Ian Willmore ianw at
Wed Jan 8 09:09:39 MST 2003

The UK media is in a frenzy today after the discovery of "traces" of the poison
in a flat in North London, which was allegedly occupied by half a dozen suspicious

looking Algerians. Ricin is made - we discover - from castor oil beans.

Even the BBC is not immune to the torrents of toxic drivel now
being poured over a panicking public. Here is a choice piece from BBC Online:


The initial signs of ricin exposure are fever, a fast pulse and a feeling of
weakness - flu-like symptoms.

Dr Sue Atkinson, director of public health for London said: "If you've got
flu-like symptoms, you've got flu. But if people get sicker, they should go
back and get treated."

She said people should not panic.

"The important thing is for people to be alert to these things. But we don't
want people to be alarmed. People must go about their daily lives and
continue to function in a normal way."

Victims of ricin exposure should be isolated and all their clothes removed
and disposed of. Their possessions should be placed in sealed bags to
prevent contamination.

The victims should then be given paper suits.

A public information campaign on what to do in the event of an attack is to
be launched this year.

Posters will include tips such as running away from poison gas or using
handkerchiefs as improvised masks.


This is tremendously helpful, I hope you all agree. In future I will carry a
paper suit with me at all times. Given that ricin also causes bloody diarrhoea
a paper nappy might also be useful.

I suggest never going out without a prefolded copy of The Times, just in case.
Use the page with one of Lord Rees Mogg's articles on it.

It's also very helpful to know that you are supposed to run AWAY from the poison
gas. I could easily have got that wrong. Using a hanky as a mask is very clever
- I was intending to use my shoe.

It's reassuring to know that the Men from the Ministry are out there there
working 24/7 in my best interests. They are probably the same civil
servants who once stockpiled two million biscuits in bunkers round the
UK, in case of nuclear war. (The North got all the digestives, London
kept the bourbons.)

Meanwhile pseudo academic drivelwits who make a living hyping
security "threats" are getting an unexpected New Year bonus.

- Also from BBC online

Professor Paul Wilkinson, a terrorism expert (sic) from
St Andrew's University, said the find had  not taken him
completely by surprise.

Speaking on Sky News, he said: "We are facing
an extremely dangerous form of terrorism.

This particular incident seems to reveal that
we should have the maximum proportions in
place and preventative mechanisms against
the kind of chemical, biological and possibly
radiological weapons that terrorists are
undoubtedly able to get these days.

It doesn't totally surprise one because, of
course, one of the scenarios that the police
and intelligence services have been
investigating is the possibility of a poison
attack of some kind using a toxin or a chemical

Meanhwhile small boys around London are amusing themselves
by wandering round health food shops asking for sacks of castor
oil beans ...

War hysteria - isn't it fun?

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