Yet more from the Doom Industry this morning (see previous blogs eg here, and here, and also Scared to Death by Mssrs Booker and North). The government has published its Risk Register, listing its Top Ten risks facing us, "so we can prepare" (good news for plague doctor mask producers).
There's tempest, fire, flood, plus of course plenty of pestilence. Top of the pops is our old friend, the flu pandemic. That's expected to kill 750,000 of us.
No... wait... wait... there's some small print down here in a footnote... can't quite read it... ah, I see now... apparently it "could" kill 750,000 of us. Could kill. So why stop at 750K? Surely, if it could kill 750K, it could just as easily kill 760K. Or 800K. Or maybe 2m. Or 10m. Or maybe... well, how do they know any of us would survive?
As we blogged here, we have no idea how many people our long promised flu pandemic would actually kill. In fact, we have no more idea than does the Doom Industry itself.
But what we do know is that none of the last century's pandemics killed anything like that many. Here are the numbers:
So HMG's forecast of UK deaths from this new pandemic - that hasn't yet happened - is an extraordinary 25 times the number who actually died in the last two. And it's three times the number who died in the catastrophic 1918 outbreak.
Plus, these days most of us are much healthier than we have ever been. And plus, medical science has advanced immeasurably, even since 1968.
So why does HMG bother to produce and publish such wibble?
You know why - this is the main output of an industry which provides many well paid tax-funded jobs.
Take another note George - here be savings. And to help things along, the Major has volunteered to provide his own replacement risk analysis pro bono. Here's his first stab:
Major Risks facing the UK
- 170,000 premature deaths every decade caused by sub-standard healthcare - the risk that our hopeless state healthcare system kills thousands who would otherwise live (see this blog)
- 100,000 plague deaths every decade caused by filthy hospitals - the risk that our hopeless state healthcare system kills thousands who would otherwise live (eg see this blog)
- Up to 250,000 drug related deaths - the risk that our hopeless state healthcare system kills thousands by refusing them specialist cancer drugs etc.
- Economic melt-down - the risk that our hopeless Big Government crushes the last vestiges of life out of Britain's wealth producing sectors
- Breakdown of law and order - the risk that our hopeless wibbling criminal justice system loses control completely
- Social catastrophe - the risk that our hopeless welfare state consigns yet more millions to Britain's underclass
- Big Freeze - the risk that our hopeless eco-wibbling statist hippy gah brown-out black-outs...
That's actually as far as the Major could get before he fell over. But he'll definitely finish it when he's had his nap.