Government by Fear and Panic.

Quick, hide! The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!!!!!!

It takes me back to the heady days of the cold war.

Wee Johnny Reid, having run out of things to crack down on, as Boggart Blog pointed out a few days ago, has exhumed that old trick of Governments in Deep Poo. He is spreading fear and panic.

Now its tragic that the Russian guy died, but he was a former spy. Former spies tend to have a higher chance of getting bumped off than the rest of us.

So why this talk of Russian assassiains stalking the lanes of Britain waiting for a chance to kill each and every one of us by putting Thallium in our beer, sausages, pork pies (who’d notice that?) and other things that have a special place in the British collective psyche.

Now as I said its tragic that the man died, especially in that way. But its not a big deal. The Russian like bumping each other off, its what they do best, they have been at it ever since Ivan the Terrible murdered all his rivals (and a few of his close relatives and best mates) to secure the throne.

The fact that the murder agent was a radio active toxin is being used to great effect in stirring up fear and panic, among Daily Mail readers especially. Is this the fabled dirty bomb? Are radio active corpses the latest weapon of mass destruction?

Well the Russians aren’t coming. The radiation emitted by Thallium has a very short range and will threaten nobody even if they had contact with the dead man.

And we do not know that the Russian government was involved. Just as likely it was some gangster with a grudge. So we can all get on with our lives.

Unless of course you, like me, are more worried by the fact that questions surrounding the untimely death of a British Government scientist a couple of years ago have never been satisfactorily answered.

6 thoughts on “Government by Fear and Panic.

  1. The two paramedics attending said Govt. scientist who reported only light wrist marks & very little blood at the scene were pretty soon shut up.

    Good point about said ex Rusky spy. It’s Dr Fearmonger at the moment, he was at it in Oban the weekend, warning against the “dangers of the SNP” in Scotland.

    Tragic, the Polonium poisoning, as you say, but who knows how many people he silenced in his shady youth?

    What goes round comes round, esp’ in the world of esp’
    It’s an occupational hazard for a spy. But how come this one reaches the headlines?
    Oh yeah, the Blair fear-diversion tactics. And still the sheep don’t get it.

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    1. I first used “Fear and Panic” about twenty years ago in Maggies heyday, in a sketch for a Radio 4 comedy Listen Carefully There May Be Questions.
      There were obviously questions and the show was not recommissioned.
      But at least my wrists are scar free.

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  2. Not the first person Putin has shut up in a hurry and doubtful to be the last. He was a dissident in the UK because he refused to assassinate an oil guy Putin wanted out of the way so he could orchestrate a merger between companies . . . both went into hiding and Putin got his “yes” man – Roman Abramovich to undersign the deal.

    That he got what he wanted and still chose to silence a critic shows what a power freak he is . . . no wonder he gets on with Blair so well. Still, as you say . . . a life as a spy carries its own risks, even when you are retired.

    Polonium is far more toxic than it is radioactive – it’s this which killed Litvinenko most likely, not the radiation – PO 210 is an alpha emitter and can’t even penetrate skin (you can block alpha emitters with a sheet of paper). You’re only in trouble if you swallow or inhale alpha particles and even then the resultant cancer would take years to kill you. If anyone ringing the NHS panic lines had received a lethal rad dose from wandering by, you’d need a “hot” spill that even BNFL would regard as shameful.

    But it *does* tick the Cold War/terrorist paranoia box of “Radiation” without necessarily being all that serious for the general public.

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    1. That’s an informative reply. I hadn’t registered that the poison was not Thallium by the time I made the post (but I’m just getting over a battle with the snot dragon.)

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      1. From a quick peek at wikipedia it seems that these radioactive metals are orders of magnitude more poisonous than your standard cyanide, hence the attractiveness to the cloak ‘n’ dagger brigade. Thallium is more easliy produced so was the initial suspect – Polonium is apparently quite tricky to manufacture and handle which begs more questions about the resources needed to supply it.

        Now there’s a hot trail back to Moscow! Mr Blair needs to be doing something more than his trademark silence if he’s not to let every dissident in the UK feel like it’s open season.

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