Sunday, 4 October 2015

When the Wind Blows ~


Anyone remember 'When the Wind Blows (1986 film) '?

''Adapted by Raymond Briggs from his graphic novel, “When the Wind Blows” concerns an elderly English couple in rural Sussex. Warned that nuclear war is imminent, the moon-faced pensioners Jim and Hilda Bloggs (voices supplied by John Mills and Peggy Ashcroft) do their gently dithering best to follow government instructions, laying away supplies and building a rudimentary fallout shelter. 
Hilda is doubtful, but Jim is resolute: “Ours is not to reason why — we must do the correct thing,” he explains more than once.

When the Wind Blows” is more satirical than sentimental in evoking the traditional stiff-upper-lip stoicism of Britain’s salt of the earth. Mr. Murakami, a Japanese-American animator who worked largely in Britain, handles the bomb’s impact with impressive restraint — a delicately throbbing conflagration rendered in a monochromatic wash — and the onset of the Bloggses’ subsequent radiation sickness is quietly relentless. (Moral: There won’t always be an England.)
Mr. Murakami introduces elements of photographic reality into his animation — most subtly in his use of a miniature model for the Bloggses’ cottage. The presence of flat, animated characters in a three-dimensional set produces a subliminal neutron weapon effect. The rubble of their hitherto cozy lives appears more substantial than their increasingly ghostly presence.

Perceived by some as propaganda for Britain’s unilateral nuclear disarmament, “When the Wind Blows” came in for a measure of political criticism — a smug film, one commentator wrote, made not for people like Mr. and Mrs. Bloggs but “radical yuppies” who took their children to peace marches''. ( Original article may be found here )

YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE

The Polar DEW 

( Distant Early Warning Line )
has just warned that
A nuclear rocket strike of
At least one thousand megatons
Has been launched by the enemy
Directly at our major cities.
This announcement will take
Two and a quarter minutes to make,
You therefore have a further
Eight and a quarter minutes
To comply with the shelter
Requirements published in the Civil
Defence Code - section Atomic Attack.
A specially shortened Mass
Will be broadcast at the end
Of this announcement -
Protestant and Jewish services
Will begin simultaneously -
Select your wavelength immediately
According to instructions
In the Defence Code. Do not
Tale well-loved pets (including birds)
Into your shelter - they will consume
Fresh air. Leave the old and bed-
Ridden, you can do nothing for them.
Remember to press the sealing
Switch when everyone is in
The shelter. Set the radiation
Aerial, turn on the Geiger barometer.
Turn off your television now.
Turn off your radio immediately
The services end. At the same time
Secure explosion plugs in the ears
Of each member of your family. Take
Down your plasma flasks. Give your children
The pills marked one and two
In the C D green container, then put
Them to bed. Do not break
The inside airlock seals until
The radiation All Clear shows
(Watch for the cuckoo in your
Perspex panel), or your District
Touring Doctor rings your bell.
If before this your air becomes
Exhausted or if any of your family
Is critically injured, administer
The capsules marked 'Valley Forge'
(Red pocket in No 1 Survival Kit)
For painless death. (Catholics
Will have been instructed by their priests
What to do in this eventuality.)
This announcement is ending. Our President
Has already given orders for
Massive retaliation - it will be
Decisive. Some of us may die.
Remember, statistically
It is not likely to be you.
All flags are flying fully dressed
On Government buildings - the sun is shining.
Death is the least we have to fear.
We are all in the hands of God,
Whatever happens happens by His will.
Now go quickly to your shelters.

Poem by Peter Porter 

 Arguments for nuclear abolition;

The humanitarian case;
The abolition of nuclear weapons is an urgent humanitarian necessity. Any use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic consequences. No effective humanitarian response would be possible, and the effects of radiation on human beings would cause suffering and death many years after the initial explosion. Eliminating nuclear weapons – via a comprehensive treaty – is the only guarantee against their use.
Even if a nuclear weapon were never again exploded over a city, there are intolerable effects from the production, testing and deployment of nuclear arsenals that are experienced as an ongoing personal and community catastrophe by many people around the globe. This humanitarian harm too must inform and motivate efforts to outlaw nuclear weapons.
“Nuclear weapons are unique in their destructive power, in the unspeakable human suffering they cause, in the impossibility of controlling their effects in space and time, and in the threat they pose to the environment, to future generations, and indeed to the survival of humanity.” – International Committee of the Red Cross, 2010

The security case;
Nuclear weapons pose a direct and constant threat to people everywhere. Far from keeping the peace, they breed fear and mistrust among nations. These ultimate instruments of terror and mass destruction have no legitimate military or strategic utility, and are useless in addressing any of today’s real security threats, such as terrorism, climate change, extreme poverty, overpopulation and disease.
While more than 40,000 nuclear weapons have been dismantled since the end of the cold war, the justifications for maintaining them remain largely unchanged. Nations still cling to the misguided idea of “nuclear deterrence”, when it is clear that nuclear weapons only cause national and global insecurity. There have been dozens of documented instances of the near-use of nuclear weapons as a result of miscalculation or accidents.

MYTH REALITY
It’s OK for some countries to possess nuclear weapons. When it comes to nuclear weapons, there are no safe hands. So long as any country has these weapons, others will want them, and the world will be in a precarious state.
It’s unlikely that nuclear weapons will ever be used again. Unless we eliminate nuclear weapons, they will almost certainly be used again, either intentionally or by accident, and the consequences will be catastrophic.
Nuclear weapons provide a useful deterrent against attack. Nuclear weapons do not deter terrorists. Nuclear-armed nations are actually more vulnerable to pre-emptive strike and terrorist targeting than non-nuclear countries.
Nuclear weapons can be used legitimately in war. Any use of weapons would violate international humanitarian law because they would indiscriminately kill civilians and cause long-term environmental harm.

The environmental case;
Nuclear weapons are the only devices ever created that have the capacity to destroy all complex life forms on Earth. It would take less than 0.1% of the explosive yield of the current global nuclear arsenal to bring about devastating agricultural collapse and widespread famine. The smoke and dust from fewer than 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear explosions would cause an abrupt drop in global temperatures and rainfall.


“Climate change may be the global policy issue that has captured most attention in the last decade, but the problem of nuclear weapons is at least its equal in terms of gravity – and much more immediate in its potential impact.” – International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, 2009

The economic case;
Nuclear weapons programmes divert public funds from health care, education, disaster relief and other vital services. The nine nuclear-armed nations spend in excess of US$105 billion each year maintaining and modernizing their nuclear arsenals. The US alone spends more than US$60 billion annually, and the British government’s plans to replace its ageing fleet of nuclear-armed Trident submarines could cost taxpayers over £100 billion.
Despite renewed commitments by nations to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, all of the nuclear powers continue to invest exorbitant sums of money in their nuclear forces. Funding allocated to national disarmament efforts is minuscule by comparison, and the principal UN body responsible for advancing nuclear abolition has an annual budget of just over $10 million. It is time to redirect money towards meeting human needs.

This blog reposted from The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) page.
ICAN is a global campaign coalition working to mobilize people in all countries to inspire, persuade and pressure their governments to initiate negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. 

 “Who is to decide which is the grimmer sight: withered hearts, or empty skulls?” 
 Honoré de Balzac.

 

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