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Monday, March 12, 2007 

The power of nightmares.

Last night I woke in a damp sweat. The vision I had, one of a Britain broken, enforced into feudalism as the sky turned dark, with children rapidly resorting to scavenging and feeding on vermin, was the most horrific and vivid that I had ever experienced. It had all started the day, in a delusion of good vibes and liberal limp-wristedness that we had abandoned our independent nuclear deterrent. Politicians and newspapers said it was lunacy, that we couldn't predict what enemy would emerge in the next few decades, and that most of all, it finally broke our reputation as a great country. The ever traitorous left-wingers, delighted by finally destroying the weapons they had always loathed, crowed and said it sent a message to the world.

It did. Within hours of the last missile being dismantled and the final submarine being broken apart, there were reports that there had been a huge explosion over Manchester. Eyewitnesses from outlying towns quickly flooded radio stations with their terrifying last phone calls, saying that what seemed to be a mushroom cloud had briefly appeared above what had been Manchester. It was in fact only the first attack; within hours, all the major cities had been hit. With a brisk northerly wind blowing, the fallout was spread alarmingly quickly. Looting broke out almost immediately, and with a single nuclear attack itself enough to overwhelm the NHS, health care crumbled within a matter of days. Most died without knowing where the attack had came from; those who survived didn't care, infused only with a rage against those who had abolished the weapons which kept the nation safe.

It was the image of the bleak, desolate landscape of the countryside which I had fled to on hearing of the first attack that I awoke with, my final surroundings seared on my brain. With the water poisoned and the animals which had inhabited the woodland themselves dying, there was no way I could have survived. Instead, using a rope taken from a nearby abandoned farm, I tied a ligature from a tree and hung myself, my neck snapping like one of the twigs which covered the forest floor.

How I breathed a sigh of relief as I realised that it had only been a night terror! I remembered the words of the defence secretary Des Browne, who had been so completely right when he stated that Trident made people feel more secure in their beds. I settled back down, soothed, and slept soundly, dreaming only of being blown apart on the tube as an unfortunate result of a young man detonating his backpack of explosives, having been radicalised by the war in Iraq. Still, these things happen.


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Very fortunately our defence policy is not a function of your night terrors. Sleep soundly :)

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