1950s >> 1958 >> no-642-february-1958

“How to Save Millions of Lives”

The following quick guide to Nuclear War is based on material supplied in a ninepenny booklet issued by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, and is given free by the Socialist Party of Great Britain.

To Save Millions of Lives you must first start a war which would make Genghis Khan’s activities look like the Boy Scout Movement.

Using 10,000,000 ton bombs, which are 500 times bigger than the Nagasaki Horror (which we were told, and some were stupid enough to believe, brought peace in 1945) you would drop them on the most densely populated areas, such as cities. The expense would not be great, for one of the above can make a hole (?) one mile wide and 200 feet deep. Again looking on the bright side, this would be a quick war, with good prospects for jerry-builders and black marketeers to put civilisation back on its feet when peace came.

The three dangers in this sort of war are Heat, Blast and Radio-Activity. Any others would be very secondly.

Heat. A very good way of saving some of the lives is to see people are not within four miles of any individual bomb. If possible, too, see people are not within sixteen miles, for they might get so burnt they would wish they were underneath file bomb. A good tip in connection with burns is to urge folks to wear hats and gloves (you know, like Ascot). These garments are a great help against a 10,000,000-ton explosion!

As this is only a brief resume on Saving Lives, we must pass on to the next point, blast.

Here we are on rather more shaky ground, as we understand “irreparable” damage is done up to five miles in all directions. So we are not clear where the people would be who were going to be Saved. We hold out no hope for retired couples who have bought bungalows in the country, in which to pass the quiet even-tide of their lives. For we know stairs are an excellent way of Saving Lives, just as they were in the Last Lot. Better to dig slit-trenches and learn to live in those.

And now we pass on to Radio-activity. Its discoverers, Marie and Pierre Curie, saw it as a great boon. They hated war. But when it came, in 1917, M. Curie used her brain-child to mend the lumps of quivering flesh which once had been man.

Radio-activity, we would say, right at the start is tricky, because many of the Saved Lives might have to stay in a well-protected windowless room of their house for days until the R.-A. had lost its lethal content This room would have to be the bathroom-cum-toilet For there could be no discreet “Back in a minute” nonsense. Also food and water would have to be stored, plus tins of milk for the baby. We have no information about anti-suffocation measures to be taken while all these good folk are in their little Black ’Oles of Calcultta. The unlucky ones outside would vomit, develop fever, a ghastly thirst, bleed inside, lose hair outside, and not feel particularly hungry. But at least “they would feel little pain.” The French have a proverb—“ He who wears the shoe knows best where it pinches.”

Particular attention should be paid to hair and nails; they should be washed with soap and water. This would be most convenient as the victim would be in the bathroom anyway.

Finally, do remember to tell people who are anxious to be among the Saved (your contributor is not—the shrinking coward) that “The best defence against chaos and confusion would be a resolute spirit of self-reliance, based not on groundless optimism, but on knowledge of the facts.”

M. Brown

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