Title: (There Was No Monkey Bite) When Two Tribes Go to War
Part One Click Here
Part One Click Here
“This is the news at ten...,” the TV news commentator announced.
“...today, the government announced what the public should do in case of a nuclear attack...,” the TV announcer said.
The three minute warning was a newsflash Joe and Issy would here countless times, and they both knew, as if that would be any good.
“What does it mean, Joe?”
They both looked at each other, but nothing was said, but, the expression on their faces was sheer disbelief. They were both physically and mentally worn out. The constant fear of nuclear war had taken its toll. Years later, ironically, my friend told me his mum would not let him stay up late to watch the special screening of the video to "Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood as she thought it would scare him, as he was only ten at the time.
Over the years that followed, what seemed like a lifetime, they lived in constant fear. The same story, told every day in the news media, about the threat of nuclear Armageddon. President Reagan, who everyone thought was likely to push the button at any time soon, was acting tough with the Russians. It was the early 1980’s, and England was in the grip of the threat from the east. The Cold War was at a tipping point. The coverage of anti-nuclear demonstrations was a daily event. Protesters against nuclear installations up and down the country were on the march, camping and laying siege to American and British military bases. Left wing politicians had joined their ranks. Ordinary people everywhere were being arrested for voicing their views against the government’s nuclear deterrent, the Trident nuclear missile programme.
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“I don’t know, but if the government wanted to scare us…there doing a damn good job,” Joe said calmly.
Issy and Joe were worried though; their minds were confused, after being bombarded night and day with stories about the imminent threat of nuclear war. They were young adults, with a child on the way. They wanted a life for their unborn child, they did not worry about their own lives, and it was the life that they wanted to bring into the world they both often cried about. The fear was real, the fear the world would soon end in nuclear war, and in Britain everyone felt close to the frontline, it’s a small island and the fallout would affect everyone.
The government was sending out leaflets about what to do in case of a nuclear attack, but little else. Leaflets would pop through the letterbox every other week explaining what you could do in the event of a nuclear alert. TV programs started to appear showing the effects of a nuclear strike and what areas and cities would be likely targets.
Issy and Joe even considered how close they were to any military bases as they were only about 50 miles from a nuclear power station, and that would probably be a target, they thought.
And the government, well, their advice was to find a table and sit under it and hope for the best, and of course have some tinned food and water stocked up.
The government had not considered building any purpose built shelters for the population; their response was to advise us to stick our heads between our knees and hope for the best, and that probably meant fuck you, Joe and Issy thought.
The following days and weeks they spent wondering what was to come. Issy and Joe would talk about what they could do. They had to do something. They started to stock up on tin foods and water. At least enough to last a few days, Joe felt they needed to, until and if they survived.
“…today we reveal what some people are doing in case of a nuclear attack…,” the regional TV news commentator said.
Joe and Issy just sat there listening to the news broadcast – it told how some people had built their own nuclear shelters in their gardens. All you needed was around £1500 and some hard work digging the hole for the shelter.
“Can we afford this, Joe?”
“I don’t know Issy, but even if we could, is it going to be a world…we would want to live in?”
‘I can’t understand why the government isn’t doing enough…maybe they know more than their saying?’ Joe said.
The rhetoric was as bad as a clapped-out B actor's film script, true to form. The Soviets were led to believe that the US was planning a preemptive strike.
“I guess they think, we’re all sheep,” Joe said. Ronald McDonald would have been a more credible choice as President as far as the Brits were concerned, he mused.
“What does all this mean?” Issy spurted out the words with tears in her eyes hoping Joe could say something to comfort her.
“How the hell do I fuckin know…,” Joe replied anxiously.
“Whatever happens I hope we’re together if it happens.”
President Reagan's decision to station intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Western Europe would provoke mass protests involving more than one million people, but it did not seem to matter to the politicians.
Joe was becoming more radical every day that passed. He spent hours working out in his mind, how; they would cope in the event of nuclear war. He felt ready and willing to kill to survive. The opportunity just seemed just around the corner, it could be only weeks, months and perhaps only a year before someone pushed the button.
To be continued...Part Three Click Here
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