Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Is Britain really 4 meals away from anarchy?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is Britain really 4 meals away from anarchy?

    From The Sunday Times October 10, 2004 and linked today on the Global Guerillas website

    Britain ‘four meals away from anarchy’
    by Will Iredale and Jack Grimston
    Full article is here. Here are some short snippets:

    MI5’s maxim is that society is “four meals away from anarchy”. In other words, the security agency believes that Britain could be quickly reduced to large-scale disorder, including looting and rioting in the event of a catastrophe that stops the supply of food.

    The maxim will provoke debate over whether MI5 is over-egging the threat, partly to justify its rapidly growing budget. It also opens a wider question as to whether civilised societies could so quickly revert to primitive behaviour.

    MI5 — whose motto is “regnum defende”, defend the realm — uses the “four meals” rule to assess the threat levels from attacks on strategic installations, such as computer networks and power stations; natural disasters; or widespread strikes and civil disobedience.

    There is evidence that the breakdown of order could be caused partly by the first pangs of hunger but more likely by panic.
    It is estimated that after as little as four missed meals, a “law of the jungle” would take over, in which citizens resorted to looting or violence to find food.

    The possible breakdown in order, MI5 believes, could occur in isolated pockets or, less probably, across the country.

    Some experts claim Britain’s food supply network is diverse enough not to collapse quickly in the event of a major disaster; others point to the speed with which the distribution system briefly came to a halt during the fuel price protests in 2000.
    "Four meals away from anarchy" had 24,000 hits when I typed it into the Google search engine. Is this something taken seriously in the UK, or is it just hype?

  • #2
    I think it's a fun saying made to bring light to a more serious point - collapsing infrastructure will indeed cause civil unrest.

    Comment


    • #3
      Stopping the supply of English food could lead to civil unrest???

      Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
        Stopping the supply of English food could lead to civil unrest???

        Oh Oh the sides are spliting. From a nation that brought us dairy queen and ihop.

        Comment


        • #5
          Somebody has over egged the pudding.
          Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

          That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by copenhagen View Post
            Oh Oh the sides are spliting. From a nation that brought us dairy queen and ihop.
            Has The Cheesecake Factory made it over there yet?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by copenhagen View Post
              Oh Oh the sides are spliting. From a nation that brought us dairy queen and ihop.
              I happen to like kippers & kedgeree... But let's face it... The best food in England is Indian...

              There's a good Aggie joke about Dairy Queen... But it dosn't translate very well from Texan to English. DQ's burgers aren't too bad... And IHOP is good if you avoid the pancakes...
              Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

              Comment


              • #8
                Ihop is good if you just simply avoid it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  A stupid article in my mind. The British are not idiots, I'm sure that if food should become sparse they'd ration the the food. Also they ought to have some reserves in supermarkets and C-rations. They also produce food, perhaps not enough to feed them all but they are not in a vacuum. The french are close, theres a tunnel and france has lots of food to send in case of an emergency.
                  Ha, wie so stolz und hehr
                  Wirft über Land und Meer
                  Weithin der deutsche Aar
                  Flammenden Blick.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
                    "Four meals away from anarchy" had 24,000 hits when I typed it into the Google search engine. Is this something taken seriously in the UK, or is it just hype?
                    I think you'll find that just about every non-rural based society is.
                    Winnie says
                    ---------------------------------
                    "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

                    It was an Accident."
                    Herr Flick.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Listy View Post
                      I think you'll find that just about every non-rural based society is.
                      We've lived through 2 world wars and every time we were blockaded by you guys and our population was starving. Both times after we surrendered the blockade was held up and a hundrets of thousands starved to death. Still, our country survived that.

                      You're in a far, far better position; surrounded by friends. Dont let that fear mongering get to you.
                      Ha, wie so stolz und hehr
                      Wirft über Land und Meer
                      Weithin der deutsche Aar
                      Flammenden Blick.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The 4 meals thing is ridiculous. Kimi is right. We would ration as we did before. However if sky sports was denied to large swathes of various council estates all hell could break loose.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kimi View Post
                          A stupid article in my mind. The British are not idiots, I'm sure that if food should become sparse they'd ration the the food. Also they ought to have some reserves in supermarkets and C-rations. They also produce food, perhaps not enough to feed them all but they are not in a vacuum. The french are close, theres a tunnel and france has lots of food to send in case of an emergency.
                          The article deals with a hypothetical, catastrophic and instantaneous collapse of the supply chain in isolated pockets of the country. Under those circumstances its more than believable.

                          How many meals did folk in Chile miss before they started looting? Quake was on the 27th February and photos of people looting basic necessities started to appear on the 1st March.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Fodder76 View Post
                            The article deals with a hypothetical, catastrophic and instantaneous collapse of the supply chain in isolated pockets of the country. Under those circumstances its more than believable.

                            How many meals did folk in Chile miss before they started looting? Quake was on the 27th February and photos of people looting basic necessities started to appear on the 1st March.
                            You mean some kind of ECM takes out the whole transporting fleet of the RAF and all of Europe, all streets and railroads are destroyed, all waterways closed, all harbours destroyed, all supermakets and supply centeres burned down and all food in all households reduced to ashes? All but 4 meals that is and those 4 meals are unrationable? Also all people are unable to leave those isolated pockets of the country by using their legs since they all have fallen over breaking both legs?

                            Huh... then yes, I think the invading alien starship fleet that will rise from the oceans where it has been slumbering for the last millenium will cause quite some panic.
                            Ha, wie so stolz und hehr
                            Wirft über Land und Meer
                            Weithin der deutsche Aar
                            Flammenden Blick.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kimi View Post
                              A stupid article in my mind. The British are not idiots, I'm sure that if food should become sparse they'd ration the the food. Also they ought to have some reserves in supermarkets and C-rations. They also produce food, perhaps not enough to feed them all but they are not in a vacuum. The french are close, theres a tunnel and france has lots of food to send in case of an emergency.
                              Why is the article stupid? It doesn't really take a position at all. Rather it mentions MI-5's "maxim," and then provides statements by people who study such things. The article also contains statements that support your position:

                              Tony Morris, chairman of the London branch of the Emergency Planning Society, which brings together officials involved in preparing for emergencies, said the risk of serious disturbances was low but he did not rule out the possibility of supermarkets being guarded by police or the army.

                              In a situation where food was in short supply, Morris said it would be a top priority to keep morale up and to restore supplies quickly.
                              The Home Office would not comment on contingency plans in the event of an attack. However, the government has taken steps to try to ensure supermarket chains preserve the food supply in times of crisis.
                              Now if you want to say MI-5's maxim is stupid, thats something else entirely. I agree with both one of the comments in the article and with Rojik that this seems over-egged (if over-egged means fanciful/unlikely/designed to scare). This doesn't mean that such possiblities shouldn't be studied by disaster relief agencies, but I'm not sure I'd make decisions based on this assumption. Of course, thats my opinion, but I've seen disaster relief efforts first-hand (Hurricane Andrew in case anyone cares), and I agree with your sentiment that in an industrialized country, food can usually get where it needs to get pretty quickly (though Hurricane Katrina survivors might disagree) .

                              Comment

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X