For some reason, I really don’t understand why, I have gotten myself onto an email list from the Cabinet Office’s “Emergency Planning College”. I am not complaining, it’s a useful heads up for plans on safety at festivals and sporting venues and major accident hazard COMAH sites in my area, even if Position Paper 6 and Occasional Paper 19 turned out to be a little dry… A quick summary: it’s all about resilience and I hope I’m not giving too much away by saying that the thrust of the advice here is, “Don’t panic (unless you need to) because other people will”.


That opening paragraph alone is probably enough to get me removed from the list and, when I think about it, I am probably on it because of something to do with my current job. In which case: (a) I needn’t have bothered with the stuff about sporting venues and (b) everyone in Denmark Hill can rest assured that I am bookish and sad enough to have read all of the messages and have been rendered so terrified by the threat of a failure in Business Continuity that I have become entirely risk averse. Anyway, King’s were kind enough to give me a very realistic crash course in crisis management by simulating one just as I took up my role as Executive Dean. My own family have been helping in that area too. So we’re covered for most things apart from alien first contact and a volcano. And I am sure those emails are due over the summer.

Katastrophenschutz (literally, “Catastrophe Protection”) is something we’ll need to learn more about in the next few years. At some stage, surely, the incessant stream of virtue signalling that swarms across my social media feeds will have to stop. Please?

Then what? Well, at some stage the liberal left will develop a coherent narrative that appeals to a broad coalition of voters. Surely they must or what’s the alternative? A true horror show, a return to the spectre of an isolated Little Britain where we’re haunted by the returning ghosts of Mary Whitehouse, Enid Blyton’s casual racism, and conductor Jack from “On The Buses“.


My son has been bed bound for some time, and he’s resorted to any TV channel he can find to relieve the boredom. One day he chanced upon an episode of “On The Buses”. Genuinely, he thought it was hopelessly unfunny and some sort of nightmare from another dimension. It was or rather is… but my advice to all of us is that, “you’d best start believing in ghost stories… you’re in one.”

Time for some Katastrophenschutz. But perhaps, this time, without risk aversion…