Red alert for the millenium : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Red alert for millennium

by Charles Reiss

Britain was today placed on red alert for the millennium with a series of far-reaching and drastic security measures as it was announced that up to two million people are expected to head for central London on New Year's Eve.

Home Secretary Jack Straw unveiled moves to deal with an unprecedented set of hazards ranging from millennium bug problems to "the possibility of public disorder". The measures include:

:: All police leave cancelled nationwide.

:: Troops in London and elsewhere on standby, with some ready to move at 10 minutes' notice.

:: Extra hospital, fire and ambulance staff on duty.

:: Key Government ministers to meet at 7pm on Millennium Eve and again at 9am.

:: Some mobile phone networks face emergency cutoffs for all except key services as people swamp them with calls to family and friends.

:: Thirty-two emergency boats to patrol the Thames.

:: Central London barred to most cars and lorries.

Mr Straw told the Commons that people should be reassured by the fact that the UK is one of the best prepared countries in the world. But he said there should be no complacency: "Problems may still occur and we need to be ready to deal with them." He said that despite intensive preparation, the millennium security operation was an exercise in "predicting the unpredictable".

The best estimate, from the Government Office for London, was that between 1.5 million and two million people will head for the centre of the capital, he told MPs.

Mr Straw was questioned by some MPs worried over problems at entry points to London's car exclusion zones. Shadow minister David Lidington said there could easily be "gridlock". Mr Straw said that all those coming in from outside, apart from the disabled, should use public transport which, he promised, would be "enhanced".

Mr Straw warned that the emergency services could face a separate problem with the mobile phone network swamped by thousands dialling friends and relatives. He said that arrangements had been made to "manage the networks" - which could mean emergency cutoffs for all except key services.

Some key decisions in the event of a major emergency, including any move to deploy troops, will have to be authorised by ministers.

The Government's Civil Contingencies Committee, chaired by Mr Straw and including ministers and senior officials from the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office, the Health Department, the Environment and Transport Department and the Scottish and Welsh Offices, will meet at 7pm on 31 December and again at 9am the following day.

Only then will the Government know whether its precautions, the most drastic peacetime security clampdown in modern times, will have worked.

Mr Straw conceded that there was no way the Government and emergency services could foresee every potential problem. He said: "Our concern has been to ensure that celebrations across the country are conducted safely and, if anything does go wrong, our emergency services are able to cope."

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) Associated Newspapers Ltd., 21 December 1999 Terms and Conditions This Is London

-- Homer Beanfang (, December 21, 1999


Militia on high alert to protect Hogtown

-- Homer Beanfang (, December 21, 1999.

holy shit.

-- (here@next.?), December 21, 1999.


Anyway, what kind of commotion are the Canucks expecting? What's the usual temperature in Toronto in January? Who's gonna riot when it's f-ing freezing outside?

Miami, sure. Toronto? Come on.

-- staying home (til@its.over), December 21, 1999.


Now let's see, we need our boys in place for when TSHTF. How can we do this without alerting John Sixpack? I know let's say it's for 'outside trouble makers who would blow themselves up for personal gain'. Yeah that will work. H*#%, if they will believe that Capt. Willy didn't inhale, then they will believe anything. Sidenote to that Beanfang fella. Heck son, you can serve in this man's Army anytime you would like. Be right proud to have you on the team when the balloon goes up. AT EASE MEN! LIGHT 'EM IF YA GOT 'EM.

-- COLONEL M.I. LITIA (, December 21, 1999.

Homer, nice grab! Isn't that how it's suppose to work in the US too? The militia is the last line of defense, not offense. Guess that's why some get their nose bent outta shape when the fringe crazies draw bad press.

-- Hokie (, December 21, 1999.


Ok men our plan is working but we need to speed things up a bit. Johnson, front and center. SON, YOU STAND AT ATTENTION WHEN YOUR TALKING TO YOUR COLONEL! That's better. Now you wrap this towel around your head, put a couble bags of ferilizer, some fuel oil in your trunk and come across the border there in Seattle. When we catch you, you say you were going to blow up something big for that Ben Hur feller over in where ever. WELL, HOW THE H%&* AM I SUPPOSE TO KNOW WHAT YOU WERE GOING TO BLOW UP? Smith, what's the biggest thing in Seattle? The Space Needle? Well ok Johnson it's that Space Needle. You got your orders Son, NOW MOVE OUT. This will put the fear of God in them.


-- COLONEL M.I. LITIA (, December 21, 1999.

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