Tuesday 6 December 2016

We need to stop moaning and dig ourselves out of the snow

Instead of expecting the authorities to sort out the big-freeze crisis, we need personal responsibility, says Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 05/12/2010 | 05:00

It always comes back to the iodine tablets.

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In the wake of 9/11, Marian Finucane asked the minister in charge of public emergencies a simple question: If a terrorist flew a plane into the Sellafield nuclear power station, would there be enough iodine tablets to protect the entire population against the effects of fallout? He conceded that there wouldn't. Cue a public outcry from hysterics -- who became convinced that an al-Qaeda attack on Sellafield was imminent, and that they were all going to die horribly from radiation sickness.

Of course, if there was such an attack, then we would, indeed, all have died horribly, but the tablets wouldn't have made a blind bit of difference. Seriously, who believed an iodine tablet is any defence against a mushroom cloud? But sense goes out of the window in the event of media firestorms. We wanted those tablets, and we wanted them now!

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