency."

In his memo, Dewar noted that, if the Year 2000 computer problem hits home, the troops may be called onto British streets to help local governments cope with problems such as lost power and telephone lines, as well as a lack of essential services.

All these problems, Dewar is reported to have noted, are possible scenarios caused by the Year 2000 problem.

The memo entered the public domain, it seems, when it was leaked by persons unknown to the Scottish National Party. In parliament, Conservative MPs criticized the Labour government for failing to admit that the Year 2000 issue poses a far more worrysome problem than ministers have previously admitted.

The memo reportedly notes that local authorities around the UK are now in the process of drawing up emergency plans to cope with the Year 2000 under the Armed Forces Military Aid to Civil Authorities Act.

Under this legislation, Newsbytes understands, a national emergency situation would see the British Army deployed on the streets of the UK to handle the situation."

-- Andy (andy_rowland@msn.com), November 11, 1998.

Andy, thanks I'm only referring to the people I speak to, I suppose when its "on the tele" people will believe it and not before. You see the Brits only believe whats on the tele, having said that I still don't think anyone will panic. We have this belief that "everything will work out alright" as you know. I don't but that is the general feeling.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), November 11, 1998.

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