Michael Fabricant has denounced as "ludicrous" the Government’s "go in,
stay in, tune in" advice to the public in the event of a dirty bomb attack
He said this advice was about as helpful as the old instruction to "duck and
cover" in a nuclear missile attack.
He was responding to a Commons written reply to him by Home Secretary David
Blunkett which said: "In the event of an attack, unless people are under the
direction of the emergency services, they should go indoors and tune into
the TV or radio for further instructions. The media is the main system
through which the Government and the emergency services will alert the
public. The message is: ‘Go in, stay in, tune in’."
Mr Fabricant commented: "If there is a release of poison gas, radio-active
material or biological agents, how would we all know to ‘go in, stay in,
tune in’? All the sirens have been dismantled and an attack of such a type
does not make a noise. There might not be a loud explosion; this is very
different from the blitz"
He asked whether they were expected to listen constantly to the radio just
in case such an attack occurred.
"This policy is ludicrous. Given the confusion that surrounded the flour
attack in the House of Commons, surely the Home Office has learned the
lesson to trust the people and give clear instructions now what to do in the
event of an attack.
"I believe that some form of alarm system, easily recognisable by the
public, such as the old siren system, must be re-instated as a matter of
urgency in the most vulnerable cities which includes Birmingham. Perhaps
even Lichfield and Burntwood.
"If people die unnecessarily from an attack due to the Government’s
complacency and unwillingness to educate the public as to what to do if an
attack takes place, then the Cabinet will have blood on their hands," Mr