In the light of rising security hype and mad Ebola rumours, The Slog tries to put things back into perspective. Your chances of being an Isil or Ebola victim in the West are almost homoaeopathic.
The words that matter in this Torygraph extract are in red:
‘The first alleged Isil-linked terror plot on UK soil has been foiled by police and MI5 amid fears jihadists are returning from Syria to carry out beheadings on British streets.
Four men were arrested in dramatic armed raids in London during which one suspect had to be Tasered by police.
The men are feared to have been in the “early stages” of planning a “significant” attack and it is understood one line of inquiry is whether they wanted to emulate the sort of brutal execution that has become Isil’s hallmark on a British street.
Police and intelligence agencies have become increasingly concerned that the terror group, which has already beheaded four Western hostages, is encouraging similar attacks overseas.’
Und no threading mit die Komments vill be allowt.
So, it is alleged that four blokes may or may not have been thinking about doing something unpleasant (perhaps) – and as a result of this completely unsubstantiated rumour, the cops and Intelligence chaps have fears. And as a result of that, Britain’s top cop thinks the amount of surveillance in the UK is waaaay too small: we’re in a serious situation people…but don’t worry, because it’s all being done for your own good.
Of course, had we an élite able to conserve our oil supplies (as opposed to blowing the entire shebang in forty years flat) or able to say no to Obama Joe Biden, or willing to invest in cleaner coal (and provide new UK jobs) or able to monitor terrorists arriving here rather than welcoming them with open arms, these bonkers folk wouldn’t be “a threat”. Would they? If indeed they are. Discuss.
Ebola is I am sure, somewhere in government, being described as a lucky bounce – providing as it does the excuse to hype up the fear factor still further. David Cameron will be attending Cobra this morning we’re told, and even before being briefed Dave is calling it an ‘emergency’. The WHO says that further cases in Europe are now “quite unavoidable” (an odd use of grammar, that one) which is piffle in a UK context. We are an island, and it would take very little real effort to simply place all incoming African flight passengers in holding centres until they’re cleared. If Defra can do it for dogs, they can do it for people.
However, it just happens that since last Friday I’ve been trying to bone up on Ebola. And the bottom line is, if the authorities know what they’re doing, it is an easy disease to contain. Black Africa lacks the money, will and infrastructure to contain it, but Western governments don’t. (Thanks to the Troika, mind you, it has a much better chance of spreading in Italy, Greece and Spain than elsewhere in the West.)
First up, misinformation about the disease is rife….and for this I’m afraid we have to hand a large dollop of blame to the internet and its half-cocked rumour mongering. Twisted and exaggerated accounts will inevitably lead to unwarranted fear. But on the other hand, as fear is what the corporate dictators feed on, it’s hardly surprising that they too are laying on the “ghastly symptoms and rapid spread” mortar with a very large trowel.
So herewith some reality – with the calming words once again in red:
1. The only likely way you can catch ebola from someone else is by sharing bodily fluids and/or handling the blood, urine and excretia involved in the disease’s progress.
2. In theory, somebody sneezing or spitting in an effort to control the symptoms could pass on the virus, but its airborne death is almost instantaneous. The chances of such transmission are one in several billion.
3. The disease does not and cannot spread by drinking water.
4. The same applies to food.
It is not enough to say that Ebola is easy to contain in a modern State: ebola is a disease that can only spread through ignorance and incompetence. Its epidemiology is seriously Fourth Division compared to the Common Cold or Flu.
The key word there is incompetence. This can mean careless nursing practices, poor administrative planning, or putting profits before manning levels. Or specifically, Jeremy Hunt, undermining the NHS and moving your mates at BUPA in to ‘take over’….via your 5th cousin twice removed and donor of your Parliamentary seat, Baroness Virginia Fruntbottom.
I do hope one doesn’t have to revisit such possibilities in the future. As that would be tragic. Wouldn’t it, neolibbers? Hmm?