I've just started reading Alex Scarrow's "Last Light", a work of fiction* which looks at what might happen to the UK if the country's oil supplies - the majority of which are imported - were suddenly halted. The process from normality to a complete breakdown of the country - the "we're only three meals from civil war" theory I guess - takes less than a week.
* I say "fiction*", but BBC News is running the latest updates on the oil tankers' strike behind me. While I'm gullible enough to believe more than I should in a work of fiction, the vast majority of the book's story is based on fact, and the oil tankers' strike is predicted to last four days, so I can't help wondering if Scarrow's postulated figure of one week will turn out to have a degree of accuracy...?
Still, not to panic, buuuuut.... This afternoon, between my flat and North End - about 2 miles at a push - I saw no less than 9 marked police cars and riot vans, as well as an unmarked vehicle in Fratton High Street which would usually be more commonly seen stalking the motorways, and all except two of which were engaged in some kind of stop-and-search.
So. If, as the newsreaders tell us, there's nothing to panic about, and everything's going to be "Alright", why does this sudden increase in the number of officers on the streets make me feel wary?
On the plus side, if my evil and cunning plans work out, I'll be off to Ibiza tomorrow for a few days' break. By the time I come back, no doubt the country will have either descended into complete civil unrest... Actually, hang on, how would that be any different to a normal day in Portsmouth...? ;o)
Have fun, take care, yada yada. And go buy the book (but only so I don't feel like the only numpty in the country reading it).