Join 3,416 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Anyone for the Global War on Flu?
August 8, 2008 9:41 AM   Subscribe

The UK's national risk register is made public. It is kept updated by the secret squirrels in the Cabinet Office, and was previously kept under wraps. Pandemic flu and flooding beat out terrorism as the major risks facing the UK at the moment. Both are seen as less likely than a terrorist attack, but more devastating. The full pdf has a chart on page 7 showing the main risks on a grid.
posted by athenian (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Hmmm...makes no mention of flesh eating zombies or winged armies of trained monkeys.
posted by rhymer at 9:46 AM on August 8, 2008


coughs and sneezes spread diseases
posted by A189Nut at 9:49 AM on August 8, 2008


Pandemic flu and flooding beat out terrorism as the major risks facing the UK

I think they should follow Madagascar's lead on this one and just close the ports at the first sign of trouble.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:54 AM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Risk #1: Cabinet office taken over by secret squirrels.
posted by DU at 9:59 AM on August 8, 2008


Surely the death of Steve Jobs should be on there somewhere. I mean, think of the SHAREHOLDER VALUE!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:03 AM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


They don't seem to mention the threat of a surveillance state. Or beer supply interruptions.

Must be some other "UK".
posted by SaintCynr at 10:08 AM on August 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Pandemic flu and flooding beat out terrorism as the major risks facing the UK

Which is actually pretty smart as flu and flooding have killed far more people throughout history than terrorism ever will.

Though, as an American who gets most of his information about the UK through television shows, I have to wonder why Daleks didn't make the list. I mean, those fuckers seem to be causing trouble every couple of weeks over there.
posted by quin at 10:38 AM on August 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


No! Whenever we declare war on something, we tend to lose: war on drugs, war on poverty... Americans are too damn fond of war as a metaphor.
posted by shetterly at 11:49 AM on August 8, 2008


interesting, but given recent history isn't the animal pandemic likelihood too low?

daleks haven't been so much of a problem since we started using staircases.
posted by not sure this is a good idea at 11:53 AM on August 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is brilliant, thanks.
posted by greytape at 12:11 PM on August 8, 2008


The stairs may have stopped the Daleks, but what about Cybermen? Mr. Speaker, why has Mr. Brown's government repeatedly failed to maintain our strategic reserves of gold dust? Along with the banking crisis and climate change, this is simply another example of the Labor Party failing to address the real threats to our country while distracting us with talk of Olympics and such.

Bread and circuses I tell you!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:34 PM on August 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Damn, the UK has secret squirrels too?
posted by XMLicious at 1:05 PM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmmm...makes no mention of flesh eating zombies or winged armies of trained monkeys.

(Fingertips together) Eeeexcellent, eeeexcellent.

Actually, when I readthis I was reasonably reassured that the government is keeping a relative sense of perspective about things and isn't completely OMFG TERRORIZM. But the Daily Mail will no doubt see this as a pinko distortion of the real List:

1. Falling house prices
2. Immigrant gypsy paedos
3. Terrorism
4. Celebrities having cellulite/old hands
5. Harriet Harman
posted by WPW at 1:20 PM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


WPW: If you saw their headline this morning the main threat appears to be that Members of Parliament are no longer going to swear oaths of allegiance to the Queen.
posted by athenian at 1:23 PM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


and flooding beat out terrorism

And London is calling an I.... live by the river.
posted by three blind mice at 2:19 PM on August 8, 2008


To me, this document looks like a blatant piece of "after the fact" policy justification. It couldn't be more political if it had a little circle for "Conservative General Election Victory".

Conventionally, risk charts (like one on page 7 of the PDF) are read diagonally - from the most significant risks in the top-right corner, to the most trivial in the bottom-left. Read that way, I'd say that Pandemic Flu is judged the most significant risk, followed by Attacks on Transport and Attacks on Crowded places.

To me, it looks like both the likelihood and impact of conventional terrorist attacks have been plumped-up to push them up to the forefront. You'll note that an "Attack on Crowded Place" (a bomb) is estimated to have a greater impact than a chemical-weapons attack, AND be more likely than "Severe Weather"!!
posted by mr. strange at 4:11 PM on August 8, 2008


"To me, this document looks like a blatant piece of "after the fact" policy justification. It couldn't be more political if it had a little circle for "Conservative General Election Victory"."

You're entitled to your opinion, but I really don't agree. It's a civil service document produced by civil servants - no photos of Ministers, no big media splash. Unless you are of the Daily Mail/Morning Star school that attributes any action of government to the sinister machinations of the Blair/Brown dictatorship machine, I can't understand where you see the politics in it.

Or do you think terrorism isn't a threat?
posted by athenian at 3:04 AM on August 9, 2008


Was really hoping that secret squirrel link led to something secret squirrelish.

Also: athenian: compared to anything serious, no, terrorism isn't a threat. Run the numbers.
posted by pompomtom at 8:46 AM on August 9, 2008


« Older Friday Flash Fun: Switch is a game where you are c...  |  Richard Nixon had his nemisis ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments