DAILY MAIL COMMENT: An Orwellian scheme to meddle in our lives

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: An Orwellian scheme to meddle in our lives

Picture the scene. You are in your garden, at the school gate or on the bus and a cacophony of sirens starts screaming from every mobile phone and tablet in the vicinity, including your own.

It’s the Government telling you your life is apparently in danger. There is a brief message, saying flood waters are rising or it’s getting windy or there are wildfires about (though unless you speak English, you won’t be able to read it).

So should you keep calm and carry on or scoop up your children and most precious possessions, and make a run for it?

One of the great British virtues used to be the ability to maintain a cool head in a crisis. This kind of scaremongering seems designed to send us all into a state of paroxysmal panic.

A nationwide test alert is due to sound on your device at 3pm on Sunday, April 23, whether you like it or not. No consultation and precious little advance warning.

(Stock Image)  One of the great British virtues used to be the ability to maintain a cool head in a crisis. This kind of scaremongering seems designed to send us all into a state of paroxysmal panic

It seems to be another phase in the campaign by officialdom to infantilise the population – especially where weather is concerned. The naming of every minor rainstorm was a major step in the process, giving the impression that we are in the constant grip of extreme events.

Everyone accepts that the climate is changing but this fetishisation of meteorology will be self-defeating, causing sensible people to switch off.

The new alert system also has other real world consequences. Domestic violence charities have already pointed out the risks to those in abusive relationships who have secret phones. And what effect would a mass alert have in a packed sports ground or music concert?

During Covid, we reluctantly put up with bureaucrats meddling in our lives (and our phones), but that was a global emergency. Now, it seems they plan to interfere whenever the mood takes them. It is creepy and Orwellian.

There are already ample mechanisms for warning the public about fire, flood and storm – not least looking out of the window and turning on the radio or 24-hour television news.

If the Government really wants to improve public safety, it would do much better scrapping ‘smart’ motorways and mixed-sex NHS wards than engaging in this kind of ridiculous humbug.

Folly of aid to China

More than a decade after the then-International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell promised to end the absurdity of the UK sending aid to China, it’s still going on.

This is the world’s second biggest economy and its military and space exploration spending is topped only by the US. Yet since 2011, we have shelled out £400million on handouts to China.

Beijing is unashamedly bent on global domination and its expansionism has been identified as a major threat to the West.

The Chinese defence minister is currently in Moscow on a mission to strengthen military cooperation with Vladimir Putin’s gangster regime, with implications for Ukraine and for Nato that scarcely bear thinking about.

China’s human rights record, too, is appalling – persecution of the Uyghurs, suppression of Hong Kong dissidents and oppressive surveillance of its own people.

Some may say £400million is not an astronomical sum. But wouldn’t it be better spent bolstering our own defence capabilities – rather than subsidising our most powerful potential foe.

The Women’s Institute is facing a rebellion over its policy to accept ‘anyone who is living as a woman’ for membership. Sir Keir Starmer may struggle to define what constitutes being a woman, but if any organisation should know, surely it’s the WI. The clue’s in the name.

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