WE need to produce some new TV public information films explaining what to do during a nuclear war.

I’m not saying there’s going to be a nuclear war, but better safe than sorry.

We can’t rely on the old public information films from the 1970s and 1980s because they’re out of date. Also, familiarity breeds contempt and they’ve been available online for nears, not to mention popping up on those DVD compilations for nostalgia buffs, alongside the likes of the Green Cross Man and talking chimpanzees flogging teabags.

Use those old films now and nobody would take them seriously. It’s the same with sirens - assuming any of the old sirens are left and haven’t long since been eBayed to collectors of Cold War government surplus.

There should be some new attack warnings and a new public information film to explain them: “When an attack is imminent, the theme from Countdown will be broadcast via Facebook and Twitter. The music will be repeated once the attack is over for the benefit of anybody who happens to be alive.

“The fallout warning will take the form of a comedy flatulence sound. If you’re able to hear it, you’ll probably be in need of a laugh.”

In the days leading up to a possible attack, updated advice about preparation would have to be broadcast. Much of the information would be the same as it was during the Cold War, but it would have to be rather more honest because people are better informed these days: “The ongoing crisis means it is now time to build an Inner Refuge in your home.

“Select an internal wall as far from the exterior of the building as possible. Remove interior doors, lean them against the wall you have chosen and cover the exterior of your inner refuge with suitcases, bags of earth and other sturdy, non-flammable materials.

“Gather tinned food, a tin-opener, clean water, toilet paper and other vital provisions.

“Alternatively, prepare an Inner Shelter by draping a duvet over your dining table and then chuck in some cans of beer and a couple of multipacks of crisps. It really doesn’t make any difference.

“If you prefer, lay in a stock of microwave ready meals rather than tinned food. They’ll be done to a turn in no time. So will you.”

Of course, there may be survivors, and they must also be catered for in the days and weeks after the attack: “If anybody in your Inner Refuge dies, and it is safe for you to leave your Inner Refuge, remove the body, take it outside, wrap it in plastic sheeting labelled with their name and address, bury it in the garden and be sure to clearly mark the place.

“If you are under 30 and the person is over 40, you might wish to do this before they’re dead – especially if there is more than one person aged over 40. Even if you have to subdue them by whacking them over the head with a shovel while their back’s turned.

“Otherwise they’ll start getting all nostalgic about Threads, a 1980s TV drama about a Soviet nuclear attack on Britain. They may begin to babble strange things, such as: ‘I wonder if anybody wee-d themselves outside a department store in Sheffield.’ And: ‘I can’t wait to see whether the cat’s melted.’”

What can I get away with?

THE latest child porn enthusiast to walk free from a Swindon court was a bloke called Benjamin Symons.

He downloaded photos and videos of children and babies being abused – some were raped – and shared half a dozen with fellow deviants.

The judge correctly observed: “Because you looked at these images you provide a market, you are encouraging children being abused in the most vile and despicable way.”

Not vile and despicable enough to warrant a jail term, however. Symons got away with a suspended sentence and some other nonsense after the court heard he had sought help to address his behaviour and realised that what he had done was wrong.

Weird, isn’t it, how these specimens only seem to develop empathy after they’re caught and there’s the prospect – however remote – of some jail time?

To hell with it. I think I’ll go and commit some crimes. Nick the Crown Jewels, for example, or walk into a series of historic houses, help myself to all the ornaments and flog ‘em to the highest bidder.

Or have the lead off the roof at the Palace of Westminster. Then, when I get to court, I’ll just say: “Well, I now realise that committing crimes against the property of the wealthy and powerful is very naughty indeed, so I’m sure you won’t want to imprison me.”

Yep, that’ll work out just fine and dandy, I’m sure.

  • FIRE service bosses and the firefighters union are arguing over a new operational plan.

The bosses say adapting to a major funding reduction won’t harm the service to the public, and that there will be just as many fire stations and appliances.

The unions say the service provided us under threat.

This dispute could easily be solved if those in charge of the brigade simply made a formal, legally-binding vow that not a single extra minute will be added to response times and not a single fire will take longer to extinguish.

I’m sure we can expect such a pledge any time now.